This is the north ridge of Slater Peak. We named it the Bumble Bee Ridge because on our trip there were more bumble bees than we had ever seen. Every flower had 2-3 bumble bees on it!
The route follows the Prospector Trail to the saddle between Slater Peak and North Slater Peak after which the steep north ridge of Slater Peak is followed to the summit. The round trip distance is only about 3.4 mile with 1500 feet elevation gain, but with a steep off trail scramble for the 2nd part of the route.
Approaching the summit of Slater Peak from the Bumble Bee Ridge.
From Steamboat Springs, drive to the north end of town and to where County Road 129 leaves Highway 40. A sign marks "Clark" and "Hahns Peak". This is the same road heading to the airport. Drive north on CR 129 for approximately 30.8 miles.
Turn left (east) on FR 129 (gravel), marked for Hahns Peak Lake, to another junction after 2.1 miles. Turn right and follow the road for 2.3 miles, around a bend to the trail marked as “Prospector Trail”. A small parking area is just beyond the trail sign.
The road can be slightly rough near the end, but is usually good for all vehicles during the summer season.
Slater Peak (left) and North Slater (right) as seen from Hahns Peak Peak Lake.
From the trailhead, follow the well-marked Prospector Trail up the hillside. Unlike most trails in the Elkhead Mountains, the Prospector Trail is well marked, well used, and easy to follow. Be aware that the trail is also open to motorcycles.
After just over a mile, the trail reaches the saddle between Slater Peak and North Slater Peak.
To climb Slater Peak, head south along the ridge. The ridge quickly steepens and becomes rather tedious in places. Continue along the steep ridge, but stay left of the big talus slope. There are some game trails to help you along the way, but the route is still very steep.
Eventually the ridge tops out at a false summit. The true summit is to the south and across more forest and around a small boulder field.
Enjoy the fine views from the summit before returning the same way. The route is very slippery on the return, especially if it is covered in pine needles, as it was on our trip!
Summit of Slater Peak.
Because of the steepness of the route, a pair of trekking poles is highly recommended, especially for the descent.