Under New OwnershipI adopted this Range after the page originator, Andy, became inactive. I hope to give the Range the more complete and informative page it deserves. Please let me know any thoughts and/or suggestions you might have regarding page renovations.
OverviewLocated in Northern Central Colorado, the Mummy Range extends northward from Chapin Pass in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) approximately 20 miles to the Cache La Poudre River (Poudre). The southern half of the range lies within RMNP while the northern half is contained within Roosevelt National Forest and the Comanche Peak Wilderness. Most climbing opportunities are found in the RMNP portion of the range where 15 summits exceed 12,000 ft.
Origin of the Name
From: Cache La Poudre: The Natural History of a Rocky Mountain River.
The name “Mummy” seems singularly inappropriate for that imposing range, visible as it is for many miles to the east and to the north and to the south. Early visitors apparently saw a resemblance to a reclining Egyptian mummy. The Arapahoes called them nooku-bee3ei-no which translates to “White Owls”. It is not certain who first called them the Mummies - it may have been Albert Bierstadt, who visited the area in 1876.
Due to it’s relative remoteness and, for the most part, long approaches, the range sees fewer visitors than most areas of the Park. In contrast to RMNP as a whole, most access points, other than those in the extreme southern portion of the range, are somewhat far-flung and reachable only by lengthy drives on unpaved roads.
Winter access is good in RMNP with the exception of the Chapin Pass trailhead. In the northern part of the range, Winter access is limited due to seasonal road closures. See the trailhead list below for more detail.
On July 15, 1982 the Lawn Lake Dam collapsed, causing 30 million cubic feet of water to race down the Roaring River at a rate of up to 18,000cfs as it dropped 2,500 feet to Horseshoe Park below. From there, the flood waters continued down the Fall River, obliterating a small dam before the waters slammed into Estes Park. The alluvial fan created by the flood waters is plainly visible today. A hike up the Lawn Lake Trail still reveals the power of that flash flood of more than 30 years ago. Lawn Lake/Roaring River Flood
On June 3rd, 1944, a B-17 Bomber with a crew of 10 crashed high on north-facing slope in the northern reaches of the Mummy Range. Six crewmen survived the crash. The crash site is accessible by trail.
The western, northern and north-eastern limits of the range are marked by Colorado’s only Designated Wild and Scenic River-The Cache La Poudre.
The Mummy Range was formed during the Laramide orogeny, which began about 70 million years ago and lasted approximately 30 million years. Multiple faults in the area were thrust upward, creating the beginnings of the range. After a period of much volcanic activity, 25 to 40 million years ago, the range and surrounding areas were buried under a thick blanket of volcanic ash. Over the last 25 million years, the range continued to rise, reaching it’s current elevation in the last few million years. All the while, the power of erosion sculpted the canyons and valleys. Climate changes beginning 1.8 million years ago changed the engine of erosion from water to ice and the era of the glaciers began.
The range shows much evidence of glaciation in the past but only remnants of the great glaciers are left today. Rowe Glacier, between Hagues Peak and Rowe Peak and a few “permanent” ice/snowfields are all that remain.
See Glaciers of Colorado for more info.
Southern Half-Rocky Mountain National ParkThis portion contains the majority of the range’s high peaks, including all of it’s 13ers and the highest summit in the Mummies, Hagues Peak at 13,560 ft. Elevations range from 8,000 to over 13,500 feet.
Chapin Pass-Primarily provides access to Chapin, Chiquita and Ypsilon. Also is the normal starting point for what’s known as Mummy Mania. This trailhead is usually accessible from early July until the first snows of Fall. Parking is very limited!
Peaks accessible from this trailhead include:
Mount Chapin 12,454
Mount Chiquita 13,069
Ypsilon Mountain 13,514
Desolation Peaks 12,918
Fairchild Mountain 13,502
Hagues Peak 13,560
Mummy Mountain 13,425
Lawn Lake- Provides access to the headwaters of the Roaring River and Ypsilon Lake. A number of backcountry campsites may also be reached via the Lawn Lake and Ypsilon Lake trails. This trailhead is accessible year round. Parking is usually available but can be limited at peak times.
Lumpy Ridge- Gives access to some smaller peaks in the southern part of the range and provides a longer approach to the headwaters of the Roaring River via the Black Canyon trail. A few backcountry campsites are reachable from this trailhead as well. This trailhead is accessible year round. Parking is available but can be limited at peak times.
Accessible peaks include:
McGregor Mountain 10,486
Dark Mountain 10,859
Bighorn Mountain 11,463
Mount Tileston 11,254
Cow Creek-Not a primary access
Sheep Mountain 9,794
Dunraven-Provides access to the headwaters of the North Fork of the Big Thompson via the North Fork and Lost Lake trails. Additionally, the Stormy Peaks trail affords access to the Comanche Peak Wilderness and Roosevelt National Forest, in the northern half of the range. A number of backcountry campsites are scattered along all three trails. This trailhead is normally accessible year round. Parking is available.
Accessible peaks include:
Mount Dickinson 11,831
Mount Dunraven 12,571
Rowe Peak 13,404
Signal Mountain 11,262
As far as camping areas other than the backcountry sites, Aspen Glen CG in RMNP is the closest. A number of private campgrounds and numerous other accommodations are available in Estes Park.
Northern Half-Roosevelt National Forest/Comanche Peak WildernessThe northern part of the Mummy Range is located outside RMNP, except for the extreme southern portion. While there are many miles of trails to hike in the northern Mummies, climbing opportunities are limited and primarily located on or near the northern boundary of RMNP. Additionally, a few peaks over 11,000 are found to the north and northwest of Comanche Peak. Elevations range from 8,000 to 12,700 feet.
Stormy Peaks, Beaver Creek & Emmaline Lake trailheads are all located near Colorado State University's Pingree Park Campus in Roosevelt NF. They provide access to: Comanche Peak Wilderness and the northern fringes of RMNP. Check with Roosevelt NF for seasonal acces info. Parking is limited.
Comanche Peak 12,702
Sugarloaf Mountain 12,101
Stormy Peaks 12,148
Fall Mountain 12,258
Skull Point 12,026
Gibraltar Mtn 13,330
Point 12,308 (west side of the Mirror Lk Cirque)
Jack's Gulch, Flowers, Fish Creek, Browns Lake & Zimmerman trailheads are all located along the northern edge of the range and provide access to the Comanche Peak Wilderness. Other than Fish Creek, access is seasonal, parking is limited.
Accessible peaks include:
Corral Creek-Provides access to the Mummy Pass area as well as the upper reaches of the Cache La Poudre River. Access is seasonal, parking is limited.
Accessible peaks include:
Plenty of choices here, from backcountry sites in the Comanche Peak Wilderness, to NF CGs like Jack's Gulch and Long Draw, to dispersed camping in some areas along the forest roads.
Getting ThereThe RMNP/Southern Mummies-
Via Boulder/Hwy 36
Take I-25 north to Exit 217 (US Hwy 36) to Estes Park
Via Loveland/Hwy 34 ~ This route is currently open but is scheduled to be closed in October of 2017 for construction. It is tentatively scheduled to reopen again by Memorail Day Weekend, 2018.
33 miles from I-25
The Roosevelt NF/Northern Mummies-
Via Fort Collins/Hwy 14 west to CR 68, Pingree Park Rd turnoff
Trailhead access points an additional 8-17 miles on unpaved roads
Via Fort Collins/Hwy 14 west to the Long Draw Rd turnoff
Add 26 miles from the Pingree Park turnoff
Add 36 minutes
Trailhead access point an additional 8 miles on unpaved road
Red TapeFor Rocky Mountain National Park
For Roosevelt National Forest
Camping / Hiking
Comanche Peak Wilderness
Rocky Mountain National Park: The Complete Hiking Guide
Rocky Mountain NP #200 Shows backcountry campsite locations
Poudre River/Cameron Pass #112