Nipple Mountain sits just to the southwest of the mining and gambling town of Cripple Creek and northeast of Cañon City, in far northern Fremont County, Colorado near the Teller County line. The peak’s rugged and rocky eastern slopes rise dramatically above Phantom Canyon more than 1,300 feet below, through which Eightmile Creek runs. There are no maintained trails to this summit and property access can be a checkerboard, making this a bit of an adventure for a peak of such small stature.
The summit is open and features views of Pikes Peak and the Almagres. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are visible in the southwestern distance.
Rank: 22887th highest summit in Colorado Prominence: 926 feet USGS Quad: Big Bull Mountain Planning Map: Trails Illustrated #137 – Pikes Peak | Cañon City
Getting to this mountain is half the fun, as the beautiful Phantom Canyon Road is the primary access route. In just 30 miles, road elevation ranges from 5,500 feet in the southern end to 9,500 feet in the northern end. Vehicles in excess of 25 feet in length are prohibited. The road is narrow and twisted but relatively well-groomed gravel. The scenery is astounding!
From the north (Victor/Cripple Creek): Drive through Victor heading east to the intersection of Teller County Road 81 and Phantom Canyon Road. Bear south to Phantom Canyon Road.
From the south (Cañon City/Florence): Take Colorado Highway 115 from Colorado Springs south to U.S. Highway 50, head west. Six miles east of Cañon City, turn right (north) onto Colorado 67, which turns into County Road 67 and then Phantom Canyon Road.
Nipple Mountain lies in the northern third of the road.
Angel & Kodi
Across the plateau below the summit
Views from up top
There is a lot of private land on or around Nipple Mountain, particularly to the west and east. State land lies to the north; remember that state land is often under a lease and essentially off limits. There is a legally accessible bushwhack route from the southeast which I will add when I have a moment.
Weather and Seasons
Pikes Peak and the Almagres
Nipple Mountain is, generally, an all-year mountain.
•Snow should be limited on the southeast approach in the winter months.
•Summer months bring heavy vehicle traffic to Phantom Canyon Road and summer temperatures can be quite high here, despite the altitude.
•Spring access to the summit would depend on the year’s snowpack; a heavy snowpack could mean deep drifts of soft, late-season snow lodged in the trees and higher meadows. Later in the spring, the cactus begin to bloom!
•Fall would be a nice season to visit this peak, and the red and orange scrub oak glowing on the lower reaches of the mountain would be sure to delight.
Camping & Lodging
Snow rolling over the Almagres
Views across the grassy summit
Both Cripple Creek to the northwest and Cañon City to the southwest offer numerous lodging options.
There are no official/established campgrounds along Phantom Canyon Road, though there are said to be a few pull offs where one can rustic car camp.
I welcome any external trip reports or recommended links to be added to this page. Please notify me via the "Additions and Corrections" comments section of any value-add links to include on this page.