Georgia Pass – Summit County, Colorado

Georgia Pass Road #355

Every Fall we always try to take at least one day trip to find Aspen gold.   This year we found an offroad trail with a little challenge and a little scenery — Georgia Pass.   This pass connects the towns of Jefferson and Breckenridge and was once a late 1800’s stagecoach trail that carried passengers from the Jefferson railroad terminal into Breckenridge and surrounding communities.

 

Trail Name: Georgia Pass

Trail Length: 11.6 miles

Highest Elevation: 11,585 feet 

We decided to enter the trail from Tiger Road just outside of Breckenridge, since this section of the pass was the most difficult. This part of Summit County used to be an active mining area and home to many small mining communities that have long since disappeared.

Georgia Pass

Our ascent up Georgia Pass was steep, narrow, and rocky.  There are numerous spurs off the main trail, which can make the trail somewhat confusing to follow. The road is marked with forest service road markers, but they can easily blend in with the dense trees and brush.  If you go, just be sure to follow 355 signs.

Ascending Georgia PassView from Georgia Pass

After emerging from the narrow trail, we drove past tree line and were greeted with a magnificent view.  We were slightly disappointed that we had yet to see any Aspens, but once we reached the top of the pass, we were able to see the gold foliage awaiting us on the other side.

Georgia Pass 11,585 feet elevationGeorgia Pass – elevation 11,585 feet.  Mount Guyot sits in the background.

Driving Georgia PassDescending the pass towards Jefferson, the road is well maintained and easily traveled by all vehicles….And is surrounded on either side by glowing Aspens.

Aspen Gold and Blue SkyContrast of the golden Aspen leaves against the Colorado blue sky.

Georgia Pass goldThe golden leaves continued around every corner.

Community AspensAspen Field

Lucky folks to live amongst the Aspens.

Cows with a ViewStopped to say “Hello.”

 

Aspen Grove on Weston PassTree on Weston Pass

Gold Aspens Weston PassWeston Pass Aspens

Once we finished Georgia Pass, it was still early in the day, so we continued down the highway and explored a portion of Weston Pass.  We found a few more amazing displays of fall color.

 

If you are curious about the history of Breckenridge and Summit County, here are two interesting websites:

Good Times Adventures: Gold Fever in Our Backyard

Summit County, Colorado: Mining History

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Snowpocalypse

It’s been over a week since Denver had a record breaking snow storm; but the proof still lingers outside.  Almost 18 inches of snow in Denver closed businesses, schools and even interstate highways!  But snow couldn’t stop us from taking a weekend roadtrip to the Mountains.  We explored Frisco & Breckenridge, tried some Rocky Mountain Oysters, visited a couple of local breweries and enjoyed the beautiful snowy scenery.

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Oktoberfest

O’zapft is!

Welcome to Breckenridge – the Home of Colorado’s largest Oktoberfest celebration.  (The “original” Oktoberfest in Munich is the largest fair in the world.)  The weekend celebration was filled with German music, German food and of course German beer.  Even with the periodic rain and sleet, everyone had a great time.   The crowded streets would cheer everytime the rain stopped and the sun peeked out.  Next year we will be more prepared with umbrella and gloves….You never know what type of weather to expect in the mountains.

Wheeler Lake

Apologies to our loyal readers, we have not posted anything in a while as we have had some out-of-state company (which we thoroughly enjoyed!!).

I took a day trip with a friend to Wheeler Lake on Sunday.  It is a 4-wheel drive trail located between Breckenridge and Fairplay, almost in the center of the state.  After turning off the road near the Montgomery Reservoir and airing down our tires, we came to the Magnolia Mill.   Gold brought miners here and the mining camp/town of Montgomery was founded in 1861.  The Magnolia Mill is located just above the Montgomery reservoir where the original town of Montgomery (now an underwater ghost town) was located.  By 1862, a town of over 1,000 had sprung up, but by 1866 the miners had moved to other areas.  In 1957, the Montgomery Reservoir was completed and the remains of the town were forever lost underwater.  The Magnolia Mill is the sole survivor, aside from some mining equipment left behind that sparsely dots the landscape.

After leaving the mill, we headed up to Wheeler Lake.  This was one of the roughest roads to date, which allowed for some of the most pristine scenery I have seen.  Once we got to the lake at over 12,000 ft, we set up camp, grilled cheese burgers (with some mysterious Roman steak seasoning that I have to get) and did some hiking and fishing.  There was an awesome waterfall that seemed to flow out of the top of the mountain like a volcano that streamed into the lake.  Unfortunately, I did not catch anything, as a storm rolled in and we had to pack up and leave.  Driving on wet rocks = no fun!!  I did however manage to catch a Furry B.  He put up quite a fight…  When we first got to the lake, he was very excited to see the water, but I don’t think he realized how cold the water was.  I let him find out on his own and he swam longer than I thought, with just a few shivers when he got out.  It was a great day, aside from the clouds and little bit of rain that moved in.