Although it is a high mountain pass, Monarch Pass is not above treeline. The ski area at the top of the pass maintains a cable car up above 12,000 feet in summer, as well as a coffee shop/gift store. Flocks of crossbills and other mountain birds have been seen on and near the pass, and the campground can provide good birding also.
Habitat: Spruce-Fir Forest
Directions: Monarch Pass is at the crest of the Continental Divide on US 50 between Poncha Springs and Gunnison. To reach the Monarch Park Campground and Fishing Ponds, go west on US 50 from Poncha Springs. The campground is less than two miles from the summit, on CR 231, south of US 50.
Delorme: 59 D7
Roads of Colorado: 102 A3
Dates of Access: Open all year; campground early June-early September
Ownership: US Forest Service
Admission: Camping fee
Restrictions: Hiking can be a hazardous activity; bring raingear and water, and avoid thunderstorms
Parking: Paved lot
Handicapped Access: Limited