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Kite Lake Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  Mosquito Range
14ers Served:  Mt. Democrat, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Bross
Road Type:  2WD, rough dirt road 2   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Rough 2WD dirt to the TH.
Directions:  Take Colorado 9 to Alma. In the middle of town and on the west side of the road, look for a small sign for the road to Kite Lake. Turn here and drive a bit through a residential area. Continue 6 miles to Kite Lake. The last mile of this road can be a bit more rough, but a good-clearance 2WD should still be able to make it when the road is dry. There are restrooms and some camping spots at the trailhead. You must pay a small fee to park/camp at Kite Lake. If you park below (no fee), walk up the road to Kite Lake.
Winter Access:  Closed at the Paris Mill site which is about 3 miles up the road and 3 miles below Kite Lake.
14er Trailheads on Google Maps
Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2013-08-08 Road up to parking area is good. I of course made it in a Jeep Grand Cherokee and my brother in law made it (albeit slowly) in a minivan. Lot of sedans parked at the trailhead. Btuperkwh  1       
2013-08-02 Road is rough but all sorts of vehicles made the trip. Lots of folks camping (~25 tents) this past weekend... Looks like management is trying to establish a fixed number of campsites but there is no map/layout and some markers were down. It was pretty much a "free for all". Foraged for firewood below the private property line and found a couple nice campsites in the pines, north side of the road. Paid $12/night to camp but worth it... scoutbuff1         
2013-07-29 Drove all the way to Kite Lake in a Ford Focus. Had no issues at all. Just park in the fee area and pay, it‘s worth it to camp there. lackerstef         
2013-06-29 The road just outside of Alma is rough and gradual at that all the way to the campground. There are some areas just shy of the campground that are not suitable for 2wd. Most people were parking 1/4m from there(caution about the private property though). and walking up the road to the trailheads. Jeff750r         
2013-06-28 The road had at least 3 sections (one in particular) that have become washed out and will require higher-clearance. The first two are passable by family/CUV‘s (i.e. RAV4, CRV and car-based SUV‘s), but probably not sedans or minivans. The third section is more difficult. It is in a turn roughly .5-.75 miles before the trailhead. It includes several successive ruts that were passable in an XTerra OR. A 4Runner, Jeep or similar vehicle would be ok. The gentleman in a Chevy Equinox in front of me got up, but said he hit the bottom of his car fairly hard. I would not have taken our Honda Pilot up that section without fear of damage. This was on 6/28. Hopefully that helps. zsmith         
2013-06-14 Road open all the way to the summer trailhead. argothor         
2013-06-05 Road passable to switchback at 11,780‘, about 0.5mi below summer TH. Requires a bit of clearance to get through a couple snow drifts to reach this point. Road is melting FAST and it won‘t be long at all before you can reach the summer TH. adrenalated    1      
2013-06-02 Had to stop approximately 1 mile from TH due to deep windblown (probably) snow spot. It was actively melted, though, so it might be no problem now. Alex         
2013-06-02 Everyone is stopping and parking just before this patch of snow (img 1) on the road. There are some pretty good/deep ruts in that where someone must have given it a go only to back out. I‘d say this is about 1.5 miles shy of the Kite Lake TH. Image #1 is the snow patch and image #2 shows the storage shack just before the blockage. Walking the road up to the TH (at 7:30 AM) was no problem. No postholing, etc. Beyond that initial closure there are other areas that are much larger where snow covers the roads. I‘d wager 1 1/2 to 2 weeks to be snow free/passable. mikemalick  2       
2013-05-12 Property owner has plowed road to ~0.55 mi beyond winter closure. Space for 4-5 vehicles at 0.5mi. New snow will melt quickly, but skis/flotation useful to summer TH bergsteigen         
2013-04-13 Still winter closure route, snow on ground could be skied up. Snow-shoes not required to get to Summer trail head. Formed         
2013-03-16 Road Still Blocked just above Hobbit House 2inspireumo         
2013-02-03 It is now the standard winter closure; blocked by a large drift at the Paris Mill. The road up to the closure is snow packed and slippery but passable for any car with decent tires. It is an easy walk to Kite Lake, primarily bare ground with a few drifts. It is not skiable. ceejay    4      
2013-01-20 The road to Kite Lake is mostly bare and passable Ė except where it isnít! A few deep snow spots require 4-wheel drive. About 4 miles up just past the private land with mining shed on the right, the snow was too deep for my truck even with chains on. A Jeep spent the morning in the snow there. See the video: They were just a bit stuck until I pulled them part way out. Then the Jeep slid almost off the road. My rope broke twice. Pulled it out eventually. Great fun for all. Only a small number of willow bushes were harmed making this video. wincoder    1      
2013-01-19 The road is mostly dry with a few snow drifts. We made it well past Paris Mill and stopped near a metal building when we couldn‘t punch through a snow drift. Traction, not clearance, was the issue and I‘m confident that if we had tire chains we would‘ve made it to the lake (driving an ‘03 Tahoe). We stopped 1 to 1.5 miles from the lake. KyleS         
2013-01-06 Attempted to drive up to Kite Lake this morning in my behemoth Yukon XL. Made it about three out of the six miles (after the turn in Alma) without a hitch, but came to a steep hill that seemed to have collected a disproportionate amount of windblown snow. I bottomed out my 4WD multiple times, and ultimately parked on the side of the road and hiked the remaining 3 miles to the trailhead. To my surprise, the road was almost totally dry all the way to Kite Lake Trailhead after the section that halted my car. If you have a Wrangler or something with a bit more clearance, I bet you can make it all the way to Kite Lake if you can manage to push about 20 yards past where my tracks end (provided you do it before the system moves in on Thursday)... Good luck! jakefox         
2012-12-23 In van, got stopped 3 miles from TH by snow on road. Judging from tire tracks in snow, a 4wd vehicle made it to within 1 mile of TH before parking in cleared out section. spiderman         
2012-12-07 No issues getting all the way to Kite Lake in my Rav4 without any FWD assist. The road is a little rutted, but it is dry all the way up despite the flurries earlier today. jake miraldi         
2012-11-18 Buckskin Gulch Road is mostly dry all the way to Kite Lake Trailhead with only a few patches of snow near the bottom. Three rutted areas but if you take your time and choose your tire placement carefully you can make it up in a low-clearance 4WD vehicle without bottoming out. susanjoypaul    2      
2012-10-21 Buckskin road is clear of snow all the way to the paid parking but veRy bUmPy with some mega Indiana Jones ruts in places. A fun ride for all the family. They are doing ‘roadwork‘ which really consists of digging a ditch for phone lines on the North side of the road. wincoder         
2012-10-19 Road up to Kite Lake is clear of any snow and still in good shape. There are a several spots near the free parking area that maybe Prius unfriendly. There is a decent pothole/bumps on the S-curve, but is easy to get over with the right line. mikey         
2012-09-15 Made it up to the hill just below where the fee parking area starts in a Cadillac (sedan). I went slow enough so as to minimize impact and only scraped twice, once each way, and was able to avoid holes and larger rocks without too much difficulty. Plenty of other 2WD cars made it up to at least the S-curve if not right below the same hill I had trouble with as well. Slow and go but go nonetheless. MrJohnnySpot    1      
2012-07-29 The road was in very good condition. I made it all the way up in my Toyota Corolla. Just have to be slow in patches where there are ruts. This road is much better than the road to Grays peak trailhead. If driving north on US-9 from Fairplay, just slow down when you reach Alma and keep looking for a Kite Lake roadsign on the left. yogi         
2012-07-27 I found the easiest way to identify the road to Kite Lake is by looking to the left for a dirt road with a 15 MPH sign. The road is about halfway through Alma if coming from Fairplay. Watch your speed, as there are signs saying the 15 MPH speed limit is strictly enforced. I found the road to be in good condition, with the exception of the last mile or so. That part of the road is in worse condition then I thought it would be as it has some ruts to navigate around. I did not have a problem in my Forester. I did not see any cars near the trailhead, but they could make that last mile if they drive carefully. The biggest challenge was having very little room to navigate around the ruts in areas where cars were parked on both sides of the road. Adventure Seeker         
2012-07-08 I‘ll take the opposing view to the previous status report on the $3 parking fee. If parking just 100 yards is all I have to do to park for free I‘m going to do it. I came to hike anyway and I spent enough on gas to get there why blow any more to save a few steps. They clearly label where the fee parking begins, and if it‘s worth it to you to park there go for it. Adding the fee there helps keep the parking lot from being too crowded for the campers and people spending the day there. On another note. Do not speed on the Kite Lake Road west of Alma. The town owns the road for over a mile and has posted a ludicrous speed limit of 15 mph on this wide smooth section of road. They are heavily enforcing it too (I can only assume to fund the police department). Fortunately another user posted this info and I was going the speed limit as I passed the speed trap. However another driver I saw was not so lucky. The road has been worked on this year so at least as of this past Sunday there were very few potholes and the road was relatively smooth. The trailhead can be reached by any car, but low clearance cars will need to drive cautiously. CO Native         

Looking north past Kite Lake – Mt. Cameron is right of center (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-05-15)The trailhead (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2008-10-07)Parking (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2008-10-07)The restrooms (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2008-10-07)The rode is blocked just after the parking. The trail starts here. (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2008-10-07)

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