Fairview Peak by Boulder

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Fairview Peak by Boulder

Postby jsdratm » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:22 pm

I tried to access Fairview Peak (just north of Boulder) by going up the OHV trails to its southeast, but ran into some private property and no trespassing signs blocking me from going up to the ridge when I got to around 8000'. It looks like you might be able to access it from the west side by walking up county road 87J by Jamestown, but I haven't tried that side yet. It doesn't seem like many people go up there, but it is one of the taller peaks in the foothills and it looks like all the trees were burned up so it would have a clear view in all directions. Has anyone here done this peak?


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Re: Fairview Peak by Boulder

Postby Brian Kalet » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:40 pm

I've done Fairview Peak, Golden Age Hill, Porphyry Mountain, 8588 and 8315 all from CR 87J...

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Re: Fairview Peak by Boulder

Postby Tempelton » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:07 pm

I did it from the OHV roads from Lefthand Canyon. It was about 2 years ago, but I don't remember any private property signage. Once I topped out on the 4wd roads, I went over the ridge, dropped down into a valley of torched trees, and climbed the final slope to the summit. Maybe they have signs up now, though.

I think I hiked it for the same reason as you. I work in west Longmont and looked up at it everyday thinking, "What is that peak?" and "How do I climb it?" It looks prominent from the plains. Thanks to Lists of John, I was able to figure out what it was and how to hike it. In the summit register on top, I was surprised to see the signatures of tons of kids who apparently went up there on a field trip of some sort. Does anyone know about this?

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Re: Fairview Peak by Boulder

Postby Steve Knapp » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:23 am

I drove up 87J as well, parked up there somewhere and did all the peaks Brian mentioned. If I recall there were a few houses around but widely scattered. I remember all the kids in the register, I think there is an outdoors camp nearby and they get the kids to climb the peak once in awhile. It is a nice area and can be easily climbed in winter most years.

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Re: Fairview Peak by Boulder

Postby jsdratm » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:17 am

Cool, I think I will try hiking up 87 then, especially if I can hit the other peaks as well. What gave me pause was this article I found while searching for info on 87J, since it made me think the landowners up there are a little crazy. Still, looking at my map it looks like there is a clear path to the summit of Fairview Peak that is on public land by sticking to the county road until the ridge. I guess I'll give it a shot and see what happens.

In case of downed trees, investigator has suspect in mind

Destruction occurred near Jamestown around Labor Day

By Chris Barge, Camera Staff Writer
October 22, 2003

JAMESTOWN — A U.S. Forest Service investigator says she knows who knocked over more than 100 ponderosa and lodgepole pines around Labor Day and dug trenches into a dirt road popular among off-road vehicle enthusiasts. Kim Jones, special agent for the Forest Service, said a landowner in the area brought heavy equipment into the forest to cause the damage. The felled trees and trenches continue to block three roads as they cross onto a cluster of private properties leading up to Fairview Peak.

Jones, who helped determine the cause of the 2002 Hayman fire, was assigned to investigate the destruction after off-roaders reported that one of the roads they have used for years looked like it had been hit by a hurricane. Jones said the damage resulted from long-standing conflicts between private property owners in the area and off-roaders who use roads that cut across those private properties. "I have gotten some cooperation, and it's not necessarily a mystery," Jones said. "I have identified who is responsible." She declined to name the suspect.

Officials have said that while they suspect the damage occurred on Forest Service property rather than private land, they are still investigating. "There may or may not be a crime," Jones said. The forest vandalism comes just as the Forest Service ramps up an involved public process that will determine a first-ever travel management plan for the area. "It's nice — you've got your own little piece of heaven up there," Jones said. "But there are many uses for a national forest, so conflicts take place."

The area is about three miles uphill from Boulder County's most popular off-road trailhead on Lefthand Canyon Road. On busy summer weekends, officials estimate that as many as 150 people drive the web of rocky trails at once in four-wheel drives, all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles. Up at Forest Road 288, near the intersection with Forest Road 286 and County Road 87J, the road turns into a football field's worth of destruction. The trees, some of which were more than 100 years old, lie across the road, uprooted or snapped at their trunks by heavy equipment. Every 10 yards, the road lies trenched by gaping holes the size of a cabin's basement.

Longtime Jamestown resident Leon Hill said that while he has not personally seen the blockage and had nothing to do with it, he supports the destruction. "It's my understanding that (the road) crosses private property, and it's illegal," he said. "My hat's off to whoever did that." Hill said he has spent too much time running off-road vehicles off his property in the 22 years he has owned land up there. "As far as I'm concerned, I don't want them up there because there's too many bad apples in the barrel," he said.

Hill and other landowners in the area said they have grown frustrated by the Forest Service's unwillingness to reclaim roads originally built as fire breaks during a 1988 fire of nearly 3,000 acres that threatened to swallow Jamestown. Boulder Ranger District senior ranger Christine Walsh said she is researching whether the roads cut off by the blockages were created originally as fire breaks. She added that while the Forest Service plans to stabilize the soils around the blockages to prevent erosion this winter, clearing the trees and filling in the trenches would take far more work and heavy equipment. She called that task "much more optional."

Whether the roads blocked by the trees are official public roads, even though they have been used as a connection to higher off-road trails, remains in question, according to Forest Service officials. Many off-roaders are adamant that the roads are public and must remain open. "By Colorado state law, that's a public road that crosses private property," said Adam Mehlberg, secretary of the Trail Ridge Runners, a 47-member four-wheel-drive club based in Longmont. "I know the private property owners have an issue, but that's not the way to take care of it."

For now, the area beyond the felled trees, which tops out with a view at Fairview Peak, is off the table for off-road vehicles because of the extensive destruction. Jones said she still needs to establish a value for the damage and collect information from witnesses before turning the case over to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Most important, she said, she must determine whether the vandalism occurred on national forest property.

Last week, Boulder Ranger District officials met to set the course for developing a travel management plan for the area, which could take years. Walsh estimates that extensive off-roading in the area, combined with target shooting at the trailhead, has resulted in $5 million to $10 million worth of damage. However, the Forest Service has turned an almost blind eye to the problem for the past 20 years due to a lack of resources, she said.

Meanwhile, off-highway vehicle registrations have spiked 800 percent in Colorado since 1990. "This is among the most intensely used OHV areas in the country, especially by motorized users," Walsh said. "I've never seen anything like this."

Contact Chris Barge at (303) 473-1389 or bargec@dailycamera.com.

Re: Fairview Peak by Boulder

Postby Furthermore » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:20 pm

Although I wasn't directly involved, I have heard of a land owner threatening a hiker with trespassing charges off of 87J. From my understanding, the encounter was rather "exciting." I haven't done Fairview yet but was considering climbing it from Heil Valley Ranch which looks like a good option. From Heil Valley Ranch, I will have to deal with the "closed" public land. Whatever, Boulder.

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Re: Fairview Peak by Boulder

Postby Derek » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:19 pm

Furthermore wrote:I haven't done Fairview yet but was considering climbing it from Heil Valley Ranch which looks like a good option. From Heil Valley Ranch, I will have to deal with the "closed" public land. Whatever, Boulder.

I always thought it was too bad the peaks in Heil Ranch were "closed" public land. Some really nice peaks there with great views. UN6954 specifically.

Just curious, but what exactly makes the land "closed"? I had always assumed it was to keep an area protected, but there is some heavy equipment/tear up in the closed area of Heil....so that can't be it. Just curious.
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