Page Type: Route
Colorado, United States, North America
39.37610°N / 106.1211°W
Spring, Summer, Fall
Half a day
Mostly Class 2, some Class 3 possible
Created/Edited: Jun 25, 2005 / Feb 20, 2006
Object ID: 165608
Page Score: 73.06%
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East Ridge Overview The East Ridge of North Star Mountain offers an excellent hike along the Continental Divide at over 13,000 ft. The route is mostly class 2 with an occasional class 3 section. With its many ups and downs, it is sure to provide a nice workout. It offers unparalled views of the areas 14'ers, as well as some less visited peaks such as Wheeler and Drift.
RT Mileage and Vertical Gain
Approach The start to the East Ridge is very easy to find. It starts on the summit of Hoosier Pass on CO 9 between Summit and Park counties. Park in the large area to the west of the Hwy. There is an an old road leaving the parking area heading west. This road is the first part of the route.
Route Description The route follows the main road in a Nwesterly direction for the first 1.5 miles. At this point you come to a shallow saddle at about 12,160 ft. The road then turns SW towards the locked and posted gate leading to the old Magnolia Mine. Do not go this way, but instead continue W and then NW up the gentle slope until you reach the shoulder at 12,570. From here you can continue NW as the first false summit comes into view.
The ridge along this section is wide and gentle. The best option, depending on conditions is to skirt the first false summit and aim for the saddle between it and the second false summit. At this point near 13,300 ft the ridge narrows considerably. The best and easiest passage from here to the summit is directly on the ridge crest.
From this point, the 13,614 ft true summit is one mile due West. There are many ups and downs along the ridge which must be done a second time on return.
The hike is along a relatively solid rock ridge and offers seldom seen views of Fletcher and Quandary to the north and to the south, Lincoln and Democrat. Take some time to enjoy the views, but pay attention to the weather as there are few bail-out options while on the ridge proper.
Essential GearSturdy hiking shoes or boots for summer and other dry seasons. During winter, this is a popular backcountry ski area and skis would be both useful and fun until the first false summit. Otherwise, snowshoes will work just fine.