Echo Canyon offers a scenic route up Bull Hill, passing through stands of aspen, next to a churning, bubbling creek, and past two historic mining sites. There is a lower start for 2-wheel drive vehicles at 10,000 feet, and an upper start for high clearance/4WD vehicles at 10,200 feet. Starting from the lower trailhead, be sure not to park on or cross into private property in the vicinity. Find your way up the rocky 4WD road for 0.25 mile to the sign marked TRAIL just a few feet from the cement barricade. Follow the trail across Echo Creek and start the ascent. After 1 mile, there is a trail that splits to the right. There is a rock marked “Mine” with an arrow in purple paint pointing the way. Follow this trail as it switchbacks up the southwest slope of Bull Hill passing Last Chance mine and later Golden Fleece mine after another 1.4 miles. From Golden Fleece Mine, the slope steepens, and passage becomes a bit more difficult, but this trend lasts for only a few hundred feet until you are above the mine. From here, follow the grassy ridge for 0.7 mile to the summit. This approach is approximately 3.4 miles from the lower trailhead and gains 3,772 feet. A start from the upper/4WD trailhead will require 3.1 miles and a gain of 3,574 feet. The difficulty does not exceed class 2.
From the Denver Metro Area, take I-70 West approximately 64 miles to Copper Mountain, Colorado. Take Exit 195 and merge with CO-91 toward Leadville. After 22.2 miles, make a slight right and merge with US-24 and follow it through the historic town of Leadville. You will remain on US-24 for 16.3 miles until you come to CO-82. Take a right on E CO-82 toward Twin Lakes and Independence Pass. The Echo Canyon Trailhead is unmarked and lies 12.6 miles down CO-82 on the right.
No specialized gear is necessary during the warmer months. I wouldn't recommend flip-flops. Ice axe and crampons may be necessary for a winter ascent.
"Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever."