Getting ThereThe trailhead is at Berthoud Pass which is on mile marker 243 on Highway 40. Berthoud Pass can be reached from the north and Fraser and Winter Park or from the south and Empire. The Empire exit off I-70 is exit 233 for those driving from the south. Park at the now closed Berthoud Pass Ski Resort parking lot. The trailhead is across the highway. Highway 40 is open and plowed year round allowing easy year-round access to the trailhead.
Route DescriptionFrom Berthoud Pass, follow the gated service road (closed to vehicles) marked as the CD Trail. The road makes a steady, but not too steep climb up the former ski slopes. In summer you must stay on the road to prevent erosion, but in winter, you can short-cut directly up the former ski-runs (assuming you don't get taken out by a yahoo snowboarder!). Timberline is reached at 11,600 feet, and great views open up to the west. Just before the service road reaches the summit of Colorado Mines Peak, a trail splits off to the left. This is the trail that continues to Mount Flora. To reach the summit of Colorado Mines Peak, simply follow the service road to the summit. There are great views in all directions assuming you can ignore the telecommunication facilities.
The total distance is 1.7 miles with 1185 feet elevation gain. The elevation of the summit is 12,497 feet.
Essential GearOnly a good pair of boots is needed in summer. Snowbanks are usually present in to the month of August.
In winter, snowshoes and ski poles are a definate help below the timberline, but once you reach timberline, most of the snow is blown and compacted by the wind. An ice axe is also recomended. Crampons are not required, but can be helpful if parts of the route is iced up. As long as you stay right on the ridge top, avalanche danger is usually very low throughout the winter. The slopes on the side of either side of the ridge are very avalanche prone, so stay on the ridgetop in the winter!