Hayden Spire as seen from the approach from Bear Lake
The easiest route to this mountains summit is via its Northeast Ridge (though this route doesn't really follow the ridge proper) and goes at 5.2. Note: THERE IS NO THIRD CLASS ROUTE TO THIS MOUNTAINS SUMMIT!!! Bernard Gillett, among others, claims there is a third class route from the south ridge. This is 100% false, and could potentially get your ambitious peak bagger in some trouble. There is a 5.3ish route that leads from the south ridge with extreme exposure.
However you get to this mountains summit, it will be well worth it! It takes a lot of effort to get there, but the little climbing there is enjoyable and the setting is spectacular. The beautiful summit offers fantastic views over a very seldom visited part of our world.
From Bear Lake you will begin you climbing from the divide and from through Forest Canyon you will be climbing from Lonesome Lake(well named!).
To get to Bear Lake:
Enter the Park at the Beaver Meadows Entrance (hwy 36). Take your first left onto Bear Lake Road, and follow it until it dead ends (about 10 miles) at the Bear Lake Parking Lot. Follow the path about 1/4th of the way around the lake until you see the trail with sign directing you to Flattop Mountain. Follow that trail. At the summit of Flattop, take the Tonohutu Trail through the Bighorn Flats. Leave the trail and travel over the remainder of Bighorn Flats to Sprague Pass, then it's up and over Sprague Mountain along the divide until you get to Hayden Spire's south ridge.
To get to Forest Canyon Overlook:
Take Hwy 34 through the Fall River Entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. Follow Trail Ridge Road until you get t o the Forest Canyon Overlook pull off (there will be a sign). Aim for Hayden Spire and drop into Forest Canyon. You will want to head for Lonesome Lake. Good Luck!
Red TapeThe only permit required is a pass to get into the National Park. You can buy a week pass for $20, or an annual pass for $35.
Fees for admission.