To the southeast of the monarch of Fairplay, Mt. Silverheels (13,822 ft.), lies a rounded 12,517 foot hump called Palmer Peak. What this mighty little mountain lacks in prominance or grandeur it more than makes up by providing the hiker the close-up opportunity to bask in the spendor of Mt. Silverheels, one of Colorado's Centennial 13ers. Palmer Peak lies within the centrally-located Tenmile-Mosquito Range.
Mount Silverheels from Palmer Peak.
This one didn't make it out...on its own. As of August 2007, this Jeep is no longer there.
To reach the Beavercreek Trailhead
: From the center of Fairplay on highway 9, find Fourth Street and head northeast. In less than a mile you'll encounter a T-junction where you'll turn north (Bogue Street). One-block north you'll reach a stop sign. Continue straight after the stop sign; the road becomes Beavercreek Lane. Travel about 2.5 miles and turn right (east) onto Forest Service Road (FS) 413. After passing through the gate at the winter trail parking, continue to FS 659 and travel north. In just over two miles you can park your car and hike from the junction of FS 659 and FS 184. Or, continue another mile if you have 4-wheel drive. Keep an eye out on your left for the trail.
Approaching the final summit push from the saddle
After hopping over an earthen boundary placed by the Forest Service to restrict the path to foot traffic only, the trail begins right out of the shoot with a steep, rocky climb. As the trail plateaus, you will reach a junction. The trail to the left heads up an un-named, unranked point above 12,000. Head right for the most expedient rout to Palmer. As you cross a wide-open alpine tundra with the lovely Silverheels to your left (west), Palmer will sit ahead of you to your north. You'll approach Palmer from it's west, gaining the saddle between Palmer and Silverheels before the final summit push. A few faint, rocky trails skitter up the west and north of Palmer. Choose your route, take the summit, and relax in the views.
Not too much red tape encountered in this part of the Pike-San Isabel National Forest, South Park Ranger District
. Adhere to LNT
(Leave No Trace) Principals.
Looking Soutwest from the summit
Camping & LodgingSelkirk Campground
The National Forest Service operates one primitive campground in the area of Boreas Pass Road near Selkirk Gulch.
Fairplay & Alma
- 14-15 primitive campsites
- Open Memorial Day Weekend through September
- Elevation: 10,500 feet
- One vault toilet but no drinking water
- No reservations / first come, first served
On the south side of Boreas Pass the communities of Fairplay and Alma provide a laid-back atmosphere and more reasonable prices for lodging. Fewer hotel rooms and lodges exist on this side of the pass, but privately-owned rental cabins can allow for ample privacy with all of the comforts of home.
Detailed information about lodging in Fairplay and Alma may be found here: http://www.coloradodirectory.com/parkcounty/
Blue River & Breckenridge
On the other side of Boreas Pass, a wide variety of lodging options can be found in Breckenridge and Blue River, ranging from simple hotel rooms to luxury mountain retreats. Rates may be moderate in the shoulder season (spring and fall) and tolerable in the summer. Expect astronomical lodging rates during the winter ski season.
Detailed information on Breckenridge area lodging (including Blue River) may be found here: http://breckenridge.snow.com/info/winter/pb.ldg.asp