Fort Collins, CO: Montgomery Pass (Winter Route)

Grab your skis or snowshoes to experience this wintry route that climbs past snowy landscapes to Montgomery Pass, a ridge-top lookout in Colorado's Medicine Bow Mountains.
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Grab your skis or snowshoes to experience this wintry route that climbs past snowy landscapes to Montgomery Pass, a ridge-top lookout in Colorado's Medicine Bow Mountains.

During winters months, explore the quiet, snow-draped woods of State Forest State Park by skis or by snowshoes. Tucked between Rocky Mountain National Park, Routt National Forest, and the Rawah Wilderness, this rugged and remote state park plays host to a wide variety of winter trails that crisscross the Medicine Bow Mountains and connect a network of eight backcountry yurts.
From the winter parking area on CR 41, follow Bockman Road east toward Bockman Campground. Use this level stretch of road to warm up your legs and take in the surrounding scenery—the snowy trail traces an expansive meadow with striking views of the Medicine Bow and Never Summer Mountains. After 1.2, miles, turn right and cross the North Fork Michigan River.
From here, it's a steady climb to Montgomery Pass Trail, which intersects the road at mile 1.8. Turn left onto Montgomery Pass Trail, and climb past conifers and intermittent meadows to the turn-off for the Montgomery Pass Yurts (reservations required). Continue straight at this junction and keep climbing. Near mile 4, cross a creek flanked by steep banks of snow. Half a mile later, drop your pack and grab a snack in the small meadow that sits at 10,300 feet (it's another 2.4 miles to Montgomery Pass).
The route crests the Medicine Bow ridgeline at mile 6.2. Hang a right and head south along the spine for the final 0.7-mile stretch to Montgomery Pass. From this broad saddle, you'll find jaw-dropping views of the Diamond Peaks, the Never Summer Mountains, and the Mummy Range. When you're ready, turn around and descend back to the trailhead.
Info: Winter recreation in State Forest State Park
-Mapped by Kim Phillips

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 22.2

Waypoints

MON001

Location: 40.5589796, -105.9837529

From the winter trailhead on CR 41, follow Bockman Road to Bockman Campground. Use this flat section of trail to take in views of the Medicine Bow and Never Summer Mountains.

MON002

Location: 40.5581237, -105.9658384

Turn right and cross the North Fork Michigan River. At this point, the trail begins a steady climb south to Montgomery Pass Trail.

MON003

Location: 40.5492057, -105.9644222

Turn left @ 3-way onto Montgomery Pass Trail. Continue climbing through snowy forest.

MON004

Location: 40.5543089, -105.9544659

The route passes a meadow dotted with young trees.

MON005

Location: 40.55566, -105.949341

Continue straight @ 3-way junction. To reach the Upper Montgomery Pass Yurt, turn left in the clearing (a parking area in the summer) and follow the skin track to the yurt.

MON006

Location: 40.55608, -105.945834

Continue straight @ 3-way junction. The Ruby Jewel Trail forks off to the left.

MON007

Location: 40.558515, -105.9334266

Cross a tributary creek flanked by steep snow banks.

MON008

Location: 40.5558332, -105.9311521

The trail rounds to the south and winds through snow-draped conifers. Look for small icicles that form on the tips of the boughs.

MON009

Location: 40.5545453, -105.9293604

This small, sheltered clearing is a good place to take a snack break. From here, the route continues heading east.

MON010

Location: 40.5522709, -105.9160674

The path switchbacks to the left. Ahead: Three more switchbacks help break up the climb.

MON011

Location: 40.5515046, -105.9105206

Crest the Medicine Bow ridge, then turn right and head south along the spine.

MON012

Location: 40.542774, -105.9067529

Montgomery Pass: This broad pass offers breathtaking views of the Mummy Range, the Never Summers, and the Medicine Bow Mountains. Follow the same route back to the trailhead.

Views near Montgomery Pass

Location: 40.5528252, -105.915488

Bockman Road Trailhead

Location: 40.5589918, -105.9836429

Skiers on Bockman Road

Location: 40.5592751, -105.9827176

Skin Track

Location: 40.5593016, -105.982672

Bockman Road

Location: 40.5602919, -105.9810734

Medicine Bow and Never Summer Mountains

Location: 40.5598925, -105.9738207

Skier on Bockman Road

Location: 40.559811, -105.9737188

Views of Medicine Bow and Never Summer Mountains

Location: 40.559661, -105.973212

Scenic stretch along Bockman Road

Location: 40.5595094, -105.9728229

Skier near Bockman Campground

Location: 40.55813, -105.965641

Trail Junction

Location: 40.55813, -105.965641

Trail to Montgomery Pass Yurts

Location: 40.549108, -105.964121

Young Forest

Location: 40.554322, -105.954414

Upper Montgomery Pass Yurt

Location: 40.555662, -105.95018

Upper Montgomery Pass Yurt

Location: 40.555651, -105.950309

Upper Montgomery Pass Yurt

Location: 40.5556376, -105.9503996

Skier on Montgomery Pass Road

Location: 40.559905, -105.939377

Creek Crossing

Location: 40.558558, -105.933856

Skiers on Montgomery Pass Road

Location: 40.5584579, -105.9332764

Icicles

Location: 40.5554256, -105.9310555

Snowy Forest

Location: 40.5527356, -105.9153163

Skier near Montgomery Pass

Location: 40.5528008, -105.9151018

Skiing Montgomery Pass Road

Location: 40.5571945, -105.9430718