Colorado Springs: Mosca Pass

This 6.8-mile hike leads through old Indian country and past views of Great Sand Dunes and a sacred Navajo peak to a historic pass traveled by settlers.
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This 6.8-mile hike leads through old Indian country and past views of Great Sand Dunes and a sacred Navajo peak to a historic pass traveled by settlers.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 5.5

Waypoints

MSP001

Location: 37.7342567443848, -105.508460998535

Head S on Mosca Pass Trail, once a wagon trail over the Sangre de Cristo range. Barely visible to the S is Blanca Peak, one of 4 sacred Navajo mountains

MSP002

Location: 37.7341804504394, -105.507827758789

Veer R @ Y, passing Montville Nature Trail

MSP003

Location: 37.733211517334, -105.50553894043

Cross Mosca Creek on wooden bridge, then turn R @ 3-way into delightful aspen grove. Look closely: Each aspen is actually a shoot growing from an interconnected root system

MSP004

Location: 37.7324829101562, -105.499801635742

Continue straight; pass gray and red cliff outcropping on L before entering small stand of ponderosa pine, a source of medicine and food for nomadic hunters

MSP005

Location: 37.731128692627, -105.49373626709

Head up steep slope that quickly becomes parallel with cliff tops

MSP006

Location: 37.7311363220215, -105.490455627441

Look down to Great Sand Dunes NP: each peak and dune hangs ten like an ocean swell. Utes called it sowapophe-uvehe, "land that moves back and forth"

MSP007

Location: 37.7313575744629, -105.48429107666

Stay L, pass small spur trail leading to Mosca Creek

MSP008

Location: 37.7308959960938, -105.469604492188

Ground squirrels run about, warehousing veggie scraps

MSP009

Location: 37.7306938171387, -105.460060119629

Keep straight, bearing NE; Mosca Pass spans colorful grassland ahead. In the 1800s, this was the site of Montville, a community of 20 homes; none remain

MSP010

Location: 37.7317123413086, -105.45760345459

End of Mosca Pass @ FR 583. The Mosca Pass Toll Road (a.k.a. Robidoux's Pass) serviced stagecoaches and mail until a 1911 flash flood. Retrace steps to car