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Mosca Pass Trail

 3.7 (7)
Trail Mapped Wrong?

Length

3.6 Miles 5.8 Kilometers


Elevation

1,546' 471 m

Ascent

-3' -1 m

Descent

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

9,718' 2,962 m

High

8,176' 2,492 m

Low

Conditions


Unknown

Getting forecast...

A steady climb with incredible views of the Great Sand Dunes and foothills of the Sangre de Cristos.

Kristen Arendt

Overview

Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife [Add/Remove]
Family Friendly: A fairly easy trail with great views. Turn back whenever you want!
Dogs: Leashed

Description [Suggest Changes]

Mosca Pass Trail is easily accessed from the Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center parking lot. Pick up the trail at the north end of the parking lot and cross 150. From here, you'll start the steady climb up the pass. There is another small parking lot located up the road from the visitor center where you can also park and start your hike.

Mosca Pass Trail follows Mosca Creek as it winds through aspens and evergreens. While it is a singletrack trail and there are some rocks and roots to avoid, overall the footing on this trail allows you to keep your eyes on the scenery as you climb up into the Sangre de Cristo mountains.

The first part of the trail is situated in a small valley and you won't have very many expansive views unless you turn around and look back the way you came. Around two miles, you begin to emerge from the creek drainage to more expansive meadows where you can enjoy the view.

The trail ends in an open meadow at County Rd. 583 and while this may endpoint may at first seem unimpressive and not worth the effort you just put in to climb the pass, just turn around and get ready to enjoy the views on your way back down. The steady climb has earned you some spectacular views of the sand dunes framed by the foothills of the Sangre de Cristos.

Flora & Fauna [Suggest Changes]

Pinon pine, aspens, narrow-leaf cottonwoods, ponderosa pines, and blue spruce. You will see variety of wildflowers in the late spring/early summer such as Indian paintbrush, pasque flowers, candytuft, coral bells, shooting star, fireweed, and columbines.

Deer, elk, squirrels, rabbits, hawks, jays, ravens, magpies, woodpeckers, and a variety of other birds. Mountain lions, bobcats, and black bears also inhabit the higher altitudes of the Sangre de Cristos, and while you probably won't see them on your hike, be aware that they are active in the area.

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Apr 14, 2018
Sylvia Iverson
8mi
Oct 4, 2017
Anna Schwyter
Alex Duncan 25 yo birthday, hail storm
Sep 18, 2017
Ron Batcher
Great trail. Not many places for good photos. 8.2mi
Sep 2, 2017
H Handler
7mi
May 19, 2017
Bruce Hope
Feb 21, 2017
Lindsay Thomas
Aug 27, 2016
Tim Mulvihill
3.6 one way hike, for a total out and back of 7.3 miles. 7.2mi — 2h 18m
Aug 27, 2016
Oscar Zamudio
Pretty hike. Not many panoramic views. Few people on the trail

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 7 votes

#6147

Overall
  3.7 from 7 votes
5 Star
14%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
43%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#626

in Colorado

#6,147

Overall
186 Views Last Month
1,504 Since Sep 29, 2015
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

0%
86%
14%
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