Peak(s):  Eva, Mt  -  13,130 feet
Parry Pk A  -  13,391 feet
Date Posted:  01/03/2021
Date Climbed:   07/22/2020
Author:  colin j
 Eva East Ridge- A Short Class 3   


I had read about this route and it is great for those looking for a short, half-day scramble that isn't far from the Front Range. There were only a couple of trip reports that I found online with route info so hopefully this report will provide useful beta for a climb with a few route-finding challenges and relatively low commitment. The route can be done in a few hours, features some class 3 and is not far from Denver. I would say the main drawback of this route is that the road to the upper trailhead is quite terrible; Jeeps, 4runners, and 4WD trucks only and it doesn't look like a fun road to walk up. I hope that those who are interested in a quick class 3 summit, both in the length of the route and the distance from the Front Range will find this report useful.

Getting There:

The route departs from Chinns Reservoir which has an abundance of campsites and areas to park. To reach Chinns Reservoir a high-clearance 4WD is required; anything less than a Jeep/4WD truck would probably struggle to reach the reservoir.

To get there from I-70, exit the highway at Fall River Rd (exit 238) and drive 6.6 miles to a hairpin turn. Leave Fall River Rd by turning onto Rainbow Road (FS 174). From this turn, drive 2.3 miles to a Y junction; the road begins to get rough after about 1 mile. With a high clearance 4WD you can make a left at the Y junction and proceed 0.9 miles to Chinns Reservoir. The road continues for 0.3 miles around the south side of the lower reservoir then on the dam between the lower and upper reservoir; there are plenty of pullouts and campsites around the reservoir so park wherever it's convenient.


From your parking spot hike to the end of the Jeep road in between upper and lower Chinns Lake. Locate a trail heading uphill to the right (East) and follow this trail for about 2/3 of a mile to Slater Lake.

Chinns Lake; Mt. Eva (right) and Witter Peak (left)
Beginning of trail looking down on end of road.

From the south side of Slater Lake you can view two gullies that provide access to the East Ridge. Hike along the west side of Slater Lake and hike across a boulderfield to the base of the gully. The approach is quite short, I left my parking spot at 6:45 am and reached the base of the gully at 7:20.

View of Slater Lake from boulderfield.


For my climb, I ascended the western gully (labeled gully 1 in the picture). From what I could tell, either gully goes; though I haven't done gully 2, gully 1 goes with a few class 3 moves and it appeared that gully 2 is of similar difficulty.

Approaching the climb to the East Ridge
Closer look at the climb.
Options for gaining the ridge.

Whichever gully you chose, ascend approximately 400 ft of class 3 terrain. Once you reach the top of this section, if you plan to reverse this route on descent make a note of where you came from, as it is not obvious how to descend and there are more difficult/dangerous routes to the west.

Looking up gully 1.
Slater Lake from same spot as the picture to the left.
View after exiting the gully.

The ascent to the East Ridge is the crux of the route, the rest of the route can be done while keeping the difficulty to at most difficult class 2. After taking a break at the exit of the gully I proceeded along the ridge around 8 am. The next obstacle is a set of short cliffs and rocks that can be bypassed to the South; in fact any difficulty encountered from here is bypassed with some sidehilling on the South side of the ridge. I bypassed this difficulty by contouring beneath a small snowfield (if done in the spring snow in this section may increase the difficulty).

A look a some cliffs bypassed to the South (left)
Some sidehilling before regaining the ridge.

After bypassing the first difficulty and some sidehilling, I regained the ridge and proceeded to the first of two false summits. I reached this false summit around 8:45 and previewed the remaining route.

Looking down the east ridge near first false summit.
View of actual summit from false summit.

Continue along the ridge and pass the second bump on the ridge and descend to the saddle between this bump and the summit of Eva. The final pitch looks harder than it is, especially on worn out legs. Regardless, this pitch is class 2 and goes much faster than you think. After ascending this last stretch, I summited around 9:20.

Litter and trash left on the summit.
Looking back at the east ridge from the summit.

After a break on the summit, I walked along the ridge over to Parry Peak. This is a trivial walk along tundra and there is a bit of a climber's trail on the ascent of Parry; I reached the summit at 10:30 (about 45 mins after departing Eva).

Parry from the descent to Parry-Eva saddle.
James Peak seen from Parry summit.
Loking back at Eva from Parry summit.

After leaving Parry I bypassed Eva by sidehilling along the West slopes and reached the saddle between Eva and Witter Peak. From here I descended into the basin containing Slater Lake and Chinns Lake. For this descent, regardless of your route you will have to bushwhack through some willows. Eventually, you will pick up the approach trail to the west of Slater Lake and you can follow it back to the Jeep road and your parking spot. In total; I spent about an hour and a half descending from Parry to Slater Lake where I stopped for some lunch. After this break I returned to my parking spot at about 12:45.

East Ridge from drainage into Slater Lake.
Another summit shot from Parry.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions

Very Nice
01/03/2021 20:26
I was just looking for a route like this from Chinns lake yesterday. May have to give it a shot in summer!

great memories
01/25/2021 22:02
This is a cool report and some wonderful memories.
The 2nd hike I ever went on with the CMC was a hike of Witter and eva almost 34 years ago.
Thank you for posting this.

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