Directions to Road 230:
From the junction of Routes 50 and 285 North in Poncha Springs, drive 12.4 miles west on Route 50 to a pull-off across from Monarch Mountain Lodge. Road 230 is on the west end of the pull-off near a building. You will find a sign on a tree for parking. Road 230 is a rough 4WD road. With an appropriate vehicle, it can certainly be driven.
All distances are per my GPS (please note that a sign at the beginning of Road 230 says 1 mile to Boss Lake Trail junction and 4 miles to the end of the road. My GPS measured 1.30 and 3.45 miles respectively).
This discussion focuses on hiking Road 230. With 4WD, your hike will be reduced by 3.45 miles.
|Route 50||9660 ft||zero miles
|Boss Lake Trail Jct||10400 ft||1.3 miles
|Mt. Aetna Couloir||10800 ft||1.0 miles
|End of Road||11250 ft||1.15 miles
|Chalk Creek Pass||12150 ft||1.75
|Summit||13369 ft||1.25 miles
Start hiking up road 230. You will soon come across an unsigned intersection. Go straight. The road makes a few switchbacks going up an Aspen forest.
After 2.3 miles you will reach the base of the very impressive southern couloir of Mt. Aetna. The boulders come all the way to the edge of the road.
Mt. Aetna Couloir
The road then continues through a Pine forest.
You will have your first glimpse of the southern slopes of Monumental Peak.
At the end of the road, you will find a trail that you can follow through a forest to reach a meadow at the base of Monumental Peak. Keep going north on the trail to reach Chalk Creek Pass.
Monumental from meadow
You will then leave the trail heading west on top of a boulder covered ridge-top to the top of Point 13254 ft, down to a 13100 ft saddle and then the summit of Monumental Peak
Monumental from 13254
Slopes of 13254