This peak doesn’t offer the shocking dose of bold, rugged high country splendor you may crave, but what it offers in ample volume is solitude. Residing in the soft, rolling Puma Hills, UN 10,462 does not have a name nor does it have a trail, and this all but ensures the visitor has this peak to themselves.
The better views of surrounding terrain from this soft, double-humped mountain can be enjoyed from the lower (eastern) summit. The true summit is marked by a rock cairn surrounding a small pine tree and a summit jar containing very few signatures (and of the usual cast of characters, at that).
Puma Hills: The Puma Hills are low, wooded mountains between the geological feature known as South Park and Tarryall Creek. The highpoint of the Puma Hills, which run north from Wilkerson Pass, is ”Puma Peak” (11,570 ft.) The area provides habitat for mountain lions (aka puma), pronghorn antelope, black bears, bighorn sheep, mule deer, and elk. The nearby Tarryall Creek valley boasts a rich history including that etched by German immigrant farmers.
Colorado Rank: 2,051st highest peak in Colorado
Prominence: 682 feet
Mountain Range: Puma Hills
USGS Quad: Farnum Peak
Trails Illustrated Map: #105 (Tarryall Mts., Kenosha Pass)
Rank and Prominence Reference: Lists of John
Located in Park County just southeast of Farnum Peak, UN 10,462’s isolation from the crowds is further enforced by the fact that only an un-marked dirt road approaches the peak from the east.
The Trails Illustrated Map #105 (Tarryall Mountains / Kenosha Pass) does not even begin to properly reflect the complexity of the road system in this area. While the map represents a clean, crisp FS 114 cutting through the scrub and forest, the reality is that FS 114 has multiple spurs and offshoots, most marked, some not.
Detailed driving directions can be found in the Eastern Approach route page.
There is little red tape governing recreational use in this part of the National Forest and there is no fee to access this area. Adhere to LNT (Leave No Trace) principals, observe fire ban when in effect and do not harass wildlife or allow your pet to do so.
Camping & Lodging
FS 114 and Immediate Surroundings
Ample rustic camping can be found along FS 114 between Park County 77 and where the road end to begin an ascent of UN 10462. These sites are available on a first-come first-served basis and are dry: No water, from a pump/well or other water body, is available, so pack water sufficient for your group size and the duration of your stay.
Designated National Forest Service Sites
Spruce Grove Campground
The Spruce Grove Campground provides very convenient access to the Spruce Grove trailhead and is just a few short miles south of the Twin Eagles trailhead. The campground is closed seasonally, operating primarily in the summertime. The Forest Service has furnished Spruce Grove Campground with water from a pump and a pit toilet. Several drive-up sites and a handful of walk-in sites (for a total of 26 sites) are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The gurgling Tarryall Creek passing through a boulder-strewn canyon is a special treat for campers.
Twin Eagles Campground
The Twin Eagles Campground provides very convenient access to the Twin Eagles trailhead and is just a few short miles north of the Spruce Grove trailhead. This campground is open from May through September.
Additional Rustic Forest Service Camping
South end of Hwy 77
The south end of Hwy 77 (Tarryall Road), near Hwy 24, has several established U.S. Forest Service camping areas in addition to those listed above. South Park Ranger District Lake George Area Campgrounds include: Riverside, Spillway, Happy Meadows, Round Mountain. Please contact the district office at (719) 836-2031 if you have additional questions about the campgrounds in the South Park Ranger District.
A special note on camping on the shores of the Tarryall Reservoir: Unless your idea of camping is “Rock and roll all night and party every day” it is advised that you not camp in the three camping areas right on the shores of the reservoir. A quiet, good night’s sleep cannot be expected on most weekends, including the winter ice-fishing season.
North end of Hwy 77
The north end of Park County 77 and dirt spur roads are abound with off-road campsites. In particular the Rt 39 and FS 56 area provides ample camping, some with a natural water source. Several campsites off Rt 39 provide views of Mt. Silverheels, Buffalo Peaks, Horseshoe Mountain, Bald Mountain and Mount Guyot and other 13ers and 12ers that will bring tears to your eyes. Competition for these sites, however, is intense in the summer, with large armadas of ATVs and RVs staking weekend claims to favorite haunts.
Cabins, Lodges and Hotels
Numerous cabins can be rented in and around Lake George. There are also a few cabins/lodges/dude-ranches along the Tarryall Creek catering especially to the fly fishing visitor. For example: Ute River Ranch.
Weather & SeasonsSummer: The route can be a bit hot and dusty in the summer, but the road should be dry and accessible and the breezes on top pleasant.
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.
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 Park County 77, this peak is accessible year-round, though parking immediately off Park County 77 will add approximately 4 miles to your roundtrip journey.