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Northwest Slope Route

Northwest Slope Route

Northwest Slope Route

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 39.30490°N / 105.5366°W

Object Title: Northwest Slope Route

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Time Required: Less than two hours

Difficulty: Class 1+ bushwack finished by Class 2+ scramble

Route Quality: 
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Page By: Sarah Simon

Created/Edited: Sep 20, 2009 / Jan 2, 2010

Object ID: 555255

Hits: 1823 

Page Score: 74.01%  - 4 Votes 

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Looking northwest up Lost Park
Looking northwest up Lost Park

This is a short, trail-less route through mostly well-spaced woods. Though short in mileage and modest in elevation gain, be forewarned that this route is best not attempted on “sense of direction” alone. Keep your compass / GPS bearing and proceed carefully. Neither ridge on the northwest slope is particularly well defined (to make for easy following) and criss-crossing old logging roads that are not marked on any map I have reviewed contour the slope. By paying close attention to your bearing on the return t rip, you should end up at or close to your vehicle and avoid a return slog along FS 801.

Roundtrip Mileage: Approximately 2 miles
Elevation Gain: 450 feet

Getting There

From US 285
  • Approximately 2 miles north of Jefferson or 4 miles south of Kenosha Pass, turn east on Lost Park Road (Park County #56).

  • Continue east / southeast on Park County 56, which becomes FS 56, for approximately 6 miles to where FS 39 intersects FS 56.

  • Continue with directions from the intersection of FS 56 and FS 38, below.

From Park County 77
  • Turn north on Park County 39, which becomes FS 39, for 5.4 miles to T-intersection with FS 56.

  • Turn right on FS 56.

  • Continue with directions from the intersection of FS 56 and FS 38, below.

From the intersection of FS 56 and FS 38
  • Travel for 10.3 miles to FS 134* (North Fork Road; see sign to North Fork Trailhead).

  • Follow FS 1341.4 miles on FS 134 to a semi-open area with some parking.

  • Park on wide part of shoulder/toe of arm up to UN 11060.

*Note on FS 134: In dry conditions, it’s suitable for 4x4, AWD & high-clearance vehicles. In wet conditions, 4x4 or AWD will be necessary. While not particularly rocky, the road is rutted and has a few rocks jutting out of the surface that will make 4x4 and high clearance a nice thing to have. Also, there are many unmarked logging road spurring off of FS 134 that do not appear on the Trails Illustrated map #105. Take care to stay on the main artery.
Bring your map and compass
Bring your map and compass

Route Description

  • Depart your vehicle and head initially due south through the trees, gaining elevation moderately.

  • After about ¼ mile, cross FS 801 (which appears to be a derelict logging road).

  • Continue southbound as the route steepens, attempting to hug a barely discernable ridge, toward the first high point.

  • Skirt the northernmost (first) highpoint to the northeast.

  • (Normally, when bushwacking in this area I avoid northern slopes due to the denser timber. However, the wider-space topo lines / gentler terrain on the northeast edge of the series of summit ridge outcrops make this routing preferable to the steeper southwest slopes.)

  • Continue past the northernmost outcrop, now trending south-southeast.

  • Shortly after passing the middle outcrop, the summit will become apparent through the trees.

  • Scramble (Class 2+) up the summit block (there is a weakness on the western side that eases passage) and enjoy the expansive views to the south.

  • After enjoying a snack at the overlook south of the summit, carefully retrace your steps back to FS 134.

    • Left to right: Summit outcrop from the west (note weakness); Summit outcrop from the east; Rock outcrop just below summit.
      Click on images to enlarge.

      Essential Gear

      • Trail map (Trails Illustrated #105 Tarryall Mts, Kenosha Pass would meet most needs)

      • Compass

      • Trekking pole(s)

      • Sturdy hiking boots with grippy soles and stiff ankle support

      • Snowshoes after a heavy snowfall

      • Water and snacks

      • A camera to save memories of the high country views

      • First aid kit

      • Other standard backcountry essentials

      Northwest Slope of UN 11,060
      Northwest Slope of UN 11,060


      Looking northwest up Lost ParkSouth from the summitSouth Across Lost ParkBison Peak 12,431 ft. from the summitMossy northwestern outcropOutcrop just below the summitBring your map and compass
      Northwest Slope RouteNorthwest Slope of UN 11,060