Peak 12,055 is a beautiful summit in the Indian Peaks wilderness. With near 360 panoramic views and class 3 climbing to reach the summit, this is truly one of the most fun (and most accessible) climbs from the Fourth of July Trailhead. Perhaps it cannot be considered a peak, since it shares a saddle with Jasper Peak for which it rises only about 250' above.
The summit itself is a pleasant meadow that sits 500 feet above a precipice below (At about 11,800'). James Peak
is clearly visible from the summit, as are many other summits in the Front Range. Peak 12,055 is the first major summit that sits to the left side of the Fourth of July Trailhead, and can be accessed via the Diamond Lake Trail. Major summits to the North of Peak 12,055 include Jasper Peak
and Mount Neva
A plus for this mountain is that it can be done in half a day, via fun boulder hopping and loose scree climbing to reach the wide open summit.
*Attention Rock Enthusiasts. There is a plethora of quartz rock among the rocks on the scree slope. These rocks are near perfect and worth collecting as souveniers.
Take rt. 72 from Denver, or rt. 119 from Boulder, to the peak to peak highway. Take these glorious winding mountain roads to Nederland, CO. From there, I take the road to the El Dora ski resort. About 2 miles down the road, there is a sign to go to the ski resort, to the left. Stay right to go to the mountains. You get to a dirt road that is about 7 miles to the Fourth of July trailhead. From the trailhead hike up for about 1 1/2 miles, past 3 waterfalls, and you will see a sign pointing to several directions. Take the trail to Diamond Lake which descends back into the woods. Take the trail for about 1 mile until you see a clearing in the woods.
If you can see the lake, you have gone too far. Just before you see the lake, you take a trail to the left and you will be at the clearing.
At the clearing (~11,000 feet), you must boulder hop to a scree slope that takes you to a rock precipice. This is the false summit, but it must be reached via a class 3 scree slope, before you can reach the true summit.
Once at the false summit (~11,800), descend a couple hundred feet and head to your right (North). From here, it is a pleasant walk-up to the summit.
From here, you can continue your journey and hit other peaks along the summit ridge, or return from whence you came.
Elevation gain: ~2,200 feet
Round Trip hiking distance from the trailhead: ~4 miles
Parking is free at the Fourth of July Trailhead, but it gets crowded early in the day during the summer. Make sure you park in designated areas. Many areas along the road are private and prohibit parking. No tresspassing signs are all over the area.
The dirt road to the trailhead is not maintained in winter or spring.
There is a bathroom located at the trailhead parking area
Indian Peak Wilderness Rules and Regulations:
Motorized vehicles are not permitted, including bicycles.
A permit is required for camping in the wilderness area between June 1 and Sept. 15. Permits are issued for 19 travel zones within the Indian Peak boundaries. Permits are $5.00 at the following offices. For information or to apply for a use permit, contact the U.S. Forest Service, Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave., 303-541-2500, or the Sulphur Ranger District, 9 Ten Mile Drive, P.O. Box 10, Granby, CO 80446, 1-970-887-4100. For recorded information, call the Indian Peaks Wilderness Information Line at 303-541-2519.
Only a certain number of groups are allowed in each travel zone for overnight camping. Camping is limited to two weeks in any four-week period; the two weeks can be in any travel zone.
Organized groups (maximum size of 12) must have permit for camping or hiking at all times.
Campsites must be at least 100 yards from lakes and streams.
Fires are prohibited east of the Continental Divide. Fires are allowed in certain areas west of the divide. Be careful about fires because some summers have more fires than others, and statewide bans may be in place.
When To Climb
This mountain can be climbed year round. The best time to climb is between June and September. Weather is unpredictable year round in the Rockies, but this hike will take only a few hours in good summer weather.
Weather Report for Nederland Colorado