Fremont Pass

11,318 FEET
(3,450 M)

Fremont Pass is a paved mountain pass in the Park Range of the Rocky Mountains. that intersects with State Highway 91.

Suggested Route (Paved) 30 miles

Begin in Frisco and ride west to the Frisco Copper Bike Path
Continue riding southwest on the Frisco Copper Bike Path to Wheeler Junction--mile 6.8
Carry on riding south on SH 91 to the Fremont Pass Summit--mile 17.6
Finish riding southwest on SH 91 to Leadville--mile 30.0


Fremont Pass is one of the highest mountain passes in the state. In the first four miles westbound from Copper the road has narrow shoulders and the traffic is heavy. It then opens with a wide shoulder and two lanes all the way into Leadville. The climb is steady and steep until the switchback to the final climb at Climax Mine;. This is the place of “separation” and the first pass cyclists encounter during the Copper Triangle bike event.


Leadville, 12.2 miles to the southwest
Frisco, 17.6 miles to the north


Fremont Pass was discovered and named after John C. Frémont. Frémont was a general appointed by President Lincoln during the Civil War and was called “The Great Pathfinder”. A mapmaker and explorer, he was also a politician and ran for President of the United States in 1856, but lost to James Buchanan. Frémont discovered the pass in the early 1840s while making his way west through present-day Colorado to California. The pass’s summit is now the site of the Climax Mine: a molybdenum mine.


Molybdenum is a chemical element and it is primarily used as a strengthening agent in steel. The name is from Neo-Latin molybdaenum, meaning lead, because its ores were confused with lead ores.


Climax Mine was once the largest molybdenum mine in the world and for many years supplied three-fourths of the world’s molybdenum supply. Shipments from the mine began in 1915. After a long closure, Climax Mine reopened in 2012 and started shipping molybdenum again. Climax Molybdenum Company owns the mine, and is a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan.