OverviewRed Mountain Pass
is a very popular destination for back country skiing. Map and overview of the places
shows really well the locations of some huts and most commonly skied areas.
: Ski up County Road 14 from the top of Red Mountain Pass, head south on the roadbed - you will see plenty off ski and snowmobile tracks here. After 0.5 miles the road turns east up and climbs up quite steeply (skins recommended) to another road junction at mile 0.9. Here County Road 14 turns right (south) and is well signed to the St. Paul Lodge and Mountain Belle Cabin. Throughout this area you will see some of the many old mine buildings still standing.
Stay On County Road 14 as it climbs up and past St. Paul Lodge
and then the Mountain Belle Cabin
. The skiing to this point is a very nice outing for intermediate skiers. To continue above treeline, head east in the vicinity of the Mountain Belle Hut onto the west flank of McMillan Peak
or northeast towards Red Mountain #3.
I was planning today 2/21/2011 to ski from the Red Mountain #3, but since the avalanche danger was very high - level 4, and it was very windy above the treeline, I turned around at the look out point over Red Mountain #3. It was amazing to watch how the weather deteriorated super fast high up there. Skiing was really enjoyable in between the trees, but high up there I did not see much on the way down. I can't wait to come back when the weather is nice.
Some images from the skiing around Red Mountain #3
CR 14 Parking lot CR 14 higher up Old mining structure More old mining buildings
Snowboarder Not a bad landing Up on snowmobiles? Mountain Belle Cabin Mountain Belle Cabin
Gentle slope up Trico Peak 13,321 ft Wind blew the snow away Cold on the little summit Communication tower
Red Mountain #3 12,890 ft Way down Less wind lower down Nice deep snow Nice deep snow
2nd attempt on Red Mountain #3, and this time successful
Red Mountain Pass usually has enough snow, and skiing is good up to the end of May, sometimes even early June. So, I came back to summit Red Mountain #3 on a nice day and during good avalanche forecast
. My partners were Michael Covington and my dog Duchess. We took the same approach road, but cut off below the private cabin Casa Milagrosa towards the Red Mountain #3. The weather was great at lower elevation, but really windy near the top. It was easy to find our way up: we just followed tracks! and the Red Mountain #3 is visible as soon as you get above treeline.
: 1800 feet
: 4 miles
Images from the 2nd time on Red Mountain #3
Duchess Ancient skis Old mining ruins View of Red Mnt#3 Duchess in the close tracks
Rocky section Final push Highway 550 Me and Duchess on top View to the north
Descent View to the west McMillan Peak Skiing down and more skiing
External LinksFun at Red Mountain Pass
Northern San Juans avalanche information Always check avalanche conditions before venturing out