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French Pass

Four named passes cross Hoosier Ridge south of Breckenridge. Of these French Pass is the highest by a margin of 500 feet. It is also the least traveled and the only single track option of the four. It is arguably also the most scenic. The upper right part of the profile is an approximation, since that part of the trail is very faint not marked on topographic maps, that I had access to at the time.

1.(9490ft,mile00) START-END NORTH: junction Co9 - Tiger Run Road, north of Breckenridge
2.(10320ft,mile04) trail up French Gulch continues straight, while dirt road turns right up hill.
3.(12045ft,mile09) TOP: French Pass
4.(10280ft,mile13) approximate junction with Georgia Pass road. Profile continues down valley.
5.(9770ft,mile16) profile continues left to Jefferson. Right fork also leads to US285.
6.(9500ft,mile19) START-END SOUTH: Jefferson


From North. The profile begins at the junction of French Gulch and Rte 9 on the north end of Breckenridge. Past the Lincoln mine the French Gulch road becomes a double track, soon after a single track. For the last miles below the top, a very faint trail heads over expansive alpine meadows. The most rugged mountain faces along the journey wait just on the other side of the pass

From South. (also described upwards) The part of the profile between the start at Jefferson and the French Creek road turnoff is shared with the Georgia Pass profile.  A jeep trail follows several miles up French Creek. Above that, a at times intermittent trail connects with the top of the pass. While traveling down this side and loosing the trail, one option is to stay quite a ways above French Creek on its east side, then head for the dirt road as soon as it becomes visible from above. (That's what I ended up doing on my ride).


Colorado Gold Rush of 1859/60 (<Loveland Pass|Hoosier Pass>):

By the summer of 1860 the Colorado Gold Rush was on the large chain ring. On both sides of Loveland Pass miners were busy seeking gold, without ever crossing over the pass. From the many gold camps dotting the mountains around South Park two passes to the Breckenridge area had already been pioneered by miners.

But that wasn't enough. From Breckenridge a few seekers searched for the sake of searching and ascended French Pass from the south. On the north side they found a steep descent, until the valley joined the Georgia Pass route. By the next year, at least a few wagons managed to make a southbound crossing. Yet in retrospect this high pass never carried the amount of traffic that its close lower neighbor, Hoosier Pass, did. But Hoosier Pass was pioneered later by gold seekers.

Dayride with this point as highest summit:


French Pass , Boreas Pass: Dirt road over Boreas Pass combined with the French Pass. The whole loop contains about 10 miles of hard top along route 285. This measured 67 miles with 4700ft of climbing in 6:7 hours (m2:98.08.23  dt42_26-30). This included a lot of time searching for a lost trail.