Uneva Pass: Frisco to Copper Overnight Backpacking


traversing toward Uneva Pass, near Frisco, Colorado

Route: Uneva Pass from Frisco to Copper Mountain via the Gore Range Trail (also known as the Wheeler-Dillon Trail)
Start: North Tenmile Creek Trailhead in Frisco, I-70 exit 201; overnight parking available in the bike path parking area
End: Copper Mountain
Season: Fall

The sounds of our breathing as we punched our feet through knee-deep snow was mostly what we heard at near 12,000 feet. That, and the occasional jet flying overhead.

a blue-sky morning near the top of Uneva Pass, just north of Frisco

a blue-sky morning near the top of Uneva Pass, southwest of Frisco, Colorado

Named for Sir George Gore, a notorious sport hunter, the Gore Range boasts a stunning, jagged ridgeline. Some 55 miles in length, the Gore Range Trail runs from the northern reaches of Summit County and terminates at Copper Mountain. The Wheeler Trail continues south through Frisco and Breckenridge along the Tenmile Range.

High above the two main access points, we encountered no other users and amazing views of both the Tenmile Range and the Continental Divide. Had we not lucked out with blue skies, little wind and amazing weather, we may have turned around due to the hip-deep snow and my somewhat inappropriate footwear (trail running shoes).

On the second day I wrapped my feet in plastic bags, which kept my toes toasty as ever. I’ve seen snow-covered mountain tops out my window just about every morning in October when I’ve checked out the sunrise over the Tenmile Range; I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me to wear my winter boots.