Peak(s):  Chipeta Mtn  -  13,472 feet
Date Posted:  11/02/2017
Modified:  11/03/2017
Date Climbed:   10/28/2017
Author:  Jay521
 New Chipeta!   

Chief Ouray's Wife


Trailhead: CDT/CT trail at the top of Marshall Pass
Route: CDT/CT north to Cochetopa Creek trail then east to the saddle, then north to the summit
Length: About 9 1/2 miles
Vertical: 3000 feet
Partners: Mike N

After doing Mount Kiamia a couple weeks back (trip report here ), I wanted to catch the "new" Chipeta Peak from the pass. Much has been written about the renaming of 13472A to Chipeta and that can be read here. I had also read Tomcat32's TR here about how he went at it from Pass Creek, but it seemed like it could be done from Marshall Pass as well. I had been up near the "old" Chipeta previously so I thought that looked like a good route. My friend Mike was up for a little hike so I actually had some company on this one but that meant I had to try and keep up with someone who is less than half my age. Ugh!

The Marshall Pass Road is an old railroad grade so it is not steep nor does it have any sharp curves with the exception of a couple at the start of the pass where the road deviated from the old railroad route. Almost any passenger car can make it to the TH. (captions below pictures)

Mike and my FJ at the TH

There is a pit toilet at the TH

Walk across the road to the start of the trail

This appears to be a pretty popular trail. For the first mile or so, there are lots of ATV tracks and once the trail narrows, it appears a lot of mountain bikers use the trail.

It is a good trail
The trail is well marked



It eventually turns into a single track about a mile and a half in or so in - just past an old mine dig.
The start of the single track


The views west start getting pretty nice as you go along the trail.



You continue north on this trail for about another mile and then will encounter two intersections - one right after another.
First intersection - stay right

Closeup of the sign at the first intersection - stay right.

Second intersection - stay right here, too.

Heading east just after the second intersection. The trail gets much less use and is narrower here.

And a closeup of the sign

Now, you head up a broad valley to a saddle.
There is a trail all the way to the saddle

As you head up towards the saddle, be sure to look back at the views.
Vew west

The narrow trail continues to the saddle

Nearing the saddle

And when you get to the saddle, you get a great view of Mt. Ouray.

From here to the summit, there are various trail segments but all you really have to do is find the best path up. There is one false summit (Old Chipeta) but other than that, it is a very straight forward hike.
A bit of a climber's trail

And another nice view of Ouray

It was kinda fun coming across this cairn and sign...

Chaffee County has pride!

The rest of the route continued to be pretty mellow.
Summit is on the far right.

But there is a false summit along the route - it is "old" Chipeta.

Once on top of old Chipeta, you finally see the rest of the route.

So - it's time to go up!

The views from the summit are really stellar.
Looking south to Ouray.

Looking northeast

Looking northwest

Looking southwest back at the route

Ouray again - Antora in the background.

And a short 360 vid from the summit.

And, as I don't carry a GPS, this is an approximation of my route.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and as always, please be careful out there.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Comments or Questions

Nice Hike!
11/02/2017 21:37
Good job, and thanks for the beta. I might want to head up there this weekend, if the weather holds.


You're welcome.
11/03/2017 10:18
You won't have any trouble with this one at all. It is a nice pleasant hike with very nice views. And there was more white quartz on this hike from the saddle to the summit than I think I've seen on just about any walk.


Good Stuff, Jay
11/03/2017 10:38
Reading TRs like this reminds me of days gone by when telling a story and giving beta without pretense or showing off was the focus of most TRs.
As I scanned each picture, somehow, I could remember how I felt following the same route up this peak in 2012. Since we were hung over after too much fun at FIBARK, I am shocked I remember anything at all...
It always blows my mind that I can't remember what I had for breakfast, but a single pic in a TR can fill my mind with memories of my own time at that spot.
Since these are usually great memories, thank you!


11/03/2017 11:19
Thanks for the write up!!

The beetle kill in picture 11 is pretty nutty.


11/03/2017 11:24
Matt - I appreciate your kind comments. And - like you - it's crazy how one picture can bring back so many memories. But in the end, all we really have are memories...

John - Yeah - there were swaths of beetle kill and then there was almost a demarcation line between them and what appeared to be healthy forest.


Window into Fall
11/03/2017 12:52
Thank you for sharing, I really enjoyed this one. I've been to that pass for Ouray and now it looks like now I have to go back to meet his old lady! Isn't it interesting how the popularity of certain places rises and falls? I find that knowing a little history about an area (like Marshall Pass) can add a lot to one's adventure. Keep 'em coming!


Thanks, Rob!
11/03/2017 13:03
Thanks for your kind words. I have been trying to hike and do TR's on lesser known peaks. There are a zillion Bierstadt reports (and I am guilty of writing 2 of them ) so I thought peaks like this one deserved a little love.


11/03/2017 16:26
I have researched this one a bit and was wondering whether taking the CT or just gaining and following the ridge would be better. Your route looks like a good option and a nice day! So many peaks so little time....


Different routes
11/03/2017 20:21
Honestly, I think you could do it easily either way. The last time I was up that way (and didn't go all the way to old Chipeta), I took the ridge and it worked fine, too. Definitely a loop possibility.

Pass Creek
11/05/2017 23:57
I'm surprised at how little snow. Looked like a good outing. Via Marshall Pass seems to be the standard route and more straightforward. Before I climbed from Pass Creek, I couldn't find any info at all on approaching from that side. Definitely no signs of past usage above Pass Creek Lake. I have seen "Old Chipeta" referenced as "South Chipeta" once.


11/10/2017 09:59
Jay, you the man. Nice work out there. Too bad they stopped making those FJ's!

Lady McClimbsalot

11/10/2017 10:29
Jay! Long time, no talk! I have been off the radar for awhile, but just bought a new ski setup and looking to get out this winter! I'm down in Durango still so please let me know if you're in the area! Great trip report. It was so detailed I would use it as an aid when hiking this peak. Also, pics 22 and 23.... WOWOWOW!!!!! Awesome!!


More thanks!
11/30/2017 16:31
@Tomcat - I honestly think your route looks like a lotta fun. I think I need to follow in your footsteps one of these days. I am certainly not opposed to repeating a peak (understatement..)

@Dillon - Thanks, man. I only wish I could do half the stuff you do. And yeah, I am kinda bummed they don't make the FJ's anymore. Most reliable and maintenance free vehicle I've ever owned. 180K and I have only done 1 brake job and replaced the battery. Amazing....

@Danielle - Great to hear from you! Thanks for your nice words. I will definitely give you a yell if I am anywhere near you. And please do the same if you are in my neck of the woods. I would love to do a little hike with you one day.


11/13/2017 18:11
love that the markings from 1882 are still there


09/23/2018 11:37
Nice TR. I'm heading to Ouray tomorrow. I'll have to add this to my to do list.

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