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Two Options from Chalk Creek Valley
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Two Options from Chalk Creek Valley

 
Two Options from Chalk Creek Valley

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.63303°N / 106.33304°W

Object Title: Two Options from Chalk Creek Valley

Route Type: Mountaineering

Season: Summer

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Hike+Boulder Hopping

Route Quality: 
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Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Sep 17, 2011 / Jan 22, 2014

Object ID: 746910

Hits: 1308 

Page Score: 76.66%  - 7 Votes 

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Overview

Important note about the route description via Grizzly Lake Basin:

USGS Maps and aerial photographs show that the valley floor above Grizzly Lake is free from forest. Some maps even show a trail that goes from Grizzly Lake to the upper parts of the valley at the base of Peak 13070 ft. I did not find such a trail. The valley floor turned out to be covered by a dense growth of bushes that made hiking very difficult and time consuming. Reaching the base of Peak 13070 ft seemed to involve a 2 mile hike through the bushes on the valley floor above Grizzly Lake. This did not seem very pleasant to me. At Grizzly Lake, I chose to go up the forested eastern slopes of Chrysolite Mountain aiming for the 12100 ft saddle between Chrysolite Mountain and Peak 13070 ft. Hiking in the forest required much bushwhacking. I often did not have good views and had to blindly hike toward where I thought the saddle was. Above tree-line, the slopes were at times covered by loose scree and growths of bushes. What I describe below is the path that I happened to take and not a recommended route. If you have other information, Please let me know.

Peak 13070 ft can be easily climbed from Pomeroy Basin.

Getting There

Directions to Mary Murphy Mine/Pomeroy Lakes Road

From the town of Buena Vista drive 8 miles south on Route 285 to a place known as Nathrop and then turn west onto Route 162. Drive this road 15.3 miles to just before the ghost town of St. Elmo (the first 10 miles are paved and the rest is a well graded dirt road).

Turn left onto Route 295. This road is rougher but is still passable by most/any car (I prefer a high clearance SUV or similar vehicle). Continue 2.7 miles until you see a detour around an old decaying railroad bridge. Right after the detour, you will see a sign for the road to Mary Murphy Mine (& Pomeroy Lakes). This is your trailhead. Be ware that the detour around the railroad bridge is quite steep and rough and will probably require a four wheel drive vehicle. Without 4WD, you can start your hike just before the detour (only a few hundred feet longer).

Directions to the Grizzly Lake Road

From the town of Buena Vista drive 8 miles south on Route 285 to a place known as Nathrop and then turn west onto Route 162. Drive this road 15.3 miles to just before the ghost town of St. Elmo (the first 10 miles are paved and the rest is a well graded dirt road).

Just before turning left onto Forest Road 295 (to the ghost town of Hancock), you will see a parking area. If you plan to hike the Grizzly Lake Road, you must park here. To reach the Grizzly lake Road, hike onto Forest Road 295. The first road on the left goes to private property. The second left is Grizzly Lake Road. Distance from parking area is 0.40 miles.

Route Descriptions

1) Via Pomeroy Lakes Basin

All distances are per my GPS.













Place
Elevation
Distance
Beginning of Pomeroy Basin Rd
10560 ft
zero miles
End of Rd.
12050 ft
2.55 miles
Summit
13070 ft
1.15 miles
Total
-
3.7 miles



 
Pomeroy Lake Road
Pomeroy Lake Rd
 
Abandoned Mine
Abandoned Mine

Start your hike at the beginning of the road to Mary Murphy (and Pomeroy Lakes). You will soon go past the remains of old mining buildings. At 0.8 miles, you will see a road on your left (and after that, a gated private road on the left). Ignore these roads and continue to head south up the road above the tree-line until you reach the end of the road near Pomeroy Lake. Pomeroy Peak and Peak 13070 ft come to view to the south.
Pomeroy & 13070
(L) Peak 13070, (R) Pomeroy Mountain


I chose to follow the boulder covered northern ridgeline of Peak 13070 to reach its summit.
NW Face
Peak 13070 ft from near end of Rd



2) Via Grizzly Lake Basin

All distances are per my GPS.















Place
Elevation
Distance
Parking
9960 ft
zero miles
Beginning of Grizzly Lake Rd
10020 ft
0.4 miles
Grizzly Lake
11180 ft
2.50 miles
Summit
13070 ft
2.65 miles
Total
-
5.55 miles



Hike up the Grizzly Lake Road to the end of it at Grizzly Lake. Peak 13070 ft will be visible from the lake.
Peak 13070 ft & Grizzly Lake
Peak 13070 ft & Grizzly Lake

I could not find a hiking trail. The area around the lake was covered with a dense growth of bushes.
Bushes, Grizzly Lake & Peak 13078 ft
Grizzly Lake & Bushes

I hiked through the bushes on the west side of the lake until I reached a boulder field.
Boulder Field & Peak 13070 ft
Boulder Field

I then went up the boulder field into the forest on the eastern slopes of Chrysolite Mountain bushwhacking my way toward the 12100 ft saddle between Chrysolite Mountain and Peak 13070 ft.
Bushwhacking
Bushwhacking in Forest

Above tree-line, steep slopes with unstable rock, bushes and other obstacles made the hike very slow.
NE Face
Bushwhacking

Once I reached the 12100 ft saddle, I followed the northern ridgeline of Peak 13070 ft to its summit.
Ridgetop & Peak 13070 ft
Northern Ridgeline

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