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CR9 Turquoise Lake s(u)

When you figure freedom from automobile traffic, escape from summer heat, and a soothing scenery heavily into the equation, this little paved road summit is a great little road indeed. It is also quite popular with cyclists. It doesn't really go anywhere, but if you really feel the need to make a longer ride out of it, it can be combined with passes of the Copper Triangle Route (see Fremont Pass, Vail Pass or Tennesee Pass). Personally I like to mix paved with unpaved routes. This makes for many more opportunities to explore the area around the lake further.

1.(3000m~9842ft,km00.0~mile00.0) START-END NORTH: jct CR99 - CR9 northern access rd to Turquoise Lake
2.(3195m~10482ft,km06.3~mile03.8) Uncle Buds Rd takes off on right
3.(3259m~10692ft,08.3km~mile05.2) TOP
4.(3053m~10016ft,km13.0~mile08.1) access road to northern end of lake is on left
5.(3117m~10226ft,km15.8~mile09.8) Hagerman Pass road takes off on right
6.(2960m~9711ft,km23.4~mile14.5) START-END SOUTH: jct CR99 - CR4 southern access rd to Turquoise Lake


From North. A wide, shallow valley separates Leadville from the lake. At least it is shallow in comparison to the other landforms in this area. From the low point of this valley it is a 200ft climb to the damn of the lake. Conveniently, there are also two access roads from the valley bottom, both of which have been used as approaches in the profile.

A already mentioned the relative absence of traffic is a main attraction. The northern side of the lake seems to be even quieter than the south side. It is more circuitous, and whatever Hagerman Pass bound traffic there is, uses the south side. In between forest meanders you come across vantage points over the lake, the Sawatch Range, Leadville and the Mosquito Range, and then you just keep on riding. The point of highest altitude is not marked in any way, neither is there a good view. It is located about three quarters towards the western end of the lake.

From South. (described downwards) This approach is longer, so it should be gentler, since it goes back to where we started, unless the road rolls up and down like a roller coaster. It rolls a little bit, but this side really is gentler. On the west side of the lake you pass the Timber Line trailhead, which can also be used to access portions of the Colorado Trail, and a short paved spur road down to the eastern portal of the Charles Bousted water diversion tunnel. (See the history section in the long version of the Hagerman Pass page). Continuing on CR9, a gentle climb leads to a intermediate high point, located at the junction with FR105 to Hagerman Pass. Rolling along further, the descent contains a long open, treeless section with uninterrupted view of the lake and the Mosquito Range. This is the only section without trees immediately next to the road on the loop. Crossing the damn is a classic view of Mount Massif, and then its just a short roll back down to the low point.




CR9 Turquoise Lake Rd s(u), additional out and back: jct FR105 - CR9 Turquoise Lake Rd <> out and back to eastern portal of Hagerman Tunnel > down southern side of CR9 Turquoise Lake Rd > CR9c north > up northern side of CR9 Turquoise Lake Rd > CR9 Turquoise Lake Rd s(u) > back to starting point: 33.4miles with 2690ft of climbing in 3:10hours (VDO MC1.0 m3:11.8.25).