OverviewFools Peak sits at the western edge of the Holy Cross Wilderness in the northern reaches of Colorado's Sawatch Range. Fools is something of a two-faced peak in terms of its terrain and the views it affords. The northern side of the mountain is composed of steep cliffs and looks out towards the rugged ridges that form the heart of the wilderness. To the south are gentle slopes and views that take in the rolling hills and parks of the Frying Pan River drainage.
Fools can be climbed from both sides. A route from the south that avoids any rugged terrain is possible from Woods Lake. A more scenic approach is a hike up East Brush Creek to either Lake Charles or Mystic Island Lake followed by scrambles to the ridges that give access to its easier slopes. Both lakes are outstanding and would make a fine outing for those less inclined to go higher. leesmith3 had this to say about scramble on the north ridge: "The north ridge of Fools is one of the best ridge scrambles in the whole state. If you choose your route carefully you will never exceed class 3 scrambling, however it is very easy to add some spice to the route. The best route passes the third gendarme on the right to attain the deep gully just below the north face proper. The rock quality is excellent but you should still wear a helmet for this one."
Getting ThereFulford Cave Campground:
Take exit 147 from 1-70 and head in to Eagle. Follow the sign to the Central Business District and start looking for signs for National Forest Access and Sylvan Lake which will put you on Brush Creek Road (County Road 307) heading south from town. Follow the signs to Fulford Cave Campground, not to be confused with the ghost town of Fulford, for about 17 miles.
Red TapeTravelers must fill out a self issued permit at the trailhead. One copy goes into the receptacle at the kiosk, the other must be in the hiker's possession for the duration of the stay in the wilderness.
When To ClimbFools Peak can be climbed year-round, but optimal conditions occur from late June through September. Be aware that this also the season for afternoon thunderstorms in the Colorado mountains. Hikers should plan to be on the way down by noon.
CampingEstablished campgrounds can be found at the trailhead or one mile down the road at Yeoman Park. Fantastic campsites exist at Lake Charles and Mystic Island Lake.
Mountain ConditionsEagle Ranger District
125 West 5th Street
Eagle, CO 81631
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