Today's outing took us to Hahn's Peak, a prominent summit north of Steamboat
Springs that is easily recognized from many vantage points. With a trail leading
its lookout-crowned summit, it is hugely popular, especially on the weekends.
The regular TH is reachable by high-clearance vehicles, but the higher TH and
other nearby summits we visited afterwards required 4WD. Most of these were
fairly short outings, leaving us with almost as much Jeeping as we had hiking.
There were already several vehicles in the 2WD trailhead when we arrived there
around 7a, but we were happy to take advantage of the Jeep's capabilities and
shave off another mile by driving up to . There is only
room for a few vehicles here, but luckily it doesn't see much use - ours was the
only vehicle to use it this morning. The trail follows the Jeep road for that
first mile, then becomes at the 4WD parking.
was in excellent shape, no downfall on its 1.5mi distance. It
climbs of the mountain, initially through forest
but with opening up as it reaches the edge of the West Face. The
old Royal Flush Mine can be seen below on the west side, old roads zigzagging up
its face. The trail passes by before climbing above
treeline. The last half mile climbs up with your pick of
various trail thread segments in places. I'd seen reports describing this as a
scramble, but it's not - the trail continues through all of it. There is almost
no vegetation about the rounded, open summit, leaving
(save for haze and smoke, some of which we had today), including a nice one of
Steamboat Lake to , Sand Mtn in the background.
at the summit is pretty cool, having been restored several
times. There is no caretaker on duty, but the sparse cabin is
. We took some time at the summit to take it all in
before heading back down. We spent about an hour and a half on the hike.
These next three summits are all minor, found off the south slopes of Hahns
Peak. We returned to FR490 and got on a series of rough 4WD roads that require
more serious driving. We parked off FR411 and took a few minutes to hike to the
top of Beryl Mtn on . Open views from the summit, Hahns Peak
to the and Anderson Mtn to the .
Less than half a mile south of Beryl, Anderson takes a bit more effort. The
forest roads around the peak shown on the topo map are no longer driveable with
massive downfall blocking them. We at the saddle with Beryl Mtn
and clambered over and up the north slopes to reach
in about 10min. With trees atop this one, only partial
views, including a good one of Steamboat Lake to .
This one takes a bit more effort still. The topo map shows a road going up the
North Ridge to the summit. This road still exists, though no longer driveable.
The map shows it can be reached from the north (we were unable to locate the
old junction for that one) or from the east. Coming from Anderson Mtn, we got
only as far as a creek crossing before finding the road
. It would take us about 35min to make our way up
the mountain on foot, going over downfall in various places along
. There is a clearing at with views
, but little else.
This summit is found on the west side of Hahns Peak, with more than 500ft of
prominence. It appears to be located on USFS lands, but one must drive
through a private rural community to reach it. Zsuzsiyama Ln is the dirt road
servicing the . We drove past the last driveway, finding
the road blocked by downfall. We parked here and the
remaining stretch of road to a saddle. We found that someone had built
from the saddle going the last 800ft to the summit. Oddly,
there was no view found at , no lawn chairs, no register, no
flag. Anyway, the trail saved us some minor bushwhacking. We spent about 25min
on the roundtrip effort.
Iron Mtn is about 4mi northwest of Hahns Peak. We drove back out to the
pavement, then northwest on FR488. We took this to a saddle northwest of Iron
Mtn where we found FR484-1B and no longer driveable. This would
leave us with about a mile each way to the summit, about half on
, half . Neither had any real
difficulties, taking us about half an hour to reach ,
mostly covered in . There is a nice view of
from the top. We found a register left by Mike Garratt , fairly
busy with entries. It was 1:15p by this time, with
overhead - it seemed like a good time to call it a day.
Only not quite. On our way back to Steamboat, Eric wanted to give Ingrid and
Christian a chance to claim Peak 7,825ft, a peak Eric and I had done a few
days earlier. It is found south of Steamboat, just off US40. We had the route
dialed on this one, so it was an easy drive to the summit where
stands, then a 1-minute hike to
and back. Really just a stat-padder.