Elevation: 13215 ft / 4028 m
Rank in CO: 471 of 637
13er Rank in CO: 418 of 584
13er Rank in Range: 42 of 59
''Hassell Peak'' or UN 13215 is a fine alterrnative to the more popular, and more known Petinngell Peak and Citadel Peak, yet offers stuning views of both and many peaks in Front Range. Hassell Peak is not officially named on the USGS topo map, but is on the ridge to the east of Petinngell Peak. For me is unknown how this mountain got it's name. Hassell Peak has a reputation for being easy to summit, for the standard south slopes route is class 1, with 10 miles-RT & approximataly 3,000-ft elevation gain from Herman Gulch TH. This apply to summer/fall season, winter time with considerable snow on the ground can be totally different mountain.This trail has to be one of the most popular trails in the Front Range with its remarkably easy access from the I-70 corridor. Don’t plan on much solitude when hiking to Herman Lake, the tiny alpine lake sees anywhere from 500 to 700 people weekly. Petinngell Peak is more popluar and more visited summit during summer time, but trail over Jones Pass to summit of Hassell Peak is less traveled, and later in season most likely you can find solitude.
Herman Gulch Trail
Above tree line
View of Citadel Peak
Begining at the Henderson mine, this 5.2 mile trail follows an old mining road closed to vehicles. Parallelling and crossing several streams as it breaks treeline ending beside the 13,000 ft contenental divide. At the termination of this trail is an abandoned mine and rusted mine equipment. To Trailhead : From Denver take I-70 west to the Winter Park exit (US 40 West). Turn L at the henderson mine road (8.9miles). Follow the road 1.8 milles to the mine entrance. Turn right onto the gravel road and follow it past the first parking area. .7 miles up the gravel road turn left and park at the trailhead (Butler Gultch Road).
Driving from the Denver Metro direction (east): Drive west on I-70. At the Georgetown exit (Exit 228), continue on I-70 for 9.5 more miles and exit at Exit 218. This is the next westbound exit after the Bakerville exit. After exiting, turn right, and immediately make another right. The trailhead parking area is 200 ft. ahead.
Driving from Silverthorne (west): Drive east on I-70 going through the Eisenhower Tunnel. From the east end of the tunnel, continue 2.9 miles and take Exit 228. Turn left, and drive under the Interstate. Take the first available right turn. The trailhead parking area is 200 ft. ahead.
Hassell Peak is located within the Arapaho National Forest. Dogs must be kept on a leash. Please observe any additional posted regulations, and practice leave no trace ethics. The area is not within a designated Wilderness Area, and therefore does not benefit from those protections.
Due to its great accessibility, Hassell Peak is most often climbed together with some other peaks in the area. However, camping is allowed in the National Forest which surrounds the area. Good camping spots can be found in Herman and Dry Gulches. In the case of Herman Gulch, you probably would want to venture a ways off trail due to the traffic that the area's trails see. Be sure to follow any fire regulations and leave no trace of your visit.
February 15, 2004
An avalanche swept several skiers 700 vertical feet before burying two of them this morning. One woman was able to dig herself out of the snow, but another man remained buried. Alpine Search and Rescue members found the man by the signal from his beacon. When they found him he was not breathing and didn't have a pulse, but the rescuers were able to revive him. He was airlifted to Saint Anthony Central Hospital in Denver. A total of six people were skiing in the Herman Gulch area, about two miles east of Loveland. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says the avalanche danger in the central mountains is moderate overall, but the risk is higher above tree line.
UPDATE: Five skiers from the Boulder area were involved. Skier 1 and Skier 2 were swept away by the snow, while their friends watched helplessly. Although buried, Skier 1 was able to free herself. She then made her way down the slope and located Skier 2's backpack sticking out through the snow. Skier 1 immediately started digging and was eventually helped by the other 3 skiers. Skier 2 was pulled from the snow after more than 5-7 minutes (4-6 minutes is when brain death begins). One of the skiers went to the car and called 911.The others performed CPR and were able to successfully resuscitate Skier 2. LifeFlight immediately picked up two Ski Patrollers from Loveland and dropped them in the area. Then subsequently picked up and dropped off two paramedics from Clear Creek County, and finally two rescuers from Alpine SAR. Once safely down the mountain, the helicopter transported Skier 2 to a local hospital. As of 7:30 pm, the Sheriff was reporting that Skier 2 was being moved to a hospital room, and was recovering. A spokesman from Clear Creek County Sheriff, says rescuers are crediting Skier 1 with saving Skier 2's life, and calling her a hero.
UPDATE: All five skiers were wearing avalanche beacons, but never needed to use them thanks to the quick work by Skier 1 in locating skier 2's pack in the snow.