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Thirtynine Mile Mountain

 
Thirtynine Mile Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.83250°N / 105.5552°W

Object Title: Thirtynine Mile Mountain

County: Park

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 11548 ft / 3520 m

 

Page By: Sarah Simon

Created/Edited: Apr 25, 2010 / Jun 29, 2010

Object ID: 616384

Hits: 6687 

Page Score: 88.19%  - 26 Votes 

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Overview

 
Outcrops of volcanic conglomerate
Outcrops of volcanic conglomerate

Thirtynine Mile Mountain is a bulky, hulking Elevener with over 2,000 feet of prominence in the rolling volcanic hills of southern Park County. A remnant of the Tertiary Period Guffey Volcano (inactive for about 30 million years) in the Thirtynine Mile volcanic field, Thirtynine Mile Mountain is studded with outcrops of red volcanic conglomerate.

In addition to its prominence (the 76th most prominent peak in Colorado, per the "Colorado's Most Prominent Peaks" list on SummitPost by SP member RyanS), a further attraction to Thirtynine Mile Mountain is that the mountain is not cut by any trails, all but ensuring a sense of solitude and isolation en route to the summit. While the summit is shrouded in trees, many fine views are available en route to the top along the undulating East Ridge. Views from outcrops studding this peak include the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Pikes Peak.

Colorado Rank: 1527th highest peak in Colorado
Prominence: 2,088 feet
USGS Quad: Thirtynine Mile Mountain

Rank & Prominence Source: Lists of John

Getting There

 
Thirtynine Mile Mountain_Getting There Map
 

Thirtynine Mile Mountain sits forty miles west as the raven flies from Colorado Springs, 30 miles by road southeast of Hartsel and less than 10 miles north of the town of Guffey.

Red Tape

 
Old snag at an overlook
Old snag at an overlook along the East Ridge

Very few rules govern your use of this part of the National Forest. There are privately-held ranches nearby, however; be mindful of avoiding private property. There is no fee to use this part of the National Forest and parking is free.

Camping

 
Another view to the south
Another view to the south
 
Dicks Peak from east ridge
Dicks Peak from east ridge
 
(P) Red volcanic outcrop
Red volcanic outcrop

Immediately Surrounding the Peak
This peak is very dry and the soil well-drained, thus reliable water sources are scarce. Camping right near the peak cannot be recommended.





US Forest Service Campgrounds

The National Forest Service has a large selection of campgrounds in and around the Lake George area.

Campground NameElevationSitesNightly RateReservations?Notes
Blue Mountain8,200 ft.21$12YesLess than 3 miles as the crow flies from the summit of Blue Mountain.
Spruce Grove8,600 ft.27$12NoLet the gurgling Tarryall Creek sing you to sleep.
Twin Eagles8,600 ft.9$8NoMust haul or purify drinking water.
Happy Meadows7,900 ft.8$12NoSituated along the South Platte River.
Round Mountain8,500 ft.16$12YesDrinking water, vault toilet and trash pickup.
Springer Gulch8,300 ft.15$12YesSituated within the Elevenmile Canyon; water, tables, fire grates.
Riverside8,000 ft.19$12YesSituated within Elevenmile Canyon; large grassy meadow with little shade.


Eleven Mile State Park
Colorado State Parks operates eight campgrounds near the Eleven Mile Reservoir, as well as 25 backcountry campsites accessible by foot or boat only. Visit this site for detailed information.

Weather & Seasons

Zone Forecast for Guffey, CO

 
South from east ridge
South from east ridge
 
Southwest from the ridge
Southwest from the ridge

Summer: Summitting this peak would be pretty hot (due to relatively low altitude) in the summer, though the trees shading the slopes would provide relief.

Spring: The snowpack is less deep here than in the high country and melts out faster than higher areas to the west. None-the-less, expect post-holing through unconsolidated snow drifts in the trees – bring a snorkel.

Fall: The aspen coating the slopes of this peak and surrounding neighbors make this area a golden-hued heaven in the fall.

Winter: Thanks to proximity to both US Hwy 24 Colorado Hwy 9, as well as to “primary dirt roads”, this peak is accessible year-round, barring a major blizzard (the roads in this area are prone to wind-drifting). Expect some deep snow wallowing where the trees are thick during a winter ascent.

External Links

To learn more about geography in the South Park area, including the Thirtynine Mile volcanic field, visit this local geology page.

Images

Outcrops of volcanic conglomerateOld snag at an overlookThirtynine Mile MountainSouthwest from the ridge(P) Red volcanic outcropAnother view to the southThirtynine Mile Mountain_Getting There Map
Wooded Summit, Thirtynine Mile MountainDicks Peak from east ridgeSouth from east ridge