Kite Lake Trailhead


Range: Mosquito Range
Coordinates: 39.32758, -106.12928
14ers: Mt. Democrat, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Bross
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Road Difficulty

2WD, rough dirt road 2   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Rough 2WD dirt to the TH.

Driving Directions

Take Colorado 9 to Alma. In the middle of town and on the west side of the road, look for a small sign for the road to Kite Lake. It's across the road from the "Caniglia Real Estate" building. Turn here and drive a bit through a residential area. Continue 6 miles to Kite Lake. The last mile of this road can be a bit more rough, but a good-clearance 2WD should still be able to make it when the road is dry. There are restrooms and some camping spots at the trailhead. You must pay a $5 fee to park/camp at Kite Lake. If you park below, walk up the road to Kite Lake.

Winter Access

Closed at the Paris Mill site which is about 3 miles up from Alma but 3 miles below Kite Lake.
Status Updates 
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: The Kite Lake road has been plowed to just above the Sweet Home Mine area, a mile below Kite Lake. While there’s room for a couple of vehicles at the current snowbank, DO NOT park on the nearby turn-off for the active, upper mine area. If there’s no room right at the snowbank where the plow stopped, go ~0.4mi back down the Kite Lake road and park in a large pull-off downhill from the mine area. They would rather have you park there than on the edge of their upper mine turn-off. It will be another week (at least) before we can drive higher on the Kite Lake road.
Posted By: Ptglhs
Info: The mom and pop mine has resumed work for the year and have plowed nearly to the gated closure. I was able to park on a pull off before the sign which reads, "entering private lands," about a mile and a half away from kite Lake. The plowing is very recent but the road is gravel and mud. If you park at Paris Mill it’s an easy jaunt to the snow berm.
Posted By: Sschweiss
Info: Can still drive about 3 miles up Kite Lake road from Alma. Need to hike about 2.5 miles to the lake from there.
Posted By: dcruz654
Info: Snow plowed to 2.5 miles from kite lake.
Posted By: CoulKurt
Info: Still can’t drive past Paris Mill. Does anyone know when they will plow up to the further gate?
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Since my last visit and conditions report on Sunday 2/23, the Kite Lake Rd and the parking area have been plowed. Early yesterday (Weds) morning the road and the lot were in great shape. No vehicle tracks went past the parking area slightly below Paris Mill (winter closure)
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: The road was snowy but hard packed and wasn’t bad when I arrived. I drove on past Paris Mill just to check it out but then came back to park. The road is only plowed about a quarter of a mile past Paris Mill, where it turns right, going to a residence.
By late in the day Sunday there was very deep drifted snow and one set of tracks on the road. Luckily I encountered only 3 snowmobiles coming up when I was coming down, because pulling over or two cars passing each other would have been difficult. -mv
Posted By: angry
Info: Do not try and park pass the paris mill site. There is room for 7 cars right below and about 5 above. There was a GMC Envoy stuck this morning when I arrived. Seriously people, just park and walk the ~2.5 miles to kite lake.
Posted By: Ptglhs
Info: Daway8’s report is still accurate. One can drive a 2wd sedan without *much* stress to the Paris mill, and about .15mi beyond. After that there are significant drifts between Paris and the closed for the winter mine. I saw snowmobile tracks but I highly doubt anything without treads is getting past Paris.
Posted By: daway8
Info: At 6am the road had some drifts about 4mi shy of Kite Lake (1mi before Paris Mill). Was enough to momentarily get stuck but made it past. Very large region plowed out just before Paris Mill for parking. Road completely blocked 2.5mi from Kite Lake with no other viable parking after Paris Mill. Had to pull someone out of a snowbank on the way out.
Posted By: bmcqueen
Info: I parked at the winter parking area right below the Paris Mill. It was a bit frustrating walking up a plowed road at first, but there is really no parking higher anymore that isnt on the private land. There would be room for two cars in a nice dry spot just before the gate, but youre looking at 200 yards of drifted snow immediately prior. Unless you have a modified vehicle, Id recommend the standard winter lot from here. See pics.
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Road is well plowed to within about a mile or so of Kite Lake. This is just before the (locked) FS gate. We parked there in a pulloff. There are some more pulloffs slightly further down, as well. My Camry made it to this parking spot just fine.
Posted By: Jmille123
Info: Trail is under shin-knee deep snow right after the restrooms, trail is hard to make out till you get around 13,000
Posted By: clairekm
Info: Gate was still open as of 7pm on 10/26. A snowdrift right after the gate stopped everyone who arrived the morning from driving to the lake, but the road after that was free of deep snow and it looked like one vehicle made it to/from the lake yesterday. There was legal parking for about 8 cars near the gate.
Posted By: Wentzl
Info: Road looked icy just leaving the town of Alma, but my Accord made it no problem up to the mine about 1 mile from the trailhead.
Posted By: mtngoatwithstyle
Info: Road dry all the way to Kite Lake. A few deep bumps past the gate but if careful you can make it up to the lake.
Posted By: JacerJack
Info: Free of snow all the way to the lake. Gate was still open as of 10/13
Posted By: aim54pheonix
Info: Previous report still valid. I did see a Honda Accord up there, but high clearance would be useful.
Posted By: jorooliver
Info: No snow as of 9/30/19. There are deep ruts leading to the trail and a high clearance vehicle is definitely useful, but probably not necessary if you drive carefully.
Posted By: RickyDavis
Info: No issues getting up here in a FWD Mazda CX-5. I lost traction slightly heading up the final hill into the parking lot, which was a zoo at 7:30pm on a Friday.
Posted By: jweber1400
Info: Hit the trail on 9/6 and found the road good. As reported, last mile is a bit choppy and the last 200 yards the worst. So if you don’t feel comfortable going into the lot, just walk the remainder. It was a bit confusing at the last mile when we saw a sign that said private property. We thought we missed the TH somehow. But we continued and shortly came upon the entrance to Kite Lake. There we saw a large sign that stipulated the $3 fee. You take out an envelope in the box attached to the sign. Put your money in the envelope, rip off the permit (which goes on your drivers dashboard) and put the envelope in the box on the sign that has a slot to receive the sealed envelopes. This was a Friday around 8 am and there were plenty of parking spots.
Posted By: jordanthebuff
Info: The road up to the trailhead is in really good condition, way better than years past. 2wd would be fine, but higher clearance probably still preferred. You could manage in a sedan but it might take a while to navigate the last mile or so.
Posted By: jhalee4
Info: Road was fine to drive up in our Jeep. We parked a little ways down the road as the parking lot was already plenty full by 6:00 am.
Posted By: ilikereds
Info: No issues on the road to Kite Lake! Really easy 2WD access, only gets rough near the end. If driving 2WD, just take your time near the parking area and you will be fine. Parking lot was FULL by 0530!
Posted By: wolfgangstiller
Info: The road is dry all the way now. There are two rough spots that require high clearance or careful driving just before the TH. I did see some Rav4s and Subarus parked at the TH but I’d be very careful driving that type of car or park two hundred yards or so before the TH.

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