Chief Mountain
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Base Camp

  • Statistics:
    • Date Hiked:  February 6, 2004
    • Miles Hiked:  2.0
    • Elevation Gain:  1,005'
    • Hiking Partner(s):  Tom Milinowicz
  • Description:
    • 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 snowshoe trip.
  • Maps:
    • Click here to view a 2D map of the area where this hike is located.
  • Photographs:





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