"Burntop" (11,085 ft.) from the summit of Baker Mountain.
08 June 2008
Petite and demure, unranked Baker Mountain D is an unimposing little outcrop about 4 miles west as the crow flies from Tarryall Reservoir. Its rocky, sparsely-treed summit offers fantastic vistas of the Tarryall Valley, Puma Hills, and a bow-framed peek at Observatory Rock. Glorious views of the mountains surrounding Boreas, Georgia and French Passes abound.
While the snow-draped titans to the west across South Park are chilled by winter gales, Baker Mountain D provides a warm, sunny perch to take in the scenery and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Few other people will be encountered during a visit to this area and the summit should be yours alone. A hike up Baker Mountain combines nicely with a scramble of nearby Eagle Rock (9,677 ft.) or Observatory Rock (10,073 ft.)
Trail Illustrated Map:
#105 Tarryall Mts./Kenosha Pass
Approximately 150 ft.
Baker Mountain sits about 4 miles west of the Tarryall Reservoir.
From Colorado Springs:
Hwy 24 West to Lake George. Just past lake George, turn right (northwest) on Park County 77 (Tarryall Road). Use caution with the minefields of potholes. Between dusk and dawn, deer and elk are incredibly numerous - watch your speed! Just before the Tarryall Reservoir, turn left on Park County 23 (Turner Gulch Road).
Take Hwy 285 to the town of Jefferson and turn left on Park County 77 to the Tarryall Reservoir. (Keep an eye out for free range cattle.) Just southeast of the reservoir turn right on Park County 23 (Turner Gulch Road).
- Continue on Park County 23 approximately 3 miles, turning west onto FR 146.
- Baker Mountain is about 2 ¼ miles to the west-northwest.
- FR 146 splits inexplicably in numerous directions in this vicinity and route signage is limited (missing or damaged).
- Park on the northwest side of a cattleguard and following the fence line southwest to the summit.
For Park County 23 and FS 146, high clearance is a must but 4x4 is a nice-to-have unless the roads are wet
. If the roads are wet, do not proceed without 4-wheel drive.
Camping & Lodging
Looking west from Baker MountainPlenty of camping can be found along Park County 77 and spur roads off of it.
Near Baker Mountain
08 June 2008
Plenty of rustic 4x4 camping can be found along FS 146. Be advised that this camping will most likely be "dry camping"; bring plenty of water. Numerous springs dot the area, but it is uncertain when/if they run and what condition the water is in (cattle are run in the area).
South end of Hwy 77
The south end of Hwy 77 (Tarryall Road), near Hwy 24, provides several established U.S. Forest Service camping areas. South Park Ranger District Lake George Area Campgrounds include: Riverside, Spillway, Happy Meadows, Round Mountain, Spruce Grove, and Twin Eagles. Please contact the district office at (719) 836-2031 if you have additional questions about the campgrounds in the South Park Ranger District.
North end of Hwy 77
The north end of Park County 77 and dirt spur roads are abound with off-road campsites. Several campsites off Rt 39 provide views of Mt. Silverheels, Buffalo Peaks and other 13ers and 12ers that will bring tears to your eyes. With these 4x4 campsites, remember to bring plenty of water, bury human waste and pack out what you packed in.
Cabins, Lodges and Hotels
Numerous cabins can be rented in and around Lake George. There are also a few cabins/lodges along the Tarryall Creek catering especially to the fly fishing visitor. For example: Ute River Ranch
. There are a few hotels in Fairplay.
Bikes, horses and dogs, dirtbikes, quad-runners...it's all welcome in this part of the Pike National Forest. Virtually no usage restrictions exist. Only on-foot travelers leave the Forest Service roads, however, and visit the summit. Follow LNT (Leave No Trace
) principals and be courteous of other recreationalists. Note that while the people visiting this area are a little less "REI" and a little more "Hook 'n Bullet", the summits are primarily wild and trail-less and provide for amazing solitude.
Ponderosa Pine & Mt. Guyot
08 June 2008
Weather & Seasons
Baker Mountain is primarily accessible from late Spring through Fall. Winter access is limited when snow makes the Forest Service approach roads impassible. During shoulder season, it is recommended the hiking party place a call to the South Park Ranger District to inquiry about road conditions prior to setting out. Baker Mountain is at least 2 miles from the nearest plowed road and few people beyond those with a residence nearby bother to explore the area in snow season.
Baker Mountain Summit Area
08 June 2008
External LinksPike & San Isabel National Forests
Pike National Forest Recreation Map