Volz Benchmark proudly stands guard over the South Park community of Como. This mid-sized Twelver is a massive presence to the west of town, though it remains largely hidden from view once the ascent of Boreas Pass Road begins. It is a primarily gentle summit with ready access from Boreas Pass, though lack of a trail to the summit surely dissuades plenty of visitors and virtually guarantees solitude. Indeed, ascending the Selkirk drainage from Boreas Pass Road, elk pellets will outnumber boot prints.
The summit area features a large summit cairn, a rudimentary rock shelter and a USGS survey marker surrounded by rocks, complete with a summit register with a rusty lid. Enjoy views to the west of bumpy UN 12,700, Boreas Mountain & Bald Mountain. To the south, Mount Silverheels strikes a dainty, graceful pose.
To the east, South Park stretches almost as far as the eye can see.
Colorado Rank: 941st highest peak in Colorado
Twelvers Rank: 304th highest Twelver in Colorado
Prominence: 569 feet
Mountain Range: Front Range
Rank and prominence information: Lists of John
Volz Benchmark resides in northwestern Park County, near the border with Summit County and not far from the Continental Divide. The summit is about one mile as the crow flies due east of Boreas Pass Road. The nearest town is the small, cozy and disarmingly friendly community of Como, Colorado.
There is little red tape governing recreational use in this part of the National Forest and there is no fee to access this area. Adhere to LNT (Leave No Trace) principals, observe fire ban when in effect and do not harass wildlife or allow your pet to do so.
Access to Volz Benchmark from the east is guarded by private property. Private holdings can be avoiding by accessing this peak from Boreas Pass Road.
Camping & LodgingSelkirk Campground
The National Forest Service operates one primitive campground in the area of Boreas Pass Road near Selkirk Gulch.
- 14-15 primitive campsites
- Open Memorial Day Weekend through September
- Elevation: 10,500 feet
- One vault toilet but no drinking water
- No reservations / first come, first served
Fairplay & Alma
On the south side of Boreas Pass the communities of Fairplay and Alma provide a laid-back atmosphere and more reasonable prices for lodging. Fewer hotel rooms and lodges exist on this side of the pass, but privately-owned rental cabins can allow for ample privacy with all of the comforts of home.
Detailed information about lodging in Fairplay and Alma may be found here: http://www.coloradodirectory.com/parkcounty/
Blue River & Breckenridge
On the other side of Boreas Pass, a wide variety of lodging options can be found in Breckenridge and Blue River, ranging from simple hotel rooms to luxury mountain retreats. Rates may be moderate in the shoulder season (spring and fall) and tolerable in the summer. Expect astronomical lodging rates during the winter ski season.
Detailed information on Breckenridge area lodging (including Blue River) may be found here: http://breckenridge.snow.com/info/winter/pb.ldg.asp
Weather & Seasons
Autumn would be an ideal time to visit Volz Benchmark. The southern reaches of Boreas Pass Road are ablaze in golden aspen in the Fall. Summer is a pleasant time to visit the area, as well, though Boreas Pass Road can get moderately busy in the tourist season.
Boreas Pass road is closed in the winter in early spring at Robert’s Cabin on the south side and at the winter trailhead near Rocky Point on the northern side, making for a considerably longer journey to the summit of Volz Benchmark in snow season.