|2016-12-31||Route: NW ridge standard route
Posted On: 2017-01-01, By: rijaca
Info: Trail into Watrous Gulch is hard packed. Once into Watrous Gulch the track/trail becomes braided and snowshoes were helpful until timberline. Grassy tundra with minor amounts of snow above that (no snowshoes needed). A Richard Derkase sighting also.
|2016-11-06||Route: NW ridge standard route
Posted On: 2016-11-06, By: lkk8815
Info: Continuous snow above ~12,500', only a few inches deep. Spikes were nice to have but not necessary.
|2016-10-30||Route: NW ridge standard route
Posted On: 2016-10-31, By: highcountryhiker
Info: Ascended via Watrous Gulch and Bard Creek Trail to SE ridge. Descended via standard NW ridge route back to Watrous Gulch. Nice loop. Minor snow on leeward faces of ridges, otherwise ridges dry with no snow on the routes. Essentially summer conditions, except for a constant chilly wind.
|2016-06-11||Route: NW ridge standard route
Posted On: 2016-06-11, By: Ericds84
Info: Climbed Parnassus from Watrous Gulch. The trail had some pretty serious drifts over it just before tree line. Postholed quite a bit, but the snow was too intermittent to bother with snow shoes. Muddy and wet--gaiters are a big help. Above tree line, the snow can be avoided almost entirely. NW Ridge is practically bare.
|2016-05-30||Route: NW Ridge Standard Route + Traverse to Bard Peak
Posted On: 2016-05-30, By: jasayrevt
Info: Good, prime conditions for this route and reaching the top of the peak. Variable, definitely still a lot of snow around. There are many high-quality mountaineering lines that are in. Watrous Gulch was fine way to go. Make a trip up and enjoy the great outdoors / summits. We saw a wolverine on the slopes ascending Mt. Parnassus, which was pretty surreal. Such a rarity. Ridge over to Bard is absolutely excellent. Dropping down at saddle is viable. Pictures included for beta
|2016-05-22||Route: NW ridge standard route
Posted On: 2016-05-23, By: emgordon
Info: Hiked then skinned into Watrous Gulch under the full moon. Snow well frozen all the way from trailhead. Continuous snow encountered within half a mile of summer Bard-Watrous trail intersection. Watrous Bowl looks good to ski for now.
|2016-05-20||Route: NW ridge standard route
Posted On: 2016-05-20, By: JeffR
Info: Continuous snow starts at ~1 mile. I got on 'er early so was able to boot it all the way to the summit with only random postholing. Spikes would've been nice on the ridge (had to kick-step a lot). Snowshoes on the descent made it a breeze, otherwise it would've blown donkey.
|2016-04-26||Route: Northwest Face
Posted On: 2016-04-26, By: AndyJB444
Info: Climb and ski of Parnassus via the NW face and couloir this morning. Lots of snowshoe tracks through the first bit starting at the road, but those end at treeline. Mostly found nice, soft, boot-top powder starting on the apron, up through the couloir, and then most of the way up to the summit ridge. Only a few wind scoured sections, and plenty of coverage. There is a cornice along the NW ridge to keep an eye on. We stayed climbers left on the face, and felt safe. Unable to ski straight from the summit with the amount of rocks poking through along the ridge, but once we dropped into the face it was all good. Enjoy!
|2016-03-05||Route: NW ridge standard route
Posted On: 2016-03-07, By: ajlavigne
Info: Winter conditions from Herman Gulch TH, up Watrous Gulch, to just below the saddle with Woods (other than a few dry patches at lower elevations near TH). Used microspikes on the frozen snow early from the TH, switched to snowshoes in Watrous Gulch once the sun came out; used snowshoes from just below the saddle on the descent. NW Ridge from the saddle and summit were dry.
|2016-02-27||Route: NW ridge standard route
Posted On: 2016-03-01, By: jasayrevt
Info: The Standard Route from Herman Gulch TH is in great condition, good to go! There is a very nice, distinct trail. Some flotation is helpful until about 12,000', and then it's wind-swept slopes all the way to the top. Enjoy those summits Happy Mountaineers! Rock and roll!
|2015-12-06||Route: NW ridge standard route
Posted On: 2015-12-06, By: Unknown
Info: First couple miles is packed snow where snowshoes were not needed. From the trail junction to the saddle between Woods Mountain, snowshoes will be helpful in spots, particularly in the soft afternoon snow. From the saddle to the summit, it‘s completely wind blown.
|2015-07-04||Route: NW ridge standard route
Posted On: 2015-07-05, By: Trotter
Info: The sign for the trail turnoff from Herman Gulch is no longer there. Beautiful wildflowers all along route. Creek is high but still very easy to cross with help of a log. There is still some snow hiding in spots, but entire route can be walked snow free.
|2015-02-15||Route: NW ridge standard route
Posted On: 2015-02-15, By: Jay521
Info: Nice boot pack until time to head northwest to the saddle between Woods and Parn. I left a pretty good trench up to the saddle but it was snowing pretty hard when I came down so it might not be there very long. From the saddle up, patchy snow - Micro-spikes were a godsend - especially coming back down. Snow was solid and no recent avalanche signs. You will definitely need snow shoes to make the NW ridge route and spikes were a big help.
|2014-05-18||Route: Watrous Gulch approach
Posted On: 2014-05-18, By: d_baker
Info: From Hermans Gulch TH off of I-70, starting roughly at 6:15am -- snow on trail was sparse for first ~1/4mi then continuous and mostly firm for the remainder. A little punchy farther up in Watrous Gulch but nothing too unreasonable while wearing snowshoes. Stashed shoes on NW ridge of Parnassus a little above the connecting saddle with Woods. Impressive wet slab trough runout at base of SW side of Parnassus, start zone somewhere in the neighborhood of 13,000‘ contour from a windloaded area (cross and top loaded). Pic 1: l. to r., Hagar, Citadel, & Pettingell Pic 2: l. to r., Evans, Sawtooth, & Bierstadt Pic 3: l. to r., Edwards, Grays, Torreys w/Kelso in foreground on l. Pic 4: Red Mtn, Silverthorne & Valhalla looking fat in the distance
|2013-07-04||Route: Herman Gulch
Posted On: 2013-07-05, By: awake
Info: Clear all the way up. No snow at all. Wildflowers are out. It‘s a perfect time to climb Parnassus.
|2013-05-11||Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2013-05-11, By: Jay521
Info: Good trench all the way to the top. Although I‘m not a skier, the bowl at the end of Watrous Gulch looks pretty good. PM me if you want pics of the bowl. First pic shows the trench. Second pic shows the west face.
|2012-12-10||Route: Via Herman Gulch
Posted On: 2012-12-10, By: jmc5040
Info: Snow of varying depths is encountered from Herman Gulch to the summit. The deepest pockets were approximately knee deep near treeline on the ridge. Wind was loading SE aspects all day. Due to the high winds the snow is thin once you get up on the ridge and continues that way until the summit. Careful route finding was needed on the ridge just above treeline as I got some very small slabs of snow to slid primarily on smooth rock/ice surfaces. Falling on these rocks was not preferred so I back tracked and choose another route through the rocky ridge. I choose not to put on spikes and did not wear snowshoes even though I had both with. The spikes would have been helpful in numerous spots.
|2012-03-24||Route: From Urad Mine/Woods TH
Posted On: 2012-03-25, By: IHikeLikeAGirl
Info: Most of the ridge for Englemann-Robeson-Bard-Parnassus-Woods, is dry. Ridge from Bard to Parnassus has a couple of snow fields, but an ice ax was not necessary, if you stick to the ridge proper. Very little snow in the area, above treeline. Below treeline, we encountered thigh deep snow to bare dirt. The east, NE, north, and NW faces had quite a bit of snow, especially on Woods Mtn. Used snowshoes down in the trees, micro spikes were nice at times, but you could get away without them. Ice axe needed, depending on route choices. Careful of route choice, especially descending Woods Mtn. Impromptu shear tests on north/NW faces proved that there were weak layers.
|2011-11-26||Route: I70 (Herman Gulch)
Posted On: 2011-11-26, By: Monster5
Info: Packed, easy to follow trail (
|2011-04-17||Route: via Watrous Creek Tr.
Posted On: 2011-04-18, By: Wyoming Bob
Info: Climbed Parnassas from Herman Gulch TH. Solid trench from TH to beyond Watrous/Bard trail junction. No pack or even so much of a ski track on Bard Creek trail, no sign of junction (deep snow). Trail was all snow on Sunday, then rolling snow with supportive layer 6 inches down, lots of bar upper slopes. No avi sign encountered. Took ice axes, crampons and snow shoes - served no purpose but to increase PT aspect of climb. link Trip Report if interested