From the Lawn Lake trailhead at around 8,600 feet in Rocky Mountain National Park, ascend 500 vertical feet on easy, well-maintained trail and follow the signs toward Lawn Lake ( 2
). The trail heads mostly west to go around Bighorn Mountain.
After about a mile, the trail turns north and begins to parallel the Roaring River, which really roared in 1982 when the Lawn Lake Dam failed. The valley bears impressive evidence of that catastrophic failure, and the banks are still unstable in places. The trail here is easy and well-defined, taking the next five miles to gain gradually 1700 feet of vertical.
At 1.45 miles, the trail splits with the option for Ypsilon Lake. Stay right to continue to Lawn Lake. ( 3
) At 2.5 miles, aspen groves give way to pine forest and the trail cuts east, a bit further from the river. Near 2.9 miles, pass the turnoff for the Cutbank and Golden Banner campsites ( 4
). Mummy Mountain comes into view around 3.2 miles from the trailhead ( 5
At 5.92 miles and 10,830 feet, just before Lawn Lake, find the Black Canyon Trail and turn sharply right ( 6
). Follow Black Canyon Trail a third of a mile or so, looking for a good place to turn left (north) off the trail to ascend the ridge of Mummy's southeast slopes. There are lots of Class 3 options. To keep it at Class 2 and relatively straightforward navigation, look for this break in the woods and rocks at 6.26 miles and 11,020 feet ( 7
), which will lead straight across a short, almost flat valley ( 8
). Then ascend the ridge via game trails with infrequent cairns ( 9
The unusually shaped large rock in the distance in the upper-right part of Image 8 ( 8
) is located at N40 27.591, W105 36.922. It sits at a good transition point onto the ridge and would be a good waypoint for crossing this off-trail wooded section, especially if you break from Black Canyon trail early to explore the Class 3 rock.
From this landmark rock on the ridge at 11,350 feet, the rest of the route is above treeline and more or less a straight shot up the southeast slopes. This is the big push, from 11,350 to 13,200 in just 1.4 miles. Enjoy a view of Potts Puddle ( 10
) and begin ascending steep tundra ( 11
). Follow the line of the cliffs of Mummy's south face, passing just inside of major rock features ( 12
At just over 7 miles from the trailhead, 11,900 feet, enjoy vast views of the RMNP ( 13
) and Mummy's true summit just left of a false summit ( 14
). The terrain gets a little rockier ( 15
). It can stay Class 2 with careful routefinding, but comfort with some unexposed Class 3 ( 17
) will save time.
The second false summit is visible around 8 miles and 13,000 feet ( 16
). From there, the true summit comes into view at last ( 18
), just a quarter mile and 150 vertical feet away. Enjoy dramatic cliffs ( 19
) as you walk over to outstanding summit views of Lawn Lake ( 20
) and Crystal Lake at the base of Fairchild ( 21
Descend the same way to minimize the already long mileage.
It is also possible to continue west, over Mummy's summit and down to the saddle with Hagues ( 22
), climbing Hagues or descending from the saddle to Lawn Lake and catching the Lawn Lake trail down from there. However, it's easy to get into trouble descending the saddle - to descend this way requires at least a mile hike toward Hagues before descending to avoid getting funneled into Class 4 and worse on Mummy's south face. Use caution.