Loveland Pass

Submitted By: Dobish on January 20, 2010

Administrator: Dobish

Views: 6538 page views

Starting Elevation:
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Featured Descent

Massachusetts » Western Mass-Pioneer Valley

Brookfield Orchard Beginner Loop

This is an easy nordic tour that is about 3.5 miles around the orchard.  While there are some tougher trails, the general route is to start at the Toll Road towards the left, turn right onto Mac Run at the bottom of the hill. Follow the Old East Brookfield Road, then turn to follow Lincoln Road,   Cross over the road, get back on North Connector, go uphill and then turn onto Oak Run (which is the easiest trail). 

After you cross the road again, you will continue on Oak Run, follow the stone wall, get on Great Woods Trail (which is rated more difficult) and head across the open field (hay U) into the woods.  Take Fruit Loop around the upper orchard, and then get back on the North Connector Trail.  Stay on North Connector through the orchard, turn left onto Mac Run, and make the short ascent to the parking lot.

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Details

Loveland Pass, elevation 11,990 ft (3,650 m). (3655 m) above sea level, is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado, U.S.A.. It is located on the Continental Divide in the Front Range west of Denver. U.S. Route 6 traverses the pass; the twisty road is considered to be especially treacherous during the winter months. A steep, steady 6.7% grade, along with numerous hairpin turns on either side, make it difficult to snowplow the road regularly. Loveland is the highest mountain pass in the world that regularly stays open during a snowy winter season. When the Eisenhower Tunnel opened in March 1973, it allowed motorists on Interstate 70 to avoid crossing the pass directly. Trucks that cannot pass through the tunnel (those carrying hazardous materials and those over 13.5' (4.1 m) in height) must still take US 6 across Loveland Pass, 800 vertical feet (244 m) above the tunnel. Loveland Ski Area is located at the eastern end of the pass, and Arapahoe Basin is on the west side. The pass itself is a popular destination for backcountry skiers. Occasionally during the winter, the pass road may be closed by a blizzard and all traffic must use the tunnel, even the normally forbidden HAZMAT-carrying vehicles.

How to Get There

From Denver: Take I-70 West to exit 216, take a right at the end of the exit ramp, and drive over the pass. At the first major switchback there is a parking area, and at the top there is another parking area. From West of the Eisenhower Tunnel: Take I-70 East until exit 205, which is the Dillon/Silverthorne Exit. Take Highway 6 East over the top of the pass. There is terrain accessible on all aspects, with approaches from 1 minute to 1 hour.

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