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Kuss Peak is the first summit in a sequence that also includes Mosquito Peak and Treasurevault Mtn. When we did this route in 1989, we were able to drive to the summit of Mosquito Pass in our Jeep Cherokee, however, mileage and elevation gain presented here will be measured from the suggested parking at the Conley Lakes for those who either do not have 4WD or do not want to put their vehicle through the rigors of the upper switchbacks of Mosquito Pass. We hiked over Kuss Peak on our way to Mosquito, Treasurevault, Tweto and Arkansas. The route we are presenting here will take hikers as far as Treasurevault. See Tweto and Arkansas for another route description for those summits that avoids gaining Mosquito Pass.
From the vehicle park at or near the Conley Lakes, start walking east up the Mosquito Pass road or walk off the road on the side of your choice. The road soon becomes much rougher. The road leads toward a low pass just above 12,000 ft. where it begins gaining elevation more seriously. At 12,200 feet, the switchbacks begin. You could keep walking the road but it may be easier to get off and walk more directly east going up a mostly tundra & scree slope and bypassing the first three switchbacks. This way you can avoid the rubble on the road. It's probably best to intersect the road at the 4th switchback and at that point, follow it to the pass summit at 13,186 ft. From there, Kuss Peak is a simple stroll north up the ridge to the summit of Kuss Peak. The terrain is mostly scree, chiprock and smaller rubble and sparse tundra. At the summit, there is what we presume to be a communication facility of some sort. Please do not disturb any of the equipment and simply keep a safe distance away.
If you have no interest in doing Kuss, but want to bypass it to reach Mosquito, there's an old mining road that contours below the Kuss summit on the west side. When it forks, stay on the left/lower fork. The same road will lead to the Kuss/Mosquito saddle, and also continues north, contouring below Mosquito to the Mosquito/Treasurevault saddle. Following the road offers no better conditions than hiking the ridge as far as the rock is concerned.
From the summit of Kuss Peak, either continue on our suggested route to Mosquito and Treasurevault or return as you came.