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Meadow Route

Meadow Route

Meadow Route

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 39.59060°N / 106.1559°W

Object Title: Meadow Route

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Half a day

Route Quality: 
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Page By: Sarah Simon

Created/Edited: Apr 19, 2010 / Apr 19, 2010

Object ID: 614673

Hits: 1387 

Page Score: 78.27%  - 9 Votes 

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Peak 1 and Tenmile through the fog
Peak 1 and Tenmile through the fog

This scenic outing is pleasant choice for all seasons. It is mostly on-trail, leveraging the Meadow Creek Trail, with an approximately ½ mile off-trail segment to the summit. There are even two choices presented here for reaching the summit.

Roundtrip Distance: 9-10 miles depending on route chosen from meadow to summit and back
Elevation Gain: 2,200 feet
YDS Rating: Class 2 (off trail segments)

Getting There

Up at Chief from Meadow
Up at Chief from Meadow
West from summit area
West from the summit area

From I-70 westbound

• Take Frisco Exit #203
• Enter the traffic circle, then take the dirt road (that parallels I-70) to the west side of the roundabout
• Follow this dirt road for about one-half mile to the trailhead parking

Route Description

Meadow Creek Route

Northeast slope of Chief Mountain
Northeast slope of Chief Mountain
Tenmile Range from the summit area
Tenmile Range from the summit area
Evergreens in Fresh Snow
Evergreens in Fresh Snow
Springtime Snow
Springtime Snow

• The trail begins at the north side of the parking area.
• The route ascends gradually for the first ¾ of a mile to the junction with the Lily Pad Lake Trail.
• Roughly ½ mile past this junction you will reach the Eagles Nest Wilderness Boundary.
• Traverse for about ½ mile past the wilderness boundary into the Meadow Creek drainage.
• The trail gains elevation more rapidly for about 1 mile until you enter the meadow opening at roughly 10,500 feet.
• Shortly below 11,000 feet in elevation, where the meadow is broadest and the terrain most level, you have a choice (see map for details):
o Leave the trail and head sharply southwest up the northeast facing slope of Chief Mountain (this option means longer mileage and denser timber, but a gentler elevation gain)
o Continue on the trail for another ½ mile until it nears the saddle with the northern end of Chief Mountain (this option means shorter mileage and sparser timber, but a steeper way to the summit ridge; also, be careful about trending west when ascending the northeast slope during snow season to avoid potential avalanche risk)
• The summit area is non-descript and no cairn was present when I was on the summit (though the snow we stood on was several feet deep per a probing).
• Explore the general summit area – the views are fantastic – before selecting your descent option to regain the Meadow Creek Trail.

Essential Gear

Breaking trail near the meadow
Breaking trail near the meadow
Looking up toward the summit plateau
Northeast slope of Chief Mountain

• Trail map (Trails Illustrated #109 (Breckenridge, Tennessee Pass) would meet most needs)
• Compass
• Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots
• Snowshoes or skis for floatation
• Water and snacks
• A camera to save memories of the high country views
• First aid kit
• Other standard backcountry essentials


Peak 1 and Tenmile through the fogTenmile Range from the summit areaBreaking trail near the meadowPillows of snow and streamAcross the summit areaUp at Chief from MeadowLooking up toward the summit plateau
Meadow Creek RouteEvergreens in Fresh SnowNortheast slope of Chief MountainSpringtime SnowWest from summit area