Argentine Peak is next to Argentine Pass which is the highest pass on the Continental Divide. The peak is a nice half day outing suitible for begining peak baggers and anyone who enjoys getting above treeline.
Some history of the eastern valley: The Waldorf mine
and the Big Stevens mine, were discovered in 1868. Over four million dollars was taken from this mine. The railroad constructed to Waldorf was one of the most beautiful and thrilling as some of the curves were 145 degrees and grades 10%. It had a slogan of "a lifetime in a day" and the tourist revenue outnumbered the freight revenue 10 to 1. The townsite is at 11,666 feet; the altitude has helped in the preservation of the town.
As this mountian is along the Front Range it is within easy range of the Denver area. Several 13er peaks frame one of the access valleys allowing for a multiple summit day--Mount Wilcox
, Mt. Edwards
, McClellan Mountain, UN 13449 and Square Top Mountain
As the Argentine Pass is part of the Continental Divide Trail a climb to Grays Peak
could also be added to the summit possibilities.
Access to the mountain can be gained from any of four trailheads.
The road to this TH is 3 miles from Georgetown up the Guanella Pass road. After a sharp switchback turn right onto a dirt road. Normally there are trucks with ATV trailers parked along the sides as the road is a popular riding area. Climb up several switchbacks for a mile to an old railroad grade, marked as road 248, follow this for 4.5 miles to the Waldorf Mine.
Access to this TH is from the west off of Loveland Pass Road. Turn onto Montezuma Road #5 to the east of Keystone Ski Area and follow it until the T-Junction with road 214. Take a left onto 214 and continue until the parking lot on the right. The road is closed to motorized vehicles beyond the parking lot. The Argentine Pass TH is a quarter of a mile farther up the road.
Silver Dollar Lake:
This TH is accessed from just beyond the Guanella Pass campground. The road may not be passable requiring parking just off the Guanella Pass road.
This TH is at the pass where everyone parks to attempt Mt. Bierstadt, Mt. Evans and the surrounding 13ers. This TH does not permit direct access to Argentine Peak only a ridge line traverse from Square Top Mountain. NOTE: As of 12/16/2006 the county is not plowing the Guanella Pass road.
The National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map #104 Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Loveland Pass
shows the entire area.
The mountain is part of the Arapaho National Forest. No passes are required from at least from the eastern three trailheads.
can be found on the National Forest site. Questions about camping etc can be answered from the Clear Creek Ranger
When To Climb
Access is easiest in the summer months. Winter access via Square Top mountain or from the Silver Dollar Lake TH would be the most reasonable option. The road to Waldorf mine is closed to 4x4s once the winter snows start.
There are two campsites along the Guanella Pass road, one at Clear Creek and another at Guanella Pass. There are numerous areas along Guanella Pass and the Waldorf mine road that offer undeveloped camping sites.
Pay attention to the weather at all times. Summer storms can develop very quickly. As all routes are above treeline you will be one of the highest points. The local weather forcast can be found here