OverviewThis route is the standard and easiest route up Parika Peak. The route ascends the peak via Baker Gulch past Parika Lake to the summit. The views of this area are amazing, and you can see the whole Never Summer Wilderness, and a lot of the area in Rocky Mountain National Park. This route is 13 miles long, and gains 3400 feet of elevation in this hike.
Getting ThereDrive north out of Grand Lake on Highway 40. After about two miles reach the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. The fee into the park costs $20, or a season pass costs $40. From the entrance to the Park, drive north another six miles to a sign for the Bowen-Baker Trailhead. Turn left into the parking lot. There are a bunch of of parking spaces, and there is a bathroom.
From the shallow lake, stay on the trail as it loops around the south isde of the lake. The trail around the lake is mostly flat, but then it gains in steepness as it starts to move away from the lake. Looking back to the east, there is a great view of Longs Peak, and Baker Mountain, Mount Stratus, and Mount Nimbus. Follow the steep trail up towards the saddle between Parika Peak and Farview Mountain. Cross the switchback and reach the saddle. From the saddle turn north and follow the steep slope up towards the summit. There is a beautiful view of Parika Lake from this point. Stay on the slope, till it flattens out. The summit is the high point on the north edge of the ridge. Enjoy the amazing views from the summit.
Looking south you can see Farview Mountain, "Never Summer Mountain", and Bowen Mountain. Looking east, you can see Longs Peak, Mount Ida and the surrounding Peaks, and the other peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park. Looking North, you can see the whole northern part of the Never Summer Wilderness, from Mount Richtofen south to Baker Mountain, with Mount Cumulus, Mount Cirrus, Mount Nimbus and Mount Stratus in between. The view is amazing, and it is hard to beat it in this area.
The trail is 13 miles roundtrip, and gains 3400 feet of elevation during the hike.