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Hitting It Out Of The Park: A Park County Tour

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Hitting It Out Of The Park: A Park County Tour

Postby boudreaux » Tue May 21, 2013 7:11 am

Lions Head 9453
Mt Bailey 9085
Webster BM 10220

With the Grand Opening of Staunton State Park last Friday, a friend invited me to climb a newly accessable peak named Lions Head. To be honest, it looks like a miniature version of El Capitan as you make the 5 mile approach. Good wide trails (former logging roads) make it very easy to get to this peak, which is just beyond the Elk Falls Overlook. Frozen over streams in the Elk Creek drainage were beautiful, the creek flowed out of dark tunnels in a lot of places. This park should become a rock climber's dream soon with so many faces to play on. It was about 5.4 miles to the overlook and maybe another .2 mile off trail to Lions Head. Just follow the edge of the ridge to the top, an old faint trail is to the right of this that we discovered serendipitously. A very nice view of the world to the South, the LCW. Just breathtaking. The Falls way down below are awesome, but at the moment, no trail is put in to go get that intimate look see. Most of the trails are bikeable too, while not technical in the least bit.

Mt Bailey is the peak overlooking the town from the east. Turn off 285 at Burland Dr and stay right on Burland til you get to a playground. It's a really short hike to the summit, maybe 12 min to the top that you share with an antenna complex, a very worn BM is on the north side of the complex. Great views of the LCW here too. It's a typical LCW type rocky summit. I know it's a gimme, but it's worth the view! Great way to work off that bar-b-que over in Deer Creek!

Now for the hardcore part. Webster is a little known summit that only the Dumpster Divers would care about and sits right above Grant, CO. I suppose you could do it from 285, but I went up Guanella Pass Rd to Whiteside PA for this one. A stupid $6 fee had me scrambling to empty my coin holder on the console. I had just enough for the fee and 15 cents left to spare. Walked over to the fee station, but the fee box was empty. Yeah Baby! I guess it's not fee season yet, so now off the hook for that, let's get my mountain on Baby!

Read the warning for Lion activity in the area and headed south along Geneva Creek for a few minutes looking for a trail heading right up into a gulch. As soon as I found this trail, a deer leg was smack dab in the middle of the trail. Lion or Hunter? Hmmm? No worries huh, I keep going, now only this time I am making noise as I plod along. After a switchback, I see a lane through the forest and break trail straight up the slope to the NE ridge. Once on this ridge, I hit a false summit at 10,000' on the way to the summit. All the time making noise, breaking sticks and generally have a rousing conversation with my other personalities crowding my head. After the falsie, a flat part comes up and the summit is at the far end of a maybe 200' slope. A deer stand adorns the summit area, giving the place some character, but no lonely register. After a short stay at the top, I simply went down the north slopes to rejoin that trail, maybe 600' down and 14 min later, I was strolling happily back down a good trail back to Geneva Creek. Picked up a little trash at the TH and was merrily on my way home. A 2 hour tour was good, 1:18 up, 42 min down!

Be careful going down Crow Hill, the Park Co sheriffs are licking their chops waiting for you. When I drove by, there were 3 of them lying in wait for some poor sap speeding down the hill. Hey, you've been warned, these guys bite worse than the lions!
Last edited by boudreaux on Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Ragin Cajun

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Re: Hitting It Out Of The Park: A Park County Tour

Postby Derek » Tue May 21, 2013 7:43 am

Webster BM: We were just up there weekend before last! And you can blame my dog for the deer leg.....he was carrying it down and dropped it about .5 miles from the TH. I wonder what happened to the register?! It was there for us. Quite an active one too. The summit "cairn" was about 30 yards west from the actual benchmark, the register was under the rocks...see it hiding?:
Image

Thanks for the Lions Head info...I've been waiting for that park to open up so I could check that summit out.

--D
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Re: Hitting It Out Of The Park: A Park County Tour

Postby boudreaux » Tue May 21, 2013 9:43 am

I looked around a bit for it, and never saw the BM either. I guess I didn't look hard enough, the top wasn't that big! and no snow to deal with. I was looking forward to seeing who was in that register. Did you take a similar path as I did on Webster?
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Re: Hitting It Out Of The Park: A Park County Tour

Postby boudreaux » Wed May 22, 2013 8:08 am

I wouldn't be surprised if there were more than one bump inside that last contour line. I do remember curving a bit to the left on the flat shoulder and probably hitting the east end of the summit. Looking through the trees, I could see a higher point. When no more higher places revealed itself, I figured I was on top. Still recovering from last weeks torture, I was tired as I crested that summit. Derek, your picture does look familiar to me, so I couldn't have been too far off the mark. I looked at a small cairn and even moved some of the rocks to find the register, guess I'll have to go do it again soon, what a bummer. Those treed summits can be hard to see, especially if you don't use GPS.
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Re: Hitting It Out Of The Park: A Park County Tour

Postby Brian Thomas » Wed May 22, 2013 9:07 am

Thank you for sharing all of this information.

I am very much looking forward to checking these boxes on my Lists of John checklist.
"I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them" - Bob Dylan

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Re: Hitting It Out Of The Park: A Park County Tour

Postby Greenhouseguy » Wed May 22, 2013 4:37 pm

Sen did a write-up on Webster Benchmark on Summit Post:

http://www.summitpost.org/webster-benchmark/849731
"May your boulder be your blessing." - Aron Ralston

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Re: Hitting It Out Of The Park: A Park County Tour

Postby boudreaux » Thu May 23, 2013 8:06 am

Brian, your welcome

Greenhouseguy, I was standing on the summit when I look at Senad's pic, different side, but those trees like about right to me. Just wasn't looking in the right place for the register. I might have to be the 1st repeater. might have to do a different route too, go a little higher up that trail and come from the west side.
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