Mt Flora, Berthoud Pass Trailhead, Summit County - Eagle County - Clear Creek County, Colorado
Mt Flora - 6.45 miles
Berthoud Pass Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||6.45 miles (add 1.8 miles roundtrip to Breckenridge Peak – 12,889’)|
|Start-End Elevation:||11,307’ – 13,132’ (13,132' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+1,825’ net elevation gain (+2,237’ total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Mt Flora - 6.45 Miles Round-Trip
Mt Flora (13,132’) is located 3.2 miles from Berthoud Pass along the Continental Divide Trail. It stands high over Ethel Lake and the Mad Creek drainage with exceptional views in all directions.
Moderate grades make Mt Flora among the most accessible 13ers in the Winter Park area. The CDT continues on to a saddle below Breckenridge Peak (12,889’), an easy off trail scramble.
Visitors will enjoy miles of airy alpine travel and diverse tundra ecology on the hike to Mt Flora and Breckenridge Peak:
The trail begins on a service road that winds steeply over Berthoud Pass in a thinning forest. Look for signs of lynx, which have been documented in this area. At .85 miles (11,675’) the CDT splits left off the road and narrows on single track through treeline.
It moderates on a NE heading across broad, verdant slopes with well-developed grasses and forbs that attract elk, bighorn sheep and mountain goat. The trail rises steadily through 12,000’ (1.3 miles) to a saddle below Colorado Mines Peak (12,493’), and good views down the Blue Creek drainage (1.6 miles : 12,157’).
It levels across the saddle before climbing steeply up the far side (1.95 miles : 12,365’). Travel eases to a false summit (2.35 miles : 12,723’) and levels again for half a mile above the Mad Creek drainage.
Cushion and mat plants cover the area, primary tundra constituents that help build soil beds by trapping organic debris. Over time, grasses and forbs will take hold in deeper soils to form plots of tundra turf. Also note the ubiquitous big root spring beauty plant, whose taproot can reach 6’ deep.
The trail pitches up at 2.85 miles (12,880’) on the final push to Mt Flora (3.22 miles : 13,132’). A tall cairn marks the summit, a large flat area with several rock wind shelters. Maneuver about to see Ethel Lake (north), which boasts a brilliant turquois hue.
The CDT continues down the east side of Mt Flora toward Breckenridge Peak. It’s initially faint but clarifies across the broad connecting saddle (3.9 miles : 12,748’). The CDT doesn’t scale Breckenridge Peak, but the summit is fairly obvious (it’s the highest point on your heading before tilting down hill).
Find a good line for the short climb to the top (4.1 miles : 12,889’). Breckenridge Peak adds approximately 1.8 miles and 550' total elevation gain to the roundtrip hike.
- N39 47.897 W105 46.555 — 0.0 miles : Berthoud Pass Trailhead
- N39 47.708 W105 46.404 — .5 miles : Steady climb on service road
- N39 47.801 W105 46.321 — .85 miles : CDT splits left off service road and clears treeline
- N39 47.910 W105 45.934 — 1.3 miles : Steady climb aross 12,000'
- N39 47.850 W105 45.601 — 1.6 miles : Saddle below Colorado Mines Mountain
- N39 47.946 W105 45.290 — 1.95 miles : Steep climb up far side of saddle
- N39 48.097 W105 44.959 — 2.35 miles : Trail levels on false summit
- N39 48.260 W105 44.536 — 2.85 miles : Begin final, steep push to Mt Flora
- N39 48.302 W105 44.152 — 3.22 miles : Mt Flora (13,132')
- N39 48.212 W105 43.960 — 3.55 miles : Trail clarifies below Mt Flora to saddle
- N39 48.107 W105 43.686 — 3.85 miles : Saddle between Mt Flora and Breckenridge Peak
- N39 48.061 W105 43.492 — 3.95 miles : Leave trail, aim for summit
- N39 47.960 W105 43.471 — 4.1 miles : Breckenridge Peak (12,889')
- Most of this trail runs above treeline and is fully exposed. Carry versatile layers and sun protection. Be mindful of changing weather and aim for treeline before storms develop.
- The CDT runs over 3100 miles from New Mexico to Canada. It passes through 5 states, 12 wilderness areas and 3 national parks. The Continental Divide separates drainages that flow into the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. About two thirds of Colorado’s water drains into the Atlantic.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Backcountry camping is permitted in the Arapaho National Forest and James Peak Wilderness Area. No permit is necessary.
- There are no designated backcountry campsites in this travel zone. Dispersed camping only. Use established sites whenever possible to minimize impact.
- Camp at least 100' from all lakes, streams and trails.
- Campfires are permitted in the Arapaho National Forest, with potential seasonal restrictions. Campfires are not permitted in the James Peak Wilderness.
- Group size is limited to 12 individuals or people and stock combined.
Directions to Trailhead
The Berthoud Pass Trailhead is located 15.4 miles north of I-70 on Highway 40. The trailhead is located on the east side of the road. There are restrooms and a warming area at the trailhead.
Clear Creek Ranger District
101 Chicago Creek Road
P.O. Box 3307
Idaho Springs, CO 80452