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Monarch Pass, Monarch

Monarch Pass, elevation 11312ft, is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of south-central Colorado in the United States.
The pass is located on the Continental Divide at the southern end of the Sawatch Range along the border between Gunnison and Chaffee counties, approximately 25mi west of the town of Salida. The pass carries U.S. Highway 50 over the Sawatch Range, providing a route between Tomichi Creek in the upper basin of the Gunnison River on the west and the South Arkansas River, a tributary of the Arkansas River, on the east. The pass can be traversed by all vehicles under most conditions and is generally open year-round; however, 7% grades exist, and the area is prone to heavy winter snowfall, often resulting in temporary closures during severe winter storms. Ramps for runaway trucks are located about halfway down both the eastern and western sides of the pass. Much of the highway over the pass is three-lane.
The pass is widely considered{} one of the most scenic in Colorado, offering a panoramic view of the southern end of the Sawatch Range from the summit. Monarch Mountain Lodge is located about 5 miles from the summit of the pass. During the summer, an aerial tram from the parking lot at the summit carries visitors to the top of Monarch Ridge above the pass (at approximately 12000ft above sea level), allowing a wider view of the surrounding peaks. During the winter, visitors enjoy skiing at Monarch ski area.
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Monarch Pass Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
97 reviews
  • We actually made a u-turn to come back and take the scenic tram ride to the top. Soooo worth it! It was approx. $10 a person (adult) and a quick trip to the top. Wow!!! The views are amazing! They do ...  more »
  • This is wonderful place to spend time if love high altitudes! We took the gondola to the top of the crest. The view at the top is fantastic! The staff was very friendly and helpful. The gift shop has ...  more »
  • Rode my bicycle over Monarch back in 2010. To this day it remains a highlight of the entire trip. Beautiful views and beautiful people :)
  • The best, most affordable ski slope in Colorado. Excellent lodge facility and restaurant too. Thank you for being here for us.

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