Boreas Pass Section House Route

Boreas Pass Section House Route

Page Type: Route
Lat/Lon: 39.40290°N / 105.9828°W
Route Type: Hiking
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required: Less than two hours
Difficulty: Class 1 walk-up


Though steep in places, this short route makes a nice relaxing outing for a wide array of hiking abilities. Kids, dogs, grandparents and flatlanders alike will enjoy summitting this gentle Colorado 12er.

Getting There

From CO Hwy 9 south of Breckenridge
Total distance from CO 9 to Boreas Pass summit: approximately 6 miles

  • South of Breckenridge, locate Boreas Pass Road (Summit County Hwy 10).
  • Follow this road south for about 6 miles to the summit of the pass.

From U.S. Hwy 285 and Rd 33 at Como
Total distance from Como to Boreas Pass summit: approximately 6.5 miles

  • Take Park County Rd 33 northwest through Como.
  • At Robert’s Cabin, turn a hairpin turn to the right to stay on Route 33.
  • Follow this road north to the summit of the pass.

Park at the Boreas Pass summit near the Section House. The trail begins behind the railroad boxcar to your west.

A note on road conditions
Regardless of your starting point, the road to Boreas Pass is a mix of paved, “formerly paved and full of deep potholes” and graded/washboarded gravel. Keep an eye out for bicyclists.

Route Description

MD_Continental Divide PlateContinental Divide sign post at the summit of "Madonna Dome"

Distance: Approximately 3.6 miles RT
Low Point: 11,481
High Point: 12,331

Follow an established and maintained trail from behind box car to Pt. 12,029. A well-trodden rock outcrop marks the summit of this overlook. Leave the crowds at the overlook behind and begin your trail-less journey to Madonna Dome.

Descend down the west southwest side of 12,029 to a saddle at approximately 11,840 ft. Cautiously note the old mine shaft. Begin your ascent of "Madonna Dome" by following an old, gravely 2-rutter steeply up the side o the mountain. As the 2-rutter runs out, aim for the ridge of Madonna Dome, stepping left to bypass a small mound. Follow the ridge along the spine of the Continental Divide to the summit of Madonna Dome. A wood board with a small engraved plate notes that you are on the Hoosier Ridge of the Continental Divide at 12,230 feet. Maps indicate the summit of Madonna Dome is actually 12,231 feet. Return the way you came.

Essential Gear

Sturdy hiking boots, ample water, waterproofed raingear and a snack for the summit will suffice in the summer.