Mount Helen

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Hiking, Mountaineering, Skiing
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
13164 ft / 4012 m
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Mount Helen
Created On: May 18, 2005
Last Edited On: May 18, 2006


Mount Helen viewed from the...Mt. Helen

Mount Helen is a low thirteener among the giants of the Tenmile Range. It stands on the southeast side of the Crystal Creek Basin that also holds Crystal Peak, Peak 10, and Father Dyer Peak. Mount Helen actually connects to Father Dyer Peak with an exposed Class 3 traverse. It's a very enjoyable route. In the same region are many other popular high peaks like Pacific Peak, "Atlantic" Peak, Quandary Peak, Fletcher Mountain, and Drift Peak. Not far to the south are the popular 14ers Mount Lincoln, Mount Bross, Mount Democrat, and Cameron Point.

Despite her higher and more popular neighbors, Mount Helen is a wonderful climb on its own. Helen's airy summit is a great spot to view surrounding peaks, and her east slopes offer great snow climbing and skiing in Winter and Spring. Visitors to the Crystal Creek drainage rarely climb to her summit, making a trip there an almost guarantee of solitude.

Mount Helen is very close to the popular ski resort town of Breckenridge. It is a great daytrip any time of year for climbers who live near here.

Getting There

The amazing colors we were...
Spruce Creek Trailhead: 10,440 feet.

From Hoosier Pass, south of Breckenridge on Colorado 9, go 7.6 miles north to the well-marked Spruce Creek Road. There is also a sign here that says "The Crown." Turn onto the Spruce Creek Road, and follow it for approximately 2 miles to an obvious parking area. Park 2 Wheel Drive vehicles here. Winter and Spring snow closure will also be here. This road does not typically melt out until mid-June.

4 Wheel Drive vehicles can proceed 1.1 miles up the Spruce Creek road to a gated closure on the Aqueduct Access Road (see route info.)


This section shows an overview of the routes available on summitpost for Mount Helen. The route colors refer to the TOPO below:

RED= East Slopes Route
BLUE= Father Dyer - Mount Helen Ridge (from Father Dyer Peak Page)

Skiing? Try the East Slopes Descent

This TOPO is a route overview...

Red Tape

There is no red tape on Mount Helen. Observe private property closures and do not cross closed Forest Service Roads when they are closed for the season.

When To Climb

Mount Helen can be climbed year-round. Helen is a great Winter or Spring ski descent, and is also a nice hike in the Summer and Fall.


Mount Helen s North Facing...
There are no formal campsites in this area, however, there are countless places to camp informally in this area. Sleeping in your vehicle at the trailhead is also recommended.

Francie's Cabin, a 10th Mountain Association Hut, is near this area in lower Crystal Creek.


Click here for a high altitude NOAA forecast for the Mount Helen area.