Bald Mountain

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
Colorado, United States, North America
County:
Chaffee
Activities:
Hiking
Season:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Elevation:
9607 ft / 2928 m
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Page By:
Bald Mountain
Created On: Dec 26, 2011
Last Edited On: Dec 29, 2011

Overview

Team at the summit


While the Sawatch are bitter-cold and blanketed in ass-deep, post-hole nightmare powder, the Buena Vista east area is often sundrenched and several degrees warmer. Add to that the incredible Sawatch views from these lower summits, and this side of the Arkansas Valley becomes a mighty attractive refuge for peak hunters in the months of frigid alpine temperatures and short hours or daylight.

Bald Mountain is relatively easily accessible even in snow season (depending on snow pack) and serves up incredible views of the giants across the valley. Indeed, the name of the mountain may not be unique, but the views the bald summit affords are fantastic. The summit is rounded and bare to the west, yet provides some trees for wind-blocks, and is an ideal place to eat lunch and chat up with hiking partners. With a little luck and a keen eye, you may even spot a Bighorn Sheep or two on the slopes!

Rank: 2,542nd highest peak in Colorado
Prominence: 547 feet
USGS Quad: Buena Vista East
Planning Map: Trails illustrated #129: Buena Vista | Collegiate Peaks

Rank & Prominence: Lists of John

Getting There

Sawatch ViewsSawatch Views
South from the summitSouth from the summit


The nearest major thoroughfare is the combined US Hwy 24 / US Hwy 285 to the north of the mountain and Hwy 285 to the west. County Road / Forest Service Road 300 ascends Bald Mountain Gulch from the west. A 4x4 road ascends the mountain almost to the summit (FS 300B and subsidiary branches).

A detailed route description, complete with driving directions, can be found here.

Snow, Pines & GraniteSnow, Pines & Granite
Autumn & WinterAutumn & Winter
Arms of a giantArms of a giant
Piñon slopesPiñon slopes

Red Tape

Maggie at the summitMaggie at the summit
Mount PrincetonMount Princeton


There are no fees to access this area and few regulations governing your use of this part of the San Isabel National Forest.

Camping & Lodging

Northeast across summitNortheast across summit
At the summitAt the summit
West across the southern armWest across the southern arm
Two Bighorn RamsTwo Bighorn Rams
Southern arm of Bald MountainSouthern arm of Bald Mountain
Looking west from Bald MountainLooking west from Bald Mountain


There is plenty of rustic camping available on a first-come, first-served basis on the Forest Service roads surrounding this peak.

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area Campgrounds

The AHRA operates six campgrounds in the Arkansas River valley, two of which are located in reasonable proximity to Kaufman Ridge Highpoint. Be aware that these campgrounds are popular with white water rafters in the warmer months and are used as take-outs / put-ins for boaters.
Railroad Bridge Campground

North of Buena Vista on County Road 371
• 14 campsites (each consists of tent pad, fire grill and table)
• Two vault toilets
• Two changing areas

Ruby Mountain Campground

South of Buena Vista on County Road 300 via CR 301 and very near to Bald Mountain
• 22 campsites (each consists of tent pad, fire grill and table)
• Four vault toilets
• Two changing areas

Buena Vista hotels, B&Bs, cabins and commercial campgrounds

A variety of lodging options are available in the nearby town of Buena Vista, skewing toward the simple and affordable. Visit the Colorado Vacation Directory Buena Vista page or the Trip Advisor area guide for more details.

Weather & Seasons

This moderate elevation peak is a year-round objective.
Due to the popularity of this area in the summer with OHV enthusiasts, visit this peak in snow season if quiet and solitude are desired.


Find more about Weather in Buena Vista, CO
Click for weather forecast
Fall: Autumn would be a perfect time to visit this peak, when the Aspen are ablaze in bright golds against the blue Colorado sky and the summertime crowds have begun to wane. Be mindful of elk hunters in the area and wear bright colors for safety.

Winter: Bald Mountain makes a delightful snowshoe outing. Heavy snow may temporarily close area 4x4 roads…or close them for the remainder of the season, thus lengthening your walk. For the most part, you should find you have this area all to yourself in the winter.

Spring: Deep and rotten late-season snow could make Bald Mountain an arduous outing in the Spring, though this area will melt out much earlier than the higher country across the valley.

Summer: This lower elevation area east of Buena Vista gets somewhat hot and sun-baked compared to the high country to the west, but this could be a good acclimatization hike for visitors from lower elevations wanting to tackle higher goals later in their visit. Be forewarned that this is a popular OHV area in the snow-free months.
Find more about Weather in Buena Vista, CO
Click for weather forecast







Bald Mountain

Mountain/Rock
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