Northwest Slope/North Plateau-Loop Route

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Most of a day
Class 1

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Created On: Oct 14, 2003
Last Edited On: Aug 2, 2004


First, if you have found this section of the Bison Peak page, please read on for this is the ultimate route on Bison. A new friend of mine proposed this route; thus all the credit for this perfect route on a perfect mountain goes to Colonalpyat. The north plateau of Bison is seldom visited, even more so than the actual summit. If you have the time and the weather, selecting this route will create one big happy memory on Bison Peak, I promise.

Before you attempt this route please refer to a good topo of the area. Starting at the Lost Park TH at 9,980-ft, locate the Indian Creek Gulch directly south of the parking area. Bison’s steep north slopes are clearly visible from here. Indian Creek Gulch runs south, directly along Bison’s west slopes. Locate the spur trail from the parking area and follow it south, it will lead you to a junction with the Brookside McCurdy Trail.

Route Description

Once on the Brookside McCurdy Trail follow it as it ascends up through the trees into Indian Creek Gulch. Continue south on this trail as it leads you into a wide-open meadow. Soon after this long and beautiful meadow the trail begins to ascend up a semi-steep slope up to Bison Pass at 11,180-ft. At Bison Pass turn left and follow the trail as it switchbacks up Bison’s west slopes to the summit plateau that Bison is famous for. From the plateau, the summit is an obvious mile away.

From the summit, the north plateau is clearly visible to the north. Hike north past hundreds of rock formations and generally stick to the extended north plateau. This is a perfect place to explore and go wherever you please, just continue in a northerly direction. About one mile north from Bison’s summit the rock formations take over the ridge and block simple passage. Drop slightly to the west and contour north and bypass these difficulties.

Abruptly, the plateau ends and it’s also time for the party to end. Locate the vast Lost Creek area and meadow 2,400-ft below; this is where you want to be after the descent. From here the route is through the trees and directly down the north slope of Bison Peak. This slope is not as steep as it looks when viewed from above on the plateau. There is some downfall to deal with, but for the most part the slope isn’t that bad.

After reaching the meadow, quickly locate an obvious trail (Wigwam Trail) and follow it northwest for about 1.5 miles back to the TH.

Essential Gear

Prepare for a nice hike!

Miscellaneous Info

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Northwest Slope/North Plateau-Loop Route

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