Peaks of the Park: Mummy Mountain (13,425′), Hagues Peak (13,560′), Fairchild Mountain (13,502′), Ypsilon Mountain (13,514′), Mount Chiquita (13,069′), Mount Chapin (12,454′) Date: October 4, 2015 Trailhead: Lawn Lake (8,540′) – Rocky Mountain National Park Route: Counterclockwise loop beginning and ending at the Lawn Lake TH via Fall River Road Distance: 26 miles Elevation Gain: 9,100 feet Participants: Solo mission Time: 13 hours (including a rain delay, snow delay, and a lot of gaping) Human Sightings: 2 (descending Fairchild) Pedobear Sightings: 0
Peaks: South Signal Mountain (11,248′) – Rocky Mountain National Park, and Signal Mountain (11,262′) – Comanche Peak Wilderness Date: December 27, 2014 Trailhead: Dunraven (7,800′) * Approach: Bulwark Ridge Trail Distance: ~12.5 miles Elevation Gain: ~3,800 ft. Participants: Sam Sala, Dillon Sarnelli Time: 11 hours
*Note: Due to the September 2013 flooding, much of the area around the Dunraven TH is still closed. The Bulwark Ridge Trail is open. See the Poudre Wilderness site for more info. You are permitted to park at the Dunraven TH and hike up the road .3 miles to the Bulwark Ridge Trail #928/Signal Mountain Trail. You are also permitted to hike up the road to Cheley Camp to temporarily access the North Fork Trail #929. The Dunraven TH is still closed in most other directions.
Way back in 2011 I made my first trip into Glacier Gorge and like most folks who exit their vehicles at the trailhead, I was there to see something called Alberta Falls. Don’t get me wrong, Alberta Falls is great. Heck, I even took my family there later that summer, but let’s be serious now. Others may even go as far as the Loch or Mills Lake, also pretty spectacular in their own right. But for those willing to make the 5 mile trek deep into the heart of Glacier Gorge to where the upper plateau begins, that’s where the crown jewel of the park gets real. Names like Longs, Arrowhead, Pagoda, McHenrys, The Spearhead, Chiefs Head, to name a few, scatter the landscape. Believe it or not, but it actually took me 2 years to get past Alberta Falls, a December 2013 summit of Pagoda, and still one of my favorite days in the Park to date. Since then I’ve been itching to get back, which just so happens to bring us to this episode. 🙂