Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 40.48397°N / 105.64519°W
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Ice Climbing, Aid Climbing, Mixed
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 13560 ft / 4133 m
Sign the Climber's Log

Under New Ownership

I adopted this Range after the page originator, Andy, became inactive. I hope to give the Range the more complete and informative page it deserves. Please let me know any thoughts and/or suggestions you might have regarding page renovations.

 

Overview

Located in Northern Central Colorado, the Mummy Range extends northward from Chapin Pass in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) approximately 20 miles to the Cache La Poudre River. The southern half of the range lies within RMNP while the northern half is contained within Roosevelt National Forest and the Comanche Peak Wilderness. Most climbing opportunities are found in the RMNP portion of the range where 15 summits exceed 12,000 ft. 

Origin of the NameFrom: Cache La Poudre: The Natural History of a Rocky Mountain River. 

Roaring River after the floodMajor erosion from the Lawn Lake Flood. When 30 million cubic feet of water came downhill in a hurry!

The name “Mummy” seems singularly inappropriate for that imposing range, visible as it is for many miles to the east and to the north and to the south. Early visitors apparently saw a resemblance to a reclining Egyptian mummy. The Arapahoes called them nooku-bee3ei-no which translates to “White Owls”. It is not certain who first called them the Mummies - it may have been Albert Bierstadt, who visited the area in 1876.Unique Features-Due to it’s relative remoteness and, for the most part, long approaches, the range sees fewer visitors than most areas of the Park. In contrast to RMNP as a whole, most access points, other than those in the extreme southern portion of the range, are somewhat far-flung and reachable only by lengthy drives on unpaved roads.Winter access is good in RMNP with the exception of the Chapin Pass trailhead. In the northern part of the range, Winter access is limited due to seasonal road closures. See the trailhead list below for more detail. 

Cache La Poudre RiverCache La Poudre River. This spot was featured in the opening scenes of Centennial with Pasquinel and McKeag crossing here on horseback.

On July 15, 1982 the Lawn Lake Dam collapsed, causing 30 million cubic feet of water to race down the Roaring River at a rate of up to 18,000cfs as it dropped 2,500 feet to Horseshoe Park below. From there, the flood waters continued down the Fall River, obliterating a small dam before the waters slammed into Estes Park. The alluvial fan created by the flood waters is plainly visible today. A hike up the Lawn Lake Trail still reveals the power of that flash flood of more than 30 years ago. Lawn Lake/Roaring River FloodOn June 3rd, 1944, a B-17 Bomber with a crew of 10 crashed high on north-facing slope in the northern reaches of the Mummy Range. Six crewmen survived the crash. The crash site is accessible by trail. The western, northern and north-eastern limits of the range are marked by Colorado’s only Designated Wild and Scenic River-The Cache La Poudre.

Geology/Glaciation

Rowe Peak and Rowe Glacier...Rowe Glacier and Peak ~ Photo by RyanS
 One of the ice fields for...The icefield for which the pass is named-It is the largest ice/snow feature in RMNP ~ Photo by Andy

The Mummy Range was formed during the Laramide orogeny, which began about 70 million years ago and lasted approximately 30 million years. Multiple faults in the area were thrust upward, creating the beginnings of the range. After a period of much volcanic activity, 25 to 40 million years ago, the range and surrounding areas were buried under a thick blanket of volcanic ash. Over the last 25 million years, the range continued to rise, reaching it’s current elevation in the last few million years. All the while, the power of erosion sculpted the canyons and valleys. Climate changes beginning 1.8 million years ago changed the engine of erosion from water to ice and the era of the glaciers began. The range shows much evidence of glaciation in the past but only remnants of the great glaciers are left today. Rowe Glacier, between Hagues Peak and Rowe Peak and a few “permanent” ice/snowfields are all that remain.See Glaciers of Colorado for more info.

 

Southern Half-Rocky Mountain National Park

This portion contains the majority of the range’s high peaks, including all of it’s 13ers and the highest summit in the Mummies, Hagues Peak at 13,560 ft. Elevations range from 8,000 to over 13,500 feet. 

Southern Mummy RangeSouthern Mummy Range-Chapin, Chiquita, Ypsilon, Fairchild, Hagues & Mummy Mtn, from the Krueger Rock Trail
Chiquita, Ypsilon & Hagues PeakChiquita, Ypsilon & Hagues Peak-With an interesting looking "Swan" cloud above-From Beaver Meadows, RMNP.
Chapin Pass signStart of the trail to the summits.

Trailheads: Chapin Pass-Primarily provides access to Chapin, Chiquita and Ypsilon. Also is the normal starting point for what’s known as Mummy Mania. This trailhead is usually accessible from early July until the first snows of Fall. Parking is very limited! 

YpsilonYpsilon Mountain ~ Photo by Wlloyd
Spectacle Lakes viewed from...Spectacle Lakes viewed from near the summit of Ypsilon. The left-hand ridge is Blitzen Ridge, and the right-hand is Donner Ridge. September 18, 2004 ~ Photo by RyanS
Fairchild MountainFairchild Mountain with Ypsilon left, the Saddle right, Crystal and Lawn Lakes below-From Mummy Mountain

Peaks accessible from this trailhead include: Mount Chapin 12,454 Mount Chiquita 13,069 Ypsilon Mountain 13,514 Also accessible:Desolation Peaks 12,918 Fairchild Mountain 13,502 Hagues Peak 13,560 Mummy Mountain 13,425 Lawn Lake- Provides access to the headwaters of the Roaring River and Ypsilon Lake. A number of backcountry campsites may also be reached via the Lawn Lake and Ypsilon Lake trails. This trailhead is accessible year round. Parking is usually available but can be limited at peak times. Peaks include: Fairchild MountainHagues Peak Mummy Mountain Lumpy Ridge- Gives access to some smaller peaks in the southern part of the range and provides a longer approach to the headwaters of the Roaring River via the Black Canyon trail. A few backcountry campsites are reachable from this trailhead as well. This trailhead is accessible year round. Parking is available but can be limited at peak times. 

Dark Mountain from  The Gemstones Dark Mountain from "The Gemstones" at the eastern end of Lumpy Ridge ~ Photo by Mountain Jim

Accessible peaks include: McGregor Mountain 10,486 Dark Mountain 10,859Bighorn Mountain 11,463 Mount Tileston 11,254Mummy Mountain Cow Creek-Not a primary access 

Bridal Veil FallsBridal Veil Falls on Cow Creek-June 15, 2016

point for the range’s higher peaks but does provide alternative access to the above mentioned Black Canyon trail and the North Fork/Lost Lake trails via the North Boundary trail. A few backcountry campsites are located along Cow Creek. This trailhead is normally accessible year round. Parking is very limited.Accessible Peak:Sheep Mountain 9,794 Dunraven-Provides access to the headwaters of the North Fork of the Big Thompson via the North Fork and Lost Lake trails. Additionally, the Stormy Peaks trail affords access to the Comanche Peak Wilderness and Roosevelt National Forest, in the northern half of the range. A number of backcountry campsites are scattered along all three trails. This trailhead is normally accessible year round. Parking is available. 

Icefield PassIcefield Pass from the North Fork Trail-August 2003

Accessible peaks include:Mount Dickinson 11,831Mount Dunraven 12,571Mummy MountainHagues PeakRowe Peak 13,404Signal Mountain 11,262Camping Options:As far as camping areas other than the backcountry sites, Aspen Glen CG in RMNP is the closest. A number of private campgrounds and numerous other accommodations are available in Estes Park.

Northern Half-Roosevelt National Forest/Comanche Peak Wilderness

The northern part of the Mummy Range is located outside RMNP, except for the extreme southern portion. While there are many miles of trails to hike in the northern Mummies, climbing opportunities are limited and primarily located on or near the northern boundary of RMNP. Additionally, a few peaks over 11,000 are found to the north and northwest of Comanche Peak. Elevations range from 8,000 to 12,700 feet.

Comanche Peak 12,702Comanche Peak 12,702-Comanche Peak Wilderness, Colorado

Trailheads: Stormy Peaks, Beaver Creek & Emmaline Lake trailheads are all located near Colorado State University's Pingree Park Campus in Roosevelt NF. They provide access to: Comanche Peak Wilderness and the northern fringes of RMNP. Check with Roosevelt NF for seasonal acces info. Parking is limited.Accessible Peaks:Comanche Peak 12,702Point 12,716Sugarloaf Mountain 12,101Stormy Peaks 12,148Fall Mountain 12,258Skull Point 12,026Rowe PeakHagues PeakGibraltar Mtn 13,330 Point 12,308 (west side of the Mirror Lk Cirque)Jack's Gulch, Flowers, Fish Creek, Browns Lake & Zimmerman trailheads are all located along the northern edge of the range and provide access to the Comanche Peak Wilderness. Other than Fish Creek, access is seasonal, parking is limited. 

Below Emmaline LakeCirque Lake below Comanche Peak, Comanche Peak Wilderness, Colorado ~ Photo by Kiefer

Accessible peaks include:Comanche Peak Point 12,716Point 12,308Corral Creek-Provides access to the Mummy Pass area as well as the upper reaches of the Cache La Poudre River. Access is seasonal, parking is limited.Accessible peaks include:Comanche PeakPoint 12,716Point 12,308Desolation PeaksCamping options:Plenty of choices here, from backcountry sites in the Comanche Peak Wilderness, to NF CGs like Jack's Gulch and Long Draw, to dispersed camping in some areas along the forest roads.

Getting There

The RMNP/Southern Mummies-From Denver:Via Boulder/Hwy 3666 miles 1.5–2 hoursTake I-25 north to Exit 217 (US Hwy 36) to Estes ParkVia Loveland/Hwy 34-33 miles from I-2550 minutesThe Roosevelt NF/Northern Mummies-Via Fort Collins/Hwy 14 west to CR 68, Pingree Park Rd turnoff37 miles54 minutesTrailhead access points an additional 8-17 miles on unpaved roadsVia Fort Collins/Hwy 14 west to the Long Draw Rd turnoffAdd 26 miles from the Pingree Park turnoffAdd 36 minutesTrailhead access point an additional 8 miles on unpaved road

 

Red Tape

For Rocky Mountain National Park Basic InfoBackcountry infoFor Roosevelt National ForestHome PageCamping / HikingComanche Peak Wilderness

 

Books/Maps

BooksRocky Mountain National Park: The Complete Hiking GuideMapsTrails Illustrated:Rocky Mountain NP #200 Shows backcountry campsite locationsPoudre River/Cameron Pass #112