Rosalie Trail

On a warm and sunny day in late August, I set out for another hike into the Mount Evans Wilderness. Originally, I wanted to reach the summit of nearby 13er Rosalie Peak but ended up taking the Rosalie Trail further out into the wilderness instead.

Looking back on it, I probably spent more time bushwhacking through the wilderness than on the actual trail itself. Nonetheless, here is some more information about my hike:

  • Date: August 19th, 2019
  • Miles Hiked: 15 Miles
  • Route: Rosalie Trail and then bushwhacking off trail

Getting There

Both the Rosalie Trail and the Tanglewood Trail can be reached via the Deer Creek trailhead outside of Bailey, Colorado. It can easily be found by typing in Tanglewood Trails into Google Maps.

The Route

Upon reaching the trailhead, I started hiking up the trail but just followed the creek for several miles until it came out onto the actual Rosalie Trail. I stopped to have something to eat just before I reached treeline.

Sitting under a tree.

Shortly after I started hiking again, I reached the intersection with the Three Mile Trail and soon decided that it was time for something different. Although I did end up taking part of the Three Mile Trail for a mile out and back, I soon decided to start bushwhacking over the open tundra towards the east.

Rosalie Trail above treeline.
Looking over towards Mount Evans.

With the weather continuing to hold, I continued on through the tundra for several more miles. The scenery was so breathtaking as I was completely surrounded by mountains on all sides.

Continuing on through the wilderness.
Just incredible.
More mountains to the north.

As I was taking in the views, I continued on hiking up towards the ridge until I stopped to have lunch on top of a large rock outcropping. I sat there for about 45 minutes and left once I started to see some storm clouds forming in the vicinity of Mount Evans.

A perfect place to have lunch!
Looking west towards Kataka Mountain.
Storm clouds forming.

The Return Trip

At about one that afternoon, I decided to call it a day and head back to my car. The storm clouds would keep building and within a half mile of the trailhead, it started to rain but it just felt so peaceful.

Looking back at the storm clouds forming.
One last photo before heading towards the Rosalie Trail.

Once I got back onto the Rosalie Trail, things began to get interesting. I stopped to take a picture of the trail next to a pond. Little did I know that I would have some very close animal sightings within the next half hour of my life.

The trail next to a pond.

But that’s not all! Between fifteen and twenty minutes later, I was walking down the trail when I heard what sounded like horseshoes hitting the rocks on the trail ahead of me. At the time, I figured it was literally just a couple people riding horses up the trail enjoying the late summer day.

Much to my surprise, I kept hiking down the trail and turned a blind corner only to come face to face with a moose and her baby no more than fifty feet in front of me!

I knew I was way too close at this point but their was nothing that I could do about it. After looking at me, they both ran off deep into the woods.

Fifteen minutes later, I was walking down the trail just zoning out when I spotted a bear about 150 yards away. Once it spotted me, it just ran further down the valley away from me and more towards the creek.

Looking back on it, it was definitely an awesome afternoon out there on the Rosalie Trail that I will never forget.

Cupid and Grizzly Peaks

On a breezy Monday morning, I set out for Loveland Pass for another adventure. By the time I got there, the actual pass itself was closed as they were repaving the road. So I chose to be more adventurous and park further down the road and bushwhack up towards the ridge.

Here’s some more info about my hike:

  • Date: August 12th, 2019
  • Miles Hiked: 6.3 Miles
  • Route: Cupid and Grizzly Peak via Loveland Pass

Getting There

Loveland Pass is easily accessible from Interstate 70 and gets a lot of traffic, including Hazmat vehicles that use the pass throughout the year as they are prohibited from going through the Eisenhower Tunnel.

The Route

From the start, I knew that getting up to the ridge line was going to be very tiring. And it took a lot of work that morning . Within 10 minutes or so, my pants were completely soaked trying to work my way through the willow bushes. Luckily, I dried off within an hour because the wind at the top of the ridge was absolutely miserable.

The spot where I started my hike near Loveland Pass.

Once I crossed a small creek, I was finally out of the willows and more than halfway to the top of the ridge.

A small creek.
Looking over towards the top of the pass.

After taking a quick break, I reached the trail that branches off of the Mount Sniktau trail towards Cupid Peak. This part was pretty straight forward but I was amazed at how tiny Route 6 looks as it goes over Loveland Pass.

The trail.
Looking down on Route 6.

Upon reaching the trail, I didn’t stop until I reached the summit of Cupid Peak.

Cupid Peak

Standing at 13,117 feet, the views atop Cupid Peak are simply astounding. Even more so on a beautiful August morning. With the wind howling, I stopped to take in the views and some pictures too.

From the summit of Cupid Peak.
Looking towards the south.
Looking towards the northeast.

Now it was time to continue the journey up to the summit of Grizzly Peak. But before that, something weird happened. As I was hiking, I began to hear two people laugh but there was not a soul anywhere to be found. After about 20 minutes or so, I finally encountered two people who were further down the trail.

I did question my sanity in that brief span of time as I had worked all night before I set out on this hike. Nonetheless, I kept hiking further up the trail towards Grizzly Peak with what felt like a constant 30 mile per hour wind somewhat slowing me down.

Looking out towards Grizzly Peak.

Aside from the wind, it was turning out to be a spectacular day. Amazingly, no thunderstorms formed nearby either.

Getting closer now!
Such a peaceful view.
Almost to the fun part!
Navigating through the rocky portion.

Grizzly Peak

At an elevation of 13,427 feet, the views atop Grizzly Peak are pretty unique in that you can see the two nearby 14ers of Torreys Peak and Grays Peak. While I was sitting at the rock shelter, I could see numerous people hiking up to the summit of those mountains. I was just happy to have the summit of Grizzly Peak all to myself that morning.

The rock shelter at the summit.
The nearby mountains.
Looking out towards the Dillon Reservoir.
Great view of Grays and Torreys Peaks.
One last pic before departing.

Before heading back down towards my car, I was lucky to find some mountain goat fur only a short distance from the summit. Definitely was not expecting that.

The Return Trip

Given how tired I was at that point, I’m pretty glad that it was an uneventful hike back down to my car.

Descending Grizzly Peak.
Looking back up at the rocky section.
Hanging out with a marmot.
Scattered clouds and mountains.
So close yet so far away from my car.

Overall, this turned out to be a great hike on a perfect summer day. I’m glad I took advantage of the great weather to get out and summit a couple of 13ers that I can now add to my growing list of mountains that I have reached the summit of.

Pegmatite Points

On the first Tuesday of August, I woke up and decided to pick a somewhat easy hike for the day. I figured it was time to do some more exploring in the Mount Evans Wilderness. And with that decision in mind, I found myself at the Deer Creek trailhead outside of Bailey, Colorado.

Here’s some more info about my hike that day:

  • Date: August 6th, 2019
  • Miles Hiked: 9.9 Miles
  • Route: Tanglewood Trail via Mount Evans Wilderness

Getting There

Both the Pegmatite Points and Rosalie Peak are accessible by the Deer Creek Trailhead. Interestingly enough, you can find this trailhead by typing in Tanglewood trails on Google Maps. Personally, I like this trailhead as it is set back in the woods pretty far away from everything and you can also hear the creek as soon as you get out of the car.

The Route

From the trailhead, the route up to Pegmatite Points is very easy to follow. Early on, I crossed a bridge that goes over Tanglewood Creek and just stood on the bridge taking it all in. I had the feeling that it was going to be a good day.

Tanglewood Creek.

From there, I followed the trail up the creek until I came to a junction where the Tanglewood trail and Rosalie trail meet. It is very important that you keep going straight on the Tanglewood trail at this point.

Before you cross into the Mount Evans Wilderness, you will want to make sure that you fill out a free wilderness permit and keep it with you for the rest of your hike.

Heading up the Tanglewood Trail.
A sign welcoming you to the Mount Evans Wilderness.

For the first several miles, the hike is pretty mellow and just follows along Tanglewood Creek. At times, parts of the creek run onto parts of the trail but these can easily be avoided. Before reaching treeline, I encountered some nice switchbacks but they didn’t really last too long.

Going up through the switchbacks.

Once above treeline, the views opened up dramatically as the woods down below come into view. Additionally, the surrounding peaks also start to become more visible.

Peaceful view.
Looking west.

The switchbacks continue well above treeline until I reached the saddle between Rosalie Peak and Pegmatite Points. At this point, it was really starting to get hot as the afternoon sun was directly above me. At the saddle, Rosalie Peak is accessible by going right while the Pegmatite Points are off to the left.

Beautiful view on a beautiful August day.
A steep rock face just below Rosalie Peak.
The Pegmatite Points!

From far away, the Pegmatite Points really don’t look all that imposing. But once up close, I encountered some fun sections that required some easy scrambling until I finally reached the summit.

False summit.
Scrambling fun.

The Summit

With the summit at 12,227 feet, the views are just remarkable. Rosalie Peak looked so breathtaking and Denver is even visible way off to the east too. I sat up there and ate my lunch taking it all in for awhile. It didn’t even seem real.

Rosalie Peak from Pegmatite Points.
Another summit view looking out into the surrounding wilderness.
The valley below.

The Return Trip

With some more clouds starting to roll in, it seemed like it was good time to pack up and head back down towards the trailhead. But I simply had to take some more photos on the way back.

A stream crossing.
Heading through the woods.
I could sit here all day.

Although it was an uneventful trip back, it was so serene and peaceful out there. I really didn’t want to leave at all. Nature is just so amazing!

Until next time!

Four Peak Monday

After working my 12 hour shift from Sunday afternoon into early Monday morning, most people would probably go to bed. But not me. I had much different plans for my Monday and none of them involved spending my day off sleeping.

With that in mind, I made my way out to Berthoud Pass to begin what turned out to be a pretty remarkable day. Here’s some more info about my hike:

  • Date: August 5th, 2019
  • Miles Hiked: 13.6 Miles
  • Route: Mount Flora, Mount Eva, Witter Peak and Parry Peak via Continental Divide Trail

Getting There

Berthoud Pass is easily accessible off of US Highway 40 just outside of Winter Park, Colorado. Their is plenty of parking too.

The Route

From Berthoud Pass, I headed up to the summit of 13,146 foot Mount Flora and made it up there pretty quickly. It was pretty foggy that morning with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms developing later on.

Morning fog near the summit of Mount Flora.

From there, I made my way over to 12,884 foot Witter Peak which is on the way to Mount Eva. At the point, the fog was beginning to dissipate revealing a peaceful morning. I only encountered a handful of people in the eight hours that I spent out in the wilderness that day too.

Witter Peak in the distance.
From the summit of Witter Peak looking east towards Denver.
The view to the south.

After taking a quick break atop Witter Peak, it was time to continue on. Upon walking back to where I had originally veered off trail, I chose to continue further on towards the summit of 13,130 foot Mount Eva. It was pretty uneventful and before long I was signing my name in the summit register and taking in the views of the surrounding area.

Took a quick moment to relax and reflect on life.
Debris from an old building on Mount Eva.

After reaching the summit of three mountains that day, I simply was not content so I continued on my journey towards Parry Peak. At this point, thunderstorm clouds were beginning to form far off to the north. I figured I would make it quick and then retrace my steps back down towards the trailhead.

Parry Peak.

As I was making my way up Parry Peak, I was starting to definitely get tired but the end was in sight! So I soldiered on. But damn I was so relieved when I finally made it to the summit of 13,392 foot Parry Peak. I sat down at one of the rock shelters and ate nearly all of the food that I had brought with me. It was pretty amazing to be up there looking down and marveling at how small Winter Park actually looked.

Near the summit of Parry Peak looking back towards Mount Eva and Mount Flora.
Several rock shelters atop Parry Peak.
Looking north towards the Indian Peaks Wilderness.
Winter Park.

The Return Trip

With storm clouds rolling in, it was soon time to head back. But it wasn’t that easy. Although all of these mountains are connected by rolling tundra, hiking back required reaching the summits of both Mount Eva and Mount Flora again in order to get back to Berthoud Pass. My calves were definitely burning when all was said and done.

Mount Eva straight ahead.
Looking back at Parry Peak from the lower slopes of Mount Eva.
Thunderstorms moving in to the north while I was descending Mount Flora.

Reaching the summit of four different mountains in one day was an incredible experience. I’ll never forget it. And by the time Monday night rolled around, I was definitely happy to go to bed for the first time in two days!

July 2019 Review

As I look back on the month of July, I’m pretty happy with what I was able to accomplish. I got out and hiked on eleven different occasions throughout the course of the month. Here’s a quick look at what I was up to:

  • July 1st: Mount Sniktau (13er)- 3.5 Miles
  • July 2nd: Centennial Cone Park- 12.5 Miles
  • July 4th: Pikes Peak (14er)- 14 Miles
  • July 8th: Deer Creek Canyon Park- 2.65 Miles
  • July 9th: Vasquez Peak (12er)- 12.4 Miles
  • July 14th: Loveland Pass Lake- 1 Mile
  • July 16th: Mount Evans Wilderness- 14.85 Miles
  • July 22nd: Bear Peak- 5.7 Miles
  • July 23rd: Mount Parnassus (13er) and Woods Mountain (12er)- 7.9 Miles
  • July 29th: Lily Mountain- 3.8 Miles
  • July 30th: Herman Lake- 6.8 Miles
  • Total Miles Hiked in July 2019: 85.1 Miles
  • Total Miles Hiked in 2019 so far: 309.54 Miles

Overall, I hiked to the summit of one 14er, two 13ers and two 12ers. In addition to that, I hiked to the summit of some smaller peaks on those mornings that I got off work and still had some energy. I originally planned on writing a post about Bear Peak near Boulder but scrapped that due to the fact that it was so foggy that entire morning.

For my hike on July 16th, I ended up getting most of the way to Abyss Lake before I somehow took a wrong turn. But I ended up finding an excellent spot to meditate! That in itself made it all worth it.

Aside from that, I figured I would share some more photos that I took throughout the month:

Above treeline while hiking to the summit of Pikes Peak.
Taken during a hike to Vasquez Peak.
Loveland Pass Lake.
Mount Evans Wilderness meditation spot.
Fern Canyon on the way up to Bear Peak.
The view atop Watrous Gulch.

I’m both glad and thankful that I was able to get out and explore throughout July 2019. Not only did I see a lot of cool places, I also feel like I experienced some self growth as well.

Herman Lake

On a cloudy Tuesday morning at the end of July, I set out on another adventure. In about an hour, I found myself parked at the Herman Gulch trailhead yet again for the second Tuesday in a row. This time, I decided to take the hike up to Herman Lake via the Herman Gulch trail. Here’s some more info:

  • Date: July 30th, 2019
  • Route: Herman Gulch Trail to Herman Lake
  • Mileage: 6.8 Miles

Getting There

The Herman Gulch trailhead is easily accessible by taking exit 218 off of Interstate 70. Their is plenty of parking but it does tend to fill up quickly on weekends.

The Route

For this particular hike, I simply followed the Herman Gulch trail all the way until I reached Herman Lake. It’s very well traveled and easy to follow.

Beginning of the Herman Gulch trail.

What surprised me right away was the amount of avalanche debris all over the place. Numerous trees had been uprooted and large boulders have been moved a considerable distance as well.

Avalanche debris

After passing through the avalanche debris area, I then encountered a large field of columbines. They were literally growing all over the place. The trail itself continues to go in and out of the woods with some areas being pretty wet while other parts had a ton of tree roots everywhere.

Large field of columbines.
Columbine close up.
Lots of tree roots.

Pretty soon, the mountains directly behind Herman Lake come into view. They just look so majestic for some reason. It continued to get even more cloudy to the point that I nearly turned around. I’m glad I didn’t though!

Storm clouds brewing.
Getting closer to Herman Lake.

Once I got closer to the lake, it was starting to sprinkle but I figured that their was no sense in turning around. Not only that, but I simply couldn’t turn around with so many amazing views all around me. A few minutes later, I reached the lake and was very surprised to see only one other person.

Looking back down towards the trailhead.
Herman Lake
A close up view of Herman Lake.

Originally, I intended to hike up to the summit of Pettingell Peak from the lake but with dark clouds continuing to build it seemed like a good idea to just turn around. Their is absolutely no point in putting yourself in danger to the point that you could potentially become a statistic. And I made the right choice!

The Return Trip

On this particular occasion, the trip back from Herman Lake was rather uneventful. Despite the weather, more people were beginning to head up the trail. This didn’t really surprise me given the fact that the trail is very heavily trafficked.

One last departing shot.

Once I got back towards the bottom near the trailhead, the sun began to fight through the clouds. I also took a few minutes to sit by the creek.

The creek was roaring!!

It was definitely a nice and relaxing hike! I totally recommend making the hike to Herman Lake if you haven’t done it already.

Deer Creek Canyon Park

On a peaceful and sunny Monday morning, I decided to drive down the street and visit Deer Creek Canyon Park. It was pretty quiet with only several people around for most of the time I was out there. Here’s some more info about my hike that day:

  • Date Hiked: July 8th, 2019
  • Miles Hiked: 2.65 Miles
  • Route: Meadowlark Trail to Plymouth Creek Trail

For this hike, I made a nice little loop. Starting up on the Meadowlark trail is a nice set of steps that eventually lead you through a forest area.

Heading up the Meadowlark Trail.

Pretty soon, the trail starts to go up the side of a mountain with the help of some switchbacks. The views of the red rock formations quickly become visible. Also, a thunderstorm was starting to build just to the west of the park despite it being 11am.

View of the red rocks.
A storm forming to the west.

For it being a short hike, it definitely was pretty scenic. The views of Denver are pretty remarkable and it’s just enough of a workout to feel satisfying.

Further up the Meadowlark Trail.
Looking out towards Denver.

With the storm bearing down, I decided it was time to head back to the trailhead. At this point, the storm was pretty close with cloud to ground lightning becoming visible nearby.

Heading down the Plymouth Creek trail.

Although I didn’t get to hike as much as I wanted, I was perfectly alright with that. Just being able to visit this park always proves to be a nice retreat. I say this because they close this park a lot, especially when it gets extremely muddy.

Overall, this is definitely one of the more enjoyable open space parks near Denver and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

June 2019 Review

June really turned out to be a great month. I got a lot of hiking in and was able to explore some pretty neat mountains and several wilderness areas as well as some more open space trails and parks. Overall, here’s a quick glance at what I was able to accomplish:

  • June 4th– Walker Ranch Park- 7.6 Miles
  • June 7th– Deer Creek Canyon Park- 2.6 Miles
  • June 9th– Pine Valley Ranch Park and Buffalo Creek Trail System- 13.5 Miles
  • June 11th– Centennial Cone Park- 6 Miles
  • June 15th– Elk Meadow Park- 4 Miles
  • June 18th– Bison Peak in Lost Creek Wilderness- 13 Miles
  • June 25th– Stanley Mountain from Berthoud Pass- 7.9 Miles
  • Total Miles Hiked in June 2019: 54.6 Miles
  • Total Miles Hiked in 2019 so far: 224.44 Miles

On three separate occasions, I got caught in some thunderstorms while out hiking in the woods. Luckily, I was not above treeline and could easily find a safe place to seek shelter in the woods. Specifically, this happened to me on the 4th, 7th and the 18th of June.

In regards to June 7th, a large thunderstorm formed in the foothills directly west of Denver while I was only 1.3 miles up the trail. However, the conditions of the trail were absolutely horrendous that day so it all worked out for the best.

Pretty muddy trail conditions at Deer Creek Canyon Park in early June.

Originally, I planned on writing a post about the Buffalo Creek Trail System and Pine Valley Ranch Park but unfortunately my camera died after taking only two photos that morning. I did manage to get a peaceful shot of the lake though.

Morning view of the lake.

My last two hikes of June involved hiking to the summit of several 12,000 foot peaks. Both Bison Peak and Stanley Mountain had some pretty remarkable scenery. While hiking to Stanley Mountain, I also added a little extra mileage as I wanted to see how steep the trail down to nearby Vasquez Pass was. Hiking in both the Lost Creek Wilderness and on the Continental Divide Trail was so much fun and relaxing in that I had both summits to myself and hardly saw anybody too.

The 12,521 foot summit of Stanley Mountain.
A rock garden near the summit of 12,432 foot Bison Peak

Overall, it turned out to be a great month and I’m looking forward to what these next few months of summer have to offer!

Stanley Mountain

Located within the Vasquez Peak Wilderness area, the hike to the summit of Stanley Mountain is a truly remarkable one. Standing at 12,521 feet, it proved to be a great challenging hike, especially considering the fact that their was still a decent amount of snow until I managed to get above treeline.

Here’s some more info about my hike that day:

  • Date Hiked: June 25th, 2019
  • Miles Hiked: 7.9 Miles
  • Total Elevation Change: 1,214 Feet
  • Summit Elevation: 12,521 Feet

Getting There

Stanley Mountain can be accessed from Berthoud Pass just off of US Highway 40. At the pass, you will find plenty of parking and restrooms. Once there, you simply have to carefully cross the highway and follow the trail as it begins its ascent into the Vasquez Peak Wilderness Area.

Alternatively, you can also access Stanley Mountain by driving to a parking area that is near the Henderson Mine and hike up from there on a well defined trail.

The Journey

From the start of the trail until I got above treeline, it was nothing but scattered patches of both snow and snow drifts. At one point, I even encountered a snow drift that was about four feet tall on the trail. So, I was pretty much forced to follow the footsteps of several other people who attempted it before I did, and even bushwhack at times too.

Scattered deep snow drifts.
A deep snow drift on the trail.

The views really started to open up above treeline. I was quite relieved to be above treeline that day because it was a genuine struggle. But it was so worth it. I’m super glad I didn’t turn around and found the motivation within me!

Looking towards the east.
Still quite a bit of snow!

Only one particularly steep section stood out to me on this hike. It looks more difficult than it actually was. And once I got past this section of zigzagging switchbacks, it was smooth sailing to the summit.

Steep switchbacks with snow at the top.

While hiking through the switchbacks, I also happened to stumble upon several Ptarmigans. Additionally, a marmot also came out of seemingly nowhere and ran up the trail ahead of me before it disappeared.

Ptarmigan out living its best life.

At the top of the switchbacks, I finally reached the top of the ridge. Right at this point, the wind started to pick up and was just absolutely brutal. Also, the snow was almost completely melted off the trail, except for one small snowfield a bit further ahead. Everything else could be easily avoided.

The journey ahead.
Looking towards the northeast.
Getting closer to the summit!

Luckily enough, the weather also held off the entire time while I was above treeline.

A picturesque day!

The Summit

Overall. the views from the summit were pretty neat. I probably sat up there for a good 15 minutes or so before I decided to explore some of the surrounding area.

Looking down on the Henderson Mine area.
Looking to the west.
The actual summit.

So before I turned around, I started to descend down towards Vasquez Pass just out of curiosity to see just how steep it was. The path down is actually well marked with cairns. Ultimately, I decided to turn around as I figured storms would start to form at anytime due to the fact that it was already almost noon.

The Return Trip

Overall, the trip back to Berthoud Pass was eventful in that it involved doing some more bushwhacking and watching some thunderstorms form nearby. Also on my way back, I noticed that their were still some cornices at the edges of several of the ridges that looked pretty deep!

Watching a storm forming to the south.
Pretty big cornice.
Getting closer to Berthoud Pass.

Overall, I really enjoyed this hike. I will most likely hike out this way again when I head up to Vasquez Peak later on this summer. I’d definitely recommend this hike to anybody too. It was hard but not overwhelming at all. It was a pretty rewarding 12er with great views nearly the entire way too. Definitely a day well spent!

Bison Peak

Located in the Lost Creek Wilderness area of Colorado, the hike to the summit of 12,431 foot Bison Peak in the Tarryall Mountains was absolutely remarkable. It was really unlike anywhere else that I have been. The scenery is so unique that it almost feels out of place with everything else. With very few people around, the solitude just made me feel at peace.

Here’s some more info about my hike:

  • Date Hiked: June 18th, 2019
  • Miles Hiked: Around 13 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy class 1
  • Total Elevation Change: 3,671 Feet

Getting There

From Denver, take US Highway 285 west over Kenosha Pass until you reach Jefferson, Colorado. Specifically, you will want to take a left onto Park County Road 77 which is also known as Tarryall Road. The Ute Creek Trailhead is on this road on the left once you go just over 3 miles past the Tarryall Reservoir.

The Journey

Although I did not arrive at the trailhead until shortly after 9am, I figured I would be in for an adventure. And I was not disappointed! The first several miles are relatively easy as I first crossed the bridge over the creek and walked through some meadows. But before I did that, I made sure to fill out a free permit before entering the wilderness area.

Overlooking the creek from the bridge by the trailhead.
The steady uphill climb begins!

Once I got several miles up the trail, the weather conditions changed quickly. In a span of about 25 minutes, it went from being sunny to mostly cloudy with a hailstorm looming close by. I wasn’t too scared though as I decided to hide under a rock for a little while until the weather improved.

Can’t believe I really hid under this rock!

At times, this hike really seemed like a struggle. But with every step, the scenery and view of the surrounding valleys and mountains continued to get better! Soon enough, I was able to see areas above treeline too.

A steep portion of the trail.
Caught a glimpse of the area above treeline while still deep in the woods.
Took a right at this sign to continue up the trail.

Before long, I finally found myself above treeline. And the scenery was truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

Above Treeline

Upon reaching the treeline, I was treated with views of the snow capped peaks of the Mosquito Range directly to the west. In addition to that, it looked as if more storms were forming out there as well.

View of the Mosquito Range.
The amazing scenery coming into view.

After reaching the meadow, the scenery really opens up around you. Even though it was an extremely snowy year, a wide majority of the snow had already melted, except for a three foot snow drift just below the summit that was easily avoidable.

Unique geology with Bison Peak in the distance.
Looking back from further up towards the summit.
Such a cool place!
View from just below the summit.
The view from the summit.

After I made it to the summit, I sat up there for nearly half an hour. It was completely comforting just being out in the wilderness with nobody around you at all. As a matter of fact, I only saw three other people during my entire hike that day.

With another round of afternoon thunderstorms beginning to move in, I figured it was time to get on with it and head back down the mountain. So I signed my name in the journal at the summit and took a picture of the summit marker before calling it good.

A storm moving in while beginning my descent.
A unique viewpoint.
Probably the best picture I took that day.

In all, it took me about six or seven hours to complete this hike. Although it was strenuous, the views and the surrounding landscapes were totally worth it. I would definitely recommend hiking to the summit of Bison Peak to anybody and personally look forward to doing it again sometime.