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Acclimation Hike near Idaho Springs

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Acclimation Hike near Idaho Springs

Postby PeteMakousky » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:39 pm

Hello -
Considering an acclimation hike near Idaho Springs and have found that Chief Mountain may be a good starter. However the directions that I have seem sketchy at best. Can anyone tell me if this would be a good acclimation hike for the area and if not, what might be better (afterwards we are heading toward Leadville area but would like something light to start with). If this is an option, can anyone give detailed directions to Chief Mountain trailhead from Idaho Springs.

Thanks.

Pete

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Re: Acclimation Hike near Idaho Springs

Postby awake » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:19 pm

I'm not familiar with Chief Mountain, but a great acclimation hike near Idaho Springs is Colorado Mines Peak. It's easy to get to, well marked trail, and gets up to 12k feet pretty quickly. And if you feel good when you get to the top, you can continue on the trail and you'll hit several 13ers.

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Re: Acclimation Hike near Idaho Springs

Postby zoomie83 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:47 pm

can anyone give detailed directions to Chief Mountain trailhead from Idaho Springs


I've always driven there from Evergreen but if you take Hwy 103 from Idaho Springs toward Mt Evans I think its about 20 miles to the Chief Mountain TH(s). See this thread: viewtopic.php?t=35663&p=425379#p425379

I think it woud be a great acclimation hike. From Squaw Pass Road (Hwy 103) above Echo Mountain Ski Area the hike is about 4 miles RT and a little over 1,000 feet. If you take this route, don't pay attention to the sign just north of Old Squaw Pass road that says Chief Mtn is 2 miles away. From the sign it about 1.5 miles.

You can also add nearby Sqauw and Papoose Mountains if you desire a longer, but still close, acclimation hike.
Let me know if you need any more details.

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Re: Acclimation Hike near Idaho Springs

Postby LupinMorningwake » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:18 pm

I always liked Mt. Sniktau as a good acclimation hike... and it off loveland pass... so kind of on the way.

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Re: Acclimation Hike near Idaho Springs

Postby RoanMtnMan » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:26 am

If I was looking for a quick and dirty hike for altitude training I would drive up to Loveland Pass and just start walking ridges. It's busy, but one of the highest paved roads in the state. Take a walk, eat some lunch, tell some stories. If you are looking for an objective then go take a shot at James Peak or Bancroft. Acclimatization is more about spending time up high than doing a ton of work.
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Re: Acclimation Hike near Idaho Springs

Postby peter303 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:27 am

Echo Lake (10K), Summit Lake (12K) and Mt Evans itself (14K).
Just do short hikes instead of a full 3000 foot 14er climb.
$10 entrance fee for Summit and Evans.

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Re: Acclimation Hike near Idaho Springs

Postby edhaman » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:29 am

According to the National Forest Service, Chief Mountain is about 2 miles round-trip. I think you can get info and a trail map at www.oriconline.org

If you have an America the Beautiful inter-agency pass, it will get you onto the Mt. Evans Road without paying the $10 fee.

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