Bald Mountain has an easy, graded, gravel road access from either Como or Breckenridge by way of the old Boreas Pass Road. This road is accessible to many passenger cars, but something with a little better-than-average clearance is suggested in case of some road damage or rough spots. The hike is Class 2 and begins on tundra with some willows and finishes on a mix of tundra, embedded rocks and rubble. Bald can be easily climbed in the same day with Boreas Mountain which lies south along the same ridge.
Bald Mtn South Ridge Route
Medium Day // Take a Lunch
RT From Boreas Pass:
There are two possible approaches to the summit of Boreas Pass where the routes for Bald and Boreas mountains begin.
1. From US 285, about half way between Kenosha Pass and Fairplay, take the turnoff on the north side of the highway for Como. The Boreas Pass Road follows an old railroad grade that connected Breckenridge and South Park. Como was the south terminus and the railroad roundhouse can still be viewed there. Drive on through Como and take the main road north out of town that follows Tarryall Creek. This is the "Boreas Pass Road" or FR 33. A little under three miles out of town, after the road has crossed Tarryall Creek, watch for a right hand turn that will begin the ascent to Boreas Pass. The graded dirt road slowly winds its way to the top of the pass never exceeding appropriate railroad grade. There is parking at the pass. On weekends, there can be a lot of traffic. Driving up the pass and parking early is helpful.
2. Take State HWY 9 from Frisco south to Breckenridge. When you reach the traffic circle on the north end of town you may either continue straight south onto Main Street or exit the circle on the west onto North Park Avenue. This road serves as a bypass of the downtown area and also as an access to the ski area. It can be followed all the way around to the south end of town where it rejoins Main Street at a "Y" type intersection. Drive on south from that intersection to the next light where you will turn east onto Boreas Pass Road (FR10). The road heads SE up a gulch, then makes two wide left type turns to gain elevation and pull out above the gulch. It then heads briefly north, turns back east, then SE again, passes through more residential areas, and turns to graded gravel after passing the last residences. From there on, its an easy, slow drive to the top of the pass. Again, weekend traffic can be heavy. This is a popular drive for the tourists. Park at the top of the pass to begin the hikes.
You may be able to get away with an overnight car-camp at the top of the pass but there will likely be no privacy and many cars driving by. There's a single-track type road just north of the pass on the west side of the road that may take you a short distance through willows to a primitive campsite. You are at least on National Forest land, so if you want to pitch your tent somewhere, it's likely allowed.
From Como, there is a designated Forest Service Campground called "Selkirk" that lies up along the north fork of Tarryall Creek. Continue past the turn where the Boreas Pass Road leaves the valley bottom and continue NW on FR 801 to the campground at 10,500 ft. All along Tarryall Creek, either fork, there are short roads that turn off the main road. Almost all of these end at private property. Be careful about trying to camp on such roads.
Coming from Frisco and Breckenridge, there are the five campgrounds located on Lake Dillon. These are "Gold Pan," Heaton Bay, Peninsula, Prospector and Windy Point. Visit this site for more information: http://www.townofdillon.com/visit/camping-info or call the Dillon Ranger District at 970-468-5400 for more information. The site above has information on primitive car-camping as well. Be advised that finding any place to camp in the lake Dillon area on a weekend can be difficult.
N 39° 22' 20.14, W 105° 57' 05.13"
Elevation 10,500 ft. 15 sites
Click thumbnail to view full-size photo + caption
Year Climbed: 1989
The description provided here assumes doing Bald Mtn. alone so mileage and elevation gain assume a roundtrip from Boreas Pass. If sequencing Bald with Boreas Mtn., the mileage between the two summits is 3.3 miles. Elevation gain going from Boreas to Bald is about 1,775 ft. Roundtrip mileage to do Boreas then Bald would be 8.05 and elevation gain would be 3,355 ft.
From the parking area at the summit of Boreas Pass, walk a few feet east and pick up a trail that leads along an old diversion ditch (still may be in use). This trail will be on the left and just before the buildings. Follow the ditch/trail as it gradually turns more to the NE. Initially it passes through willows, then open forest, a rocky/rubble area, then tundra as it leaves the trees and heads toward the low point saddle (Black Powder Pass) at 12,159 ft. between Boreas and Bald Mountains. The trail leads all the way to this saddle.
More trail continues north from Black Powder Pass following a tundra-covered ridge to a briefly more level section at 12,460 ft. Continue north along the increasingly rocky ridge to the first of three high points at 13,679 ft. on Bald Mountain, where the Continental Divide leaves the ridge to head east over toward Mt. Guyot. Continue north over the next high point of 13,634 ft., then on to the actual summit at 13,684 ft. On Google Earth, the highest point seems to be north of the preset, green summit marker. Most of the summit ridge will be on rubble and scree.
Links to other information, routes & trip reports for this peak that may be helpful.
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