- Date Hiked: February 6,
- Miles Hiked: 2.0
- Elevation Gain: 1,005'
- Hiking Partner(s): Tom
- As a result of cold temperatures and strong winds, Tom and I defaulted
to Plan C (Chief Mountain) for a winter hike. Chief Mountain is
located 4.5 miles directly south of Idaho Springs (CO), and 8.8 miles
northeast of Mount Evans. Getting to the trailhead involves a
relatively long drive on Highway 103 from either exit 252 or 240 off of
I-70 depending on which direction you are coming from.
- I was experiencing a bit of cabin fever so I decided to make a quick
trip to the mountains. Chief Mountain actually ended up being a
great hike despite its brevity. The trail had 8"-12" of
fresh snow on it that hadn't been disturbed. We broke the trail
all the way to the top encountering a couple of sections where the snow had
drifted and we were up to our thighs in the white stuff.
- Once at the trailhead, we strapped on our snowshoes and were
off. According to Tom's thermometer, the temperature was in the
single digits for most of our trip. We were able to follow the
trail until we got to the saddle between Chief and Papoose
Mountain. At this point, we ran into the deepest snow and simply
headed west. After gaining some elevation, we were able to pick up
the trail again and follow it to the tree line.
- I ditched my snowshoes at this point as the ground was wind blown with
little snow. We were on the summit in short order where the wind
was considerably stronger. We took some photos and video and then
searched for some relief from the wind as we had a snack and some
water. The views of Evans getting pummeled by the blustery weather
was impressive. We returned to my cached snowshoes and talked with an
individual who turned around less than 150 vertical feet from the
summit. He admittedly stated that he planned poorly and the temperatures were simply too cold on his face.
- We were back at the
trailhead in no time and headed back to Denver. This would be a great family hike, or in our case, a worthwhile winter
- Click here to view a 2D map of
the area where this hike is located.