East Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 40.65900°N / 105.955°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 1 Walk-up
Sign the Climber's Log


Driving Directions: From Fort Collins, take hwy 287 north to hwy 14 (Poudre Canyon). Take hwy 14 west 52 miles to Laramie River Road (this road sneaks up on you so if you pass Chambers Lake you know you've gone too far). Go north on Laramie River Road for eight miles to the West Branch Trailhead (right after Tunnel Campground on your left).

Approach Directions: Hike up West Branch Trail until it intersects with Rawah Trail. Take Rawah Trail until it intersects with North Fork Trail. Take North Fork Trail up into the Twin Crater Lakes area. This is roughly 7 to 8 miles. Fantastic camping spots can be found in the meadow below Twin Crater Lakes, Twin Crater Lakes themselves, and the Bench Lake area.

Route Description

The eastern slopes of South Rawah Peak are tundra for the most part so it's easy to choose whatever path you want. Since I was coming from Bench Lake I chose to hug the east ridge because it gave good views to both the north and south. Choose a path that avoids the snow fields and the small boulder fields and you should be fine. There is a 1,600 ft elevation difference between Bench Lake and the summit. It took me less than two hours to make the round trip from Bench Lake to the summit and back.

Essential Gear

No special gear is needed, as this is a class 1 walk-up. Just bring standard gear for hiking in the mountains.



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