OverviewBaldy Mountain is an obscure peak tucked in the very quiet northwestern corner of the Flat Tops in Northwest Colorado. The peak isn’t a high mountain by Colorado standards, but it makes a nice viewpoint.
Hunters and shepherds (this is a popular hunting and sheep grazing area) may be the mostly likely people to view the peak up close, though it doesn’t seem climbed by that many people. It is not visible from any populated area since it is surrounded by a sea of lower hills. If the weather is good, the peak will provide fantastic views.
Technically, Baldy Mountain isn’t a ranked summit, but it still makes the nicest viewpoint in the area. If you want a ranked summit you can do as we have done and also climb the nearby peaks in the area, but the views from those summits aren’t as good as they are from the open ridgeline of Baldy Mountain. Since this is the best viewpoint in the area, it is the recommended summit to climb.
The Flat Tops are made of volcanic rock from an ancient eruption several million years ago. The Flat Tops are more of a huge elevated plateau rather than a typical mountain range, but the plateau has been eroded into many individual peaks and summits, and most of them are flat-topped. Baldy Mountain isn’t flat as are most peaks in the Flat Tops, and instead has a different appearance and is a rounded ridgeline.
Getting ThereThe turnoff for the road to the trailhead for Baldy Mountain begins on Highway 13 not far south of the tiny hamlet of Hamilton, which is located between Craig and Meeker.
From Highway 13 between Mile Markers 73 and 74, turn south on County Road 41. The road is posted for Morapos Creek. The road is paved at first, but after only a few miles turns into a good gravel road. Stay on County Road 41 (ignoring all side tracks) and follow it to its end at what is known as the Morapos Campsite/Upper Loop. This is the trailhead.
Routes OverviewMorapos Creek probably makes the only practical route to the summit of Baldy Mountain. Perhaps the best route up the mountain is to follow Trail 1114 to just south of the eastern ridge of Baldy Mountain and then climb cross-country north to the Baldy Mountain ridge and then to the summit. The southwest, west and north slopes of the peak are very steep.
See the route page below:
Morapos Creek Route
From the same trailhead, Trail 1801 past Wymore Lake and the north slopes of Baldy Mountain would make a nice access route as well and could be used to make a loop with Trail 1114.
The Sleepy Cat Mountain area might be a possible access to Baldy Mountain, but this would be rough country to traverse in thick timber.
Red TapeThere is no red tape for climbing this peak. Please practice leave no trace principles.
CampingThe Morapos Creek Camping Area (at the trailhead) is an excellent place to camp. It’s free of charge too. There is an outhouse, but no other facilities.
There are many beautiful meadows and backcountry campsites around the peak as well.
When to ClimbBecause of its lower elevation, this peak is accessible without snow climbing equipment earlier than most other mountains in the Flat Tops. There usually shouldn’t be much snow between mid or late June through September. In mid or late June, this makes an excellent climb when the higher mountains in the Flat Tops are still buried in snow.
Fall is a colorful season, but this area is also popular for hunting. Use caution during hunting season and always wear blaze orange.
Winter climbs would be possible, but I don’t know how far the road is plowed in the winter.
Mountain ConditionsCLICK HERE FOR WEATHER FORECAST OF THE AREA
Weather and climate data for Marvine Ranch at 7800 feet elevation is below. *National Weather Service Data 1972-1998. Expect wetter conditions at higher elevations. The area around Baldy Mountain will be a bit colder in the daytime than Marvine Ranch; nighttime temperatures won't have as big of a difference.
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