Rishaberger Mountain sits on the far eastern edge of South Park, where high rangeland butts up against the wooded and peaceful Puma Hills. About 10 miles south as the crow flies from the Tarryall Reservoir, this summit is visited by few. The long, boulder-strewn summit ridge extends east of the summit and provides opportunity for scrambling and exploring, or just lounging in the sun and enjoying views of South Park and neighboring Puma Hills while the wind whistles through the pine boughs.
Like many Puma Hills peaks, attaining the Rishaberger Mountain summit requires a bushwack through dense timber and deadfall and the summit offers somewhat limited views. The shy beauty of this area is revealed only to those with the patience and determination to dodge the high-country crowds and forego the big sky views in exchange for dark, quiet solitude through trail-less hills.
Colorado Rank: Unranked
Prominence: 240 feet
USGS Quad: Glentivar
Rank & Prominence Information: Lists of John
Rishaberger Mountain resides in Park County, a large but sparsely populated Colorado County. The nearest access road is CO Rd 23 (Turner Gulch Road), which can be reached by traveling north from US Hwy 24 or south from CO Rd 77. Guarded by private property to the west and the south and by more rolling Puma Hills neighbors to the north and the east, Rishaberger Mountain is most readily accessible via CO Rd 23 to the northwest.
Located within the Pike National Forest, there are no fees to access this area or to park. However, note that Rishaberger Mountain is surrounded to the west, south and southeast by private property. Be mindful of the Forest Service boundary and respect the rights of property owners.
Camping & Lodging
Nearby Trailhead-Style Camping
Rustic, dry camping is available in one or two spots off of FS 279. This camping is first-come, first-served with no facilities. You will need to haul all of the water you need.
Lodges and Guest Ranches
Puma Hills River Ranch
Dream Stream Lodge
Ute Trail River Ranch
Bison Peak Lodge
Established National Forest Campgrounds
|Campground Name||Elevation||Sites||Nightly Rate||Reservations?||Notes|
|Blue Mountain||8,200 ft.||21||$12||Yes||Just a couple miles south of Lake George.|
|Spruce Grove||8,600 ft.||27||$12||No||Let the gurgling Tarryall Creek sing you to sleep.|
|Twin Eagles||8,600 ft.||9||$8||No||Must haul or purify drinking water.|
|Happy Meadows||7,900 ft.||8||$12||No||Situated along the South Platte River.|
|Round Mountain||8,500 ft.||16||$12||Yes||Drinking water, vault toilet and trash pickup.|
|Springer Gulch||8,300 ft.||15||$12||Yes||Situated within the Elevenmile Canyon; water, tables, fire grates.|
|Riverside||8,000 ft.||19||$12||Yes||Situated within Elevenmile Canyon; large grassy meadow with little shade.|
Weather & Seasons
The Puma Hills are a year-round mountain range. Relatively low elevations (below timberline) and gentle grades mean minimal avalanche danger. Rishaberger Mountain should be accessible from late Spring through Fall. Heavy snows or snowmelt may make CO Rd 23 impassible in Winter and Spring. The aspen that thrive at these middle elevations make Rishaberger Mountain and its Puma Hills neighbors delightful destinations in Fall.