Old Monarch Pass Loop trail, located near the summit of Monarch Pass at 11,365′, is a year-round playground featuring Colorado’s most incredible views.

We’ve been trying to snowshoe the loop in winter and finally found our window of sunshine and no wind!

Trail Stats and Map at the Bottom

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Beautiful snow-filled trail wrapped in untouched deep snow fields with mind-boggling snow-capped peaks in every direction. 

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The snow on the trail is packed down for the first 2 miles and easy to transverse — every so often, a patch of deeper areas where the previous winds had blown snow over the path. We used microspikes, but after a while, we felt snowshoes might have made the trek easier.

Get Ready for Summer!

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I have to admit this is one of the most spectacular winter trails we’ve hiked. Wind-blown snow drifts were creating a gorgeous scene. 

What to Expect Winter Hiking in Colorado > Weather, Gear, and Clothing Tips

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Quite a few backcountry skiers grace the tops of some of the peaks. You can hear their squeals of excitement as they descend the mountain ridges. 

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As we approached the summit of Old Monarch Pass, everything was buried deep in snow. Just past the signage, our hike ended. The winds had created so many snow drifts that the trail was gone. However, it’s gorgeous up here!  

Check the forecast for the area you plan to hike. If it looks terrible, don’t go! However, if it seems nice, ALWAYS check for avalanche warnings. They can happen in nice weather, too. 

Colorado Avalanche Information Center

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TIDBITS

3.2-mile loop

Rated: Easy

Elevation: 11,365′

No restroom

Minimal parking

Year-round access

Summit of Monarch Pass has a Visitor Center (Monarch Crest) that is closed in the winter. Otherwise, food, gifts, hiking supplies, and restrooms are available.

BEST HIKES in COLORADO!

Can't wait to see you on the trail!

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