Lone Spring Butte P300
Green Ridge P1K
Peak 10,020ft
Peak 9,810ft P300

Sat, Aug 20, 2022

With: Eric Smith
Ingrid Dockersmith
Christian Giardina

Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profile

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Today we headed south about an hour's drive on SR131 and up into the Routt National Forest east of Yampa. Our goal was a P1K, Green Ridge, the highpoint and major feature of this part of the forest. Google Maps will get you to try and access it from the west near Yampa, but this is gated for private property, blocking Forest access. The only route we could find is from the south at Toponas. A well-graded dirt/gravel road climbs north into the hills. There is a feature called The Slide on the east side of Green Ridge that has attracted sight-seers for almost a century and the primary reason the original roads were built reaching this high. The Slide is a steep-walled canyon of loose sand, rock and earth that drops impressively from Green Ridge. There are three other summits around Green Ridge that we would pick up as well, covering about 10mi over six hours' time.

Lone Spring Butte

Our warm-up was a visit to Lone Spring Butte, about 1.3mi west of Green Ridge. We parked at the base of the NE Ridge and followed a use trail along a barbed-wire fence 1/3mi to the summit. There is some downfall to wade through, but the trail does a good job of making short work of this. Lots of forest cover at the summit for little in the way of views, but there are some to be had on the hike up and back down the ridge.

Green Ridge - Peak 10,020ft

This was the main effort of the day, starting from the parking area at the top of The Slide. There are roads going north and south from here, gated and closed to larger vehicles, but open to ATVs and foot traffic. We followed the road heading south for Green Ridge and our bonus peak to the east. We hiked about 2/3mi to the southeast on the roads before leaving them to head southwest towards the summit. We crossed a wide path cleared of trees under a tranmission line, then up through forest, first to the north summit (where there is a small instrument installation) and further to the higher south summit, marking the highpoint of Green Ridge. It took us less than 30min to reach the highpoint where we found partial views and a register left in 2020 with a few entries. Only partial views from the summit through the trees.

After a very brief stay at the Green Ridge summit, we returned to the transmission line clearing and turned right, following it and a forest road to the east towards Peak 10,020ft, dropping about 500ft to a saddle west of Peak 10,020ft. Shortly before this saddle, we entered the burn zone from the 2021 Muddy Slide Fire. The road we had just hiked had been improved some to provide a firebreak on the southwest perimeter as well as to provide access for fire-fighting vehicles. We left the road at the saddle and took about 12min to reach the easy summit, made easier by almost no understory remaining - the fire appears to have burned very hot and thoroughly over the summit. We found a rusty and fire-scarred tin at the top, but no evidence that it was used as a r egister. There were views to the surrounding forest areas through the many snags left standing after the fire swept through. A year ago the views would have been totally blocked by the trees. Our route back to the Jeep followed the road which worked better than the transmission line path. In all, we spent about 2.5hrs on the effort for these two summits.

Peak 9,810ft

Peak 9,810ft can be seen to the northeast from the top of The Slide. It's a little discouraging that its summit is more than 300ft below the top of The Slide - more work on the return for this one. We left the Jeep where it was and followed the other gated road to the north, soon branching right onto Trail 1174. The rough trail is open to ATVs and motorcycles, neither of which we possessed, so on foot we descended for almost half an hour. Once at the saddle, we left the road to continue east to the summit. The 2021 fire had not burned over this summit, making for much more work than the previous peak. The downfall started about halfway up, getting heavier towards the summit. The other three took a better line for the steep final bit, relegating me as the last to reach the highpoint. The Slide could be seen to the west through the trees, but for the most part, the views were very limited. A register at the summit had been left by Bob Martin in 1998. This was the first of many such we would find over the next couple of weeks. The pages are from a corporate computer printout back in the days of IBM, big iron, and large, air-conditioned computer rooms. The printouts were invariably lists of peaks, something I suspect Bob updated regularly and printed out, using the older version for register pages. Way to make use of company resources, Bob. There were only a few other entries since 1998, but oddly a party had been here only two weeks earler. I tried a more direct descent off the summit on the way back, but it proved no better. Once back to the saddle, we picked up the road/trail and followed it back to the top of The Slide. It was only noon, but the temperatures were getting too warm to enjoy more peakbagging, so we called it a day. We spent half an hour at The Slide overlook enjoying beers and snacks while cooling off in the shade before driving back to Steamboat.

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