Northwest Slope Route

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Less than two hours
Class 1+ bushwack finished by Class 2+ scramble

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Northwest Slope Route
Created On: Sep 20, 2009
Last Edited On: Jan 2, 2010


Looking northwest up Lost ParkLooking northwest up Lost Park

This is a short, trail-less route through mostly well-spaced woods. Though short in mileage and modest in elevation gain, be forewarned that this route is best not attempted on “sense of direction” alone. Keep your compass / GPS bearing and proceed carefully. Neither ridge on the northwest slope is particularly well defined (to make for easy following) and criss-crossing old logging roads that are not marked on any map I have reviewed contour the slope. By paying close attention to your bearing on the return t rip, you should end up at or close to your vehicle and avoid a return slog along FS 801.

Roundtrip Mileage: Approximately 2 miles
Elevation Gain: 450 feet

Getting There

From US 285
  • Approximately 2 miles north of Jefferson or 4 miles south of Kenosha Pass, turn east on Lost Park Road (Park County #56).

  • Continue east / southeast on Park County 56, which becomes FS 56, for approximately 6 miles to where FS 39 intersects FS 56.

  • Continue with directions from the intersection of FS 56 and FS 38, below.

From Park County 77
  • Turn north on Park County 39, which becomes FS 39, for 5.4 miles to T-intersection with FS 56.

  • Turn right on FS 56.

  • Continue with directions from the intersection of FS 56 and FS 38, below.

From the intersection of FS 56 and FS 38
  • Travel for 10.3 miles to FS 134* (North Fork Road; see sign to North Fork Trailhead).

  • Follow FS 1341.4 miles on FS 134 to a semi-open area with some parking.

  • Park on wide part of shoulder/toe of arm up to UN 11060.

*Note on FS 134: In dry conditions, it’s suitable for 4x4, AWD & high-clearance vehicles. In wet conditions, 4x4 or AWD will be necessary. While not particularly rocky, the road is rutted and has a few rocks jutting out of the surface that will make 4x4 and high clearance a nice thing to have. Also, there are many unmarked logging road spurring off of FS 134 that do not appear on the Trails Illustrated map #105. Take care to stay on the main artery.
Bring your map and compassBring your map and compass

Route Description

  • Depart your vehicle and head initially due south through the trees, gaining elevation moderately.

  • After about ¼ mile, cross FS 801 (which appears to be a derelict logging road).

  • Continue southbound as the route steepens, attempting to hug a barely discernable ridge, toward the first high point.

  • Skirt the northernmost (first) highpoint to the northeast.

  • (Normally, when bushwacking in this area I avoid northern slopes due to the denser timber. However, the wider-space topo lines / gentler terrain on the northeast edge of the series of summit ridge outcrops make this routing preferable to the steeper southwest slopes.)

  • Continue past the northernmost outcrop, now trending south-southeast.

  • Shortly after passing the middle outcrop, the summit will become apparent through the trees.

  • Scramble (Class 2+) up the summit block (there is a weakness on the western side that eases passage) and enjoy the expansive views to the south.

  • After enjoying a snack at the overlook south of the summit, carefully retrace your steps back to FS 134.

    • Left to right: Summit outcrop from the west (note weakness); Summit outcrop from the east; Rock outcrop just below summit.
      Click on images to enlarge.

      Essential Gear

      • Trail map (Trails Illustrated #105 Tarryall Mts, Kenosha Pass would meet most needs)

      • Compass

      • Trekking pole(s)

      • Sturdy hiking boots with grippy soles and stiff ankle support

      • Snowshoes after a heavy snowfall

      • Water and snacks

      • A camera to save memories of the high country views

      • First aid kit

      • Other standard backcountry essentials

      Northwest Slope of UN 11,060Northwest Slope of UN 11,060

Northwest Slope Route

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