Best time to visit Colorado

Boreas Pass in Colorado

A beautiful drive with alpine scenery, waterfalls and mountain views

Best time: May–October

Boreas Pass
Boreas Pass

Boreas Pass is located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 11,481 feet (3.499 m) above the sea level. The pass is located on the Continental Divide of America, at the headwaters of Blue River and South Platte River. The road over the pass called Forest Service Road 33 goes through Park and South counties. A gravel road closes in the first Monday of November and opens in mid or late spring after the snow melts and it becomes passable. The road doesn't require a 4WD vehicle when it's dry in the summer. The drive offers beautiful views of aspen forest and nearby scenic peaks such as Mount Silverheels and the Tenmile Range.

The road over the Boreas Pass starts in Como, then goes north to Breckenridge. In the summer, the route is popular with bicyclists; in autumn it's praised for some of the best fall colors around Breckenridge; while in the winter it's used by cross-country skiers. Hikers can park at several trail heads along the pass, like the Bakers Tank Trailhead, near Breckenridge. Campsites are located on both sides of the pass. Selkirk Campground hosts 15 campsites.

There were records of Boreas Pass road since the 1860s when prospectors used it during the Gold Rush and tried to get to the valley of the Blue around Breckenridge. The pass was named after Boreas, the Greek God of the North Wind.

Practical info

When is the best time to drive over Boreas Pass?

From May through October, anyone can drive along Boreas Pass, admiring the picturesque summer scenery and the sunny, mild weather. However, in winter, the road is closed due to heavy snowfall. Winter walkers and skiers may still cross the area on foot, but the pass is particularly challenging due to its altitude and frigid weather. Show more

Where is Bakers Tank Trailhead located?

To reach Bakers Tank Trailhead, drivers must venture south from Breckenridge via Highway 9, about 1.5 miles at a stretch. A left onto Boreas Pass Road leads the way, where drivers must travel three-quarters of a mile towards the trailhead's left side to reach it. Show more

What is the elevation of Boreas Pass?

Located in the Continental Divide of America, Boreas Pass reaches a tremendous altitude of 11,481 feet above sea level. Travelers from sea-level regions may experience altitude sickness's shortness of breath, headaches, and fatigue at such an altitude. The site serves as the headwater for both the Blue River and the South Platte River. Show more

What is the history of Boreas Pass road?

During the Gold Rush in the 1860s, Boreas Pass trailed into the valley of Blue, serving as a passageway for prospectors. Improvements continued, and the road expanded to become an essential link between Como and Breckenridge. It's a favorite scenic drive choice, and tourists interested in the mining history of the state and hikers' paradise are must-visit areas today. Show more

What are the nearby mountain peaks visible from Boreas Pass?

The stunning surrounds of Boreas Pass offer incredible views of several neighboring mountain peaks. Hikers and mountaineers find immense pleasure in summiting the popular 13er, Mount Silverheels, named after a dancehall girl legend. Meanwhile, Quandary Peak and Peak 1 offer awe-inspiring panoramic views, with the Tenmile Range housing several peaks over 13,000 feet that visitors will find challenging but fulfilling. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Boreas Pass (Map)

Last updated:
Authors: Olha Savych