Angel Pass

Poverty Gulch

Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado

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Angel Pass


  • Looking up Poverty Gulch.- Angel Pass
  • Baxter Basin and Daisy Pass.- Angel Pass
  • Starting up the Poverty Gulch Road.- Angel Pass
  • Parry's bellflower (Campanula parryi).- Angel Pass
  • A waterfall coming down the lower side of Cascade Mountain.- Angel Pass
  • Poverty Gulch road as it winds up toward the mine.- Angel Pass
  • Colorado columbine (Aquilegia coerulea var. coerulea).- Angel Pass
  • Waterfall right above the creek crossing.- Angel Pass
  • Working our way up the road.- Angel Pass
  • Looking up at Mineral Point.- Angel Pass
  • The view back down from where we started.- Angel Pass
  • Remains from the old mining machinery.- Angel Pass
  • Almost to the Augusta Mine.- Angel Pass
  • Augusta Mine.- Angel Pass
  • The view south from Augusta Mine.- Angel Pass
  • Looking into Augusta Mine.- Angel Pass
  • Unknown species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Angel Pass
  • Penstemon.- Angel Pass
  • Unknown species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Angel Pass
  • Bistort (Polygonum bistortoides).- Angel Pass
  • Yellow stonecrop (Sedum lanceolatum).- Angel Pass
  • The rocky peaks above.- Angel Pass
  • King’s crown (Sedum integrifolium).- Angel Pass
  • Mount Crested Butte.- Angel Pass
  • Mountain range in the distance.- Angel Pass
  • Indian paintbrush.- Angel Pass
  • Yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris).- Angel Pass
  • Globeflower (Trollius laxus ssp. albiflorus).- Angel Pass
  • Lake below Cascade Mountain.- Angel Pass
  • Lake below Mineral Point.- Angel Pass
  • A vast array of mountains in the surrounding area.- Angel Pass
  • Angel Pass toward Augusta Mountain.- Angel Pass
  • Dark Canyon and Marcellina Mountain on the other side of Angel Pass.- Angel Pass
  • Marmot skull.- Angel Pass
  • Baxter Basin.- Angel Pass
  • Elephant's head (Pedicularis groenlandica).- Angel Pass
  • - Angel Pass
Overview + Weather
Great views. Wild flowers. Mines.
Steep four-wheel drive road.
Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, CO
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,158.00 ft (657.76 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
7.50 mi (12.07 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
9,869.00 ft (3,008.07 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


If you find yourself lucky enough to be in the magical mountain town of Crested Butte, a trip up to Angel Pass is highly recommended. You will get a taste of history as you hike up the old mining road surrounded by the majestic mountain ranges painted in red, tan, and green.

From the parking area you can either head up the Poverty Gulch road or ford across the mountain stream into Baxter Basin. If you choose to go up the road, follow it as it works its way up to the abandoned Augusta mine at 11,000 feet. This mine used to mainly produce copper and silver and now is completely closed.

Augusta Mine was just one of the many mines in the Poverty Gulch area that supplied the town of Pittsburg, founded in 1881. The avalanches and severe winter weather made it nearly impossible to transport the ore during the winter months. An aerial tram was built in the summer of 1886, but it was destroyed by avalanches by the winter of 1887. There was a revival in 1903, and new tunnels were added along with a compressor and a mill. The tram was rebuilt in 1908, and it  ran nearly 4,000 feet to stretch from the Augusta Mine tunnel to the mill below. In the winter of 1909 an avalanche destroyed all of the Augusta Mine buildings, the tram, and the mill. This was the final blow for the mines, and the town of Pittsburg faded into history.

Just before the mine there is a trail that leads up the hill toward Angel Pass where you get an incredible 360-degree view of the surrounding mountain ranges including Dark Canyon, Marcellina Mountain, and the Beckwith Mountains off to the south on the other side of the pass. The trail is easy to lose when you approach the divide between Baxter Basin and Angel Pass, so be sure to use your GPS. Once you reach the ruins of an old mining cabin the trail splits. Down to the left the trail can be taken through Baxter Basin, making a loop to the parking area; alternately, take the trail up to the right (north) to reach Angel Pass to enjoy the breathtaking view.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(12 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(17 within a 30 mile radius)

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