Mount Silverheels (13,829 ft)

Google Maps to trailhead.
NOAA point forecast.


Android Stats:
Total Time: 9 hrs 48 min
Total Distance: 7.6 miles
Minimum Elevation: 11,136 ft
Maximum Elevation: 13,829 ft
Elevation Gain: 3,115 ft

Date of Hike: March 31, 2012

The winter of 2011/2012 was one of the driest I can remember. Knowing that conditions were more like May than March I was constantly watching the web for specific mountain info. Then someone posted a trip report about Mount Silverheels and had the pictures that I needed to see. I did my usual trip planning and ran into some mixed information about where to park on HWY 9 for the western approach. It seems that I parked one gulch north of where most route descriptions say. This was mainly due to my map above and the clearly dark shaded private property at that gulch.

Parked and geared up, we set off on the 4×4 looking road across the highway. There was a laminated sign talking about expired mine claims and to stay away from structures. Nothing saying that travel was not allowed.

Continue reading Mount Silverheels (13,829 ft)

Pawnee Peak (12,943 ft)

Google Maps to trailhead.
NOAA point forecast.


Android Stats:
Since the numbers were so far off on this one, I’ll just share the data my turd of an old phone gathered that day. We’ve hiked 13+ miles before and this was most certainly not 13 miles.

From what I remember this hike was originally a shot at Shoshoni Peak. But that idea was sacked on Pt. 12,878 due to extreme talus hopping.

We always try to get on trail by sunrise to avoid the storms without having to think about it much. This morning was one of the few that we actually started before dawn. Only the Caravan was present in the lot at that time. The Brainard Lake Recreation area is busy. While I’ve never seen this “strictly enforced” attitude with others on the trail, I highly recommend keeping dogs leashed on the trails in this area.

Continue reading Pawnee Peak (12,943 ft)

Cameron Peak, Larimer County (12,127 ft)

Google Maps to trailhead.
NOAA point forecast.


Android Stats:
Total Time: 11-ish hrs
Total Distance: About 15 miles (1st gen Androids had crazy numbers)
Minimum Elevation: 9,522 ft
Maximum Elevation: 12,127 ft
Elevation Gain: 3,505 ft

Date of Hike: August 28, 2010

For this hike we camped on Long Draw Road after the first left hand bend. The differences in what I’ve read about this trip and my G1 tracking app were stark. But gauging off our usual pace and the total time it took us to get back to camp, I truly believe this to be a solid 15 mile hike round trip.

The dispersed camping along the road was plentiful in 2010. My guess is the tree maintenance and removal has been done by time of this posting. Even driving from Loveland this road takes some time. Roughly two hours after leaving the house we were setting up camp and waiting on more parties to arrive.

Continue reading Cameron Peak, Larimer County (12,127 ft)

Otter Mountain (12,766 ft)

Google Maps to trailhead.
NOAA point forecast.


Android Stats:
Total Time: 5 hrs 48 min
Total Distance: 4.52 miles
Minimum Elevation: 10,520 ft
Maximum Elevation: 12,766 ft
Elevation Gain: 3,022 ft

Date of Hike: June 1, 2012

I’ve been driving past this mountain every summer for the last few years. One buzzed Thursday afternoon turned this hike into a reality. On a Silver Dollar Lake hike I took note of a slightly less steep line up Otter’s east side directly from a pullout in the road. Being a lowly 12er, everything I found about this point included at least one area 13er and all from the lake trailhead. That didn’t interest me.

So instead I grabbed the map and Google Earthed myself a plan. On paper it didn’t look unreasonable. The only catch was finding that pullout again. As sunrise began lighting up the peaks Matt and I backtracked a couple of times until I spotted the drainage full of rock next to my path. There is a pullout there with room for maybe three or four cars.

This is where we went up. Pretty much straight up with a slight tack to the south to ease some of the grade.

Continue reading Otter Mountain (12,766 ft)

Mount Evans (14,264 ft)

Google Maps to trailhead.
NOAA point forecast.

Android Stats:
Total Time: 5 hrs 42 min
Total Distance: 5.24 miles
Minimum Elevation: 12,831 ft
Maximum Elevation: 14,264 ft
Elevation Gain: 2,154 ft

Date of Hike: September 24, 2011

This route enters both Denver City & County property and the Mount Evans Wilderness. The fee for this area is a fun topic. I believe it’s $10, but every time I have gone up there the summit road was closed and it was a fee free day.

Like most easily accessible trailheads, parking was plentiful at dawn and impossible after sunrise. We spent a few extra minutes mingling around the trail start so I could use the trash cans instead of hauling crap around.

This route starts high and stays high. While it is extraordinarily short the elevation does kick in right away. But the views are worth any distance up the trail.

Continue reading Mount Evans (14,264 ft)