Concept

Mosquito Pass offers a real experience that gets closer to the natural mountain environment and to the history of the site.


Against the backdrop of a spectacular, high-altitude alpine environment, our first project at Mosquito Pass will be to restore the North London Office, which served as the base of operations for the London Mine from 1883-1942. The Office had a kitchen, dining room, and 4 sleeping rooms for mine managers and important visitors. The transformation of this 19th-century mine and mill office into a backcountry hut makes sense; it is comparable to the Section House at Boreas Pass, a similar historic preservation project. 


Mosquito Pass will also be a place for families, helping to foster the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts, while helping them to become stewards of the land.

The North London Mill site is currently environmentally distressed and the buildings are in ruins. From 1892 to 1942, the Mill processed one of Colorado's richest gold strikes. We hope to restore the Mill for outdoor recreational and educational use. 

As a 1935 photograph shows, the North London Mill site was once a thriving enterprise, with multiple structures that served as offices, dwellings, and utility buildings. Eventually, we may reconstruct several of the structures that no longer remain for use as backcountry accommodation and amenities. 

1935 photograph of the North London Mill Site. Source: Fairplay Flume/Park County Republican

The rebirth of this property for outdoor recreation and education will serve people who already use and enjoy Park County Rt. 12 and the surrounding land, and will attract backcountry enthusiasts from near and far. 


The North London Mill site is part of the Mosquito Range Conservation Area where several globally-rare plants and extensive riparian willow communities have been documented by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program at CSU.


North London Mill Preservation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit, aims to preserve Colorado’s mining heritage and develop an alternative model for outdoor recreation, minimizing impact on land and resources, while remaining responsive and responsible to surrounding communities.


Just 90 miles from Denver, the North London Office is easily accessible to Front Range populations and to visitors arriving at Denver International Airport. It is near the historic and charming towns of Alma and Fairplay, and only 20 miles from Breckenridge. It is also close to some of the best fishing, river rafting, and kayaking in the state. Several 14K’ peaks can be found in the Mosquito Range.




In summer, the Office can be a home-base for touring historic and scenic destinations, guided and unguided hiking, fishing, jeep-tours and other summer outdoor activities. The Mill can be a venue for weddings, conferences, and live music. 


 














In winter, the Office can serve as a base for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing, available right out the front door. With a short tour in from where the plowing stops on County Route 12, the North London Office will be accessible to families, and perfect for those just getting into backcountry touring. Experts will find plenty of steep lines on the high peaks of the Mosquito Range.





A ski tour we made in February, 2017. 







 


London Mountain








Aerial View of Site


Implementation

 Phase I

  • Initiate Historical Structure Assessment and plan for the use of the North London Mill;
  • Apply for grants and raise funds;
  • Restore the Office as a backcountry hut.

Phase II

  • Continue work on restoration of North London Mill;
  • Build bathhouse with showers and a sauna;
  • Explore the feasibility of restoring the Bunkhouse for use as a backcountry hut.

 Phase III

  • Partner with community organizations to offer educational programming.
  • Partner with the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Park County to plan, fund, and construct trails to structure access in order to protect the wild flower and wildlife habitat.