Chief Mountain Snowshoe – March 1, 2015

It’s been a while since my last update, Winter has come to Colorado and the focus shifted to the Holidays and some skiing at the local resorts. Cabin fever is starting to set in though so it’s time to get outside and go hiking again. Sara and I have decided to buy some snowshoes so we can go hiking in the winter. Our first outing was an easy hike up Chief Mountain in the Mt. Evans Wilderness area.

Chief Mountain is a short, 4.5 mile round trip hike that offers outstanding views of the Front Range and Denver. On the work vs. reward scale, it’s hard to beat this hike and it’s a great place for locals to take out of state visitors to climb a mountain without beating them up too bad. The trailhead is located on Squaw Pass road about 15 miles north of Evergreen CO. It can be difficult to find as there’s no parking lot, just a pullout that holds about 5 cars. It’s about a half mile north of the Echo Mountain ski resort.

The weather was great in the mountains this day. In Denver the skies were overcast but once up in the mountains we broke out above the cloud cover to a gorgeous sunny day with temps in the mid 40’s at the beginning of the hike.  A storm was due to come in later in the day though, which made for some nice views at the top as you could see it forming to the north and west.

The trail is mostly in the trees until you break out above treeline about 100 feet from the summit (roughly 11,700 feet).

Here are a few pics from the summit. You can see the weather building.

Looking to the South. On a more clear day you can see Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs.

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Looking back towards Denver. Still very overcast.

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Mount Evans to the west. Mount Evans is best known as home to the highest paved road in North America.

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