Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 39.06370°N / 107.0613°W
Season: Summer
Elevation: 12665 ft / 3860 m


Overview



Rank: Peak 12665 ft is Colorado’s 883rd highest ranked peak

Prominence: 605 ft

Peak 12665 ft rises in a remote corner of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness in Colorado’s Elk Mountains. The western slopes of Peak 12665 ft are steep but grassy and drop 3000 vertical feet into the North Fork of Crystal River Valley. A trail starts in the valley and traverses the western slopes of Peak 12665 ft at an elevation of 11200 ft giving access to the slopes that lead to the summit. The eastern slopes of Peak 12665 ft go down to a grassy plateau that sits at an elevation of 11400-12000 ft. The plateau itself rises above Hasley Basin which can be accessed via a trail that starts at Geneva Lake Trailhead in the valley of North Fork of Crystal River.

The east face of the northern ridgeline of Peak 12665 ft creates a spectacular reddish wall that seems to be a perfect example of geological tilting.

I had discovered this beautiful peak by surfing Google Earth. I was able to do a hike that took me from Geneva Lake Trailhead to Hasley Basin where I left trail and climbed the eastern slopes to reach the summit. I then descended the western slopes going back to near where I had started my hike. Reaching the start of my hike required much four wheel driving. Crystal River Jeep Tours in Marble Colorado dropped me off and picked me up at the start and end of my hike.

Peak 12665 ft, west face. From Lead King Basin Road
Peak 12665 ft, west face. From Lead King Basin Road


Getting There

See attached map. Rough Road. You will need a high clearance four wheel drive vehicle. From Beaver Lake at the east end of the town of Marble, drive the Lead King Basin Road 7.75 miles to reach Geneva lake Trailhead. The return end of my trip was at the spot shown on the map 1800 ft down the road near a place called Paul’s Cabin where a bridge crosses the stream. Allow 50 minutes for the drive.



Route

This is a description of my hike as shown on the above map from Geneva Lake Trailhead to the summit of Peak 12665 ft and down to near Paul’s Cabin. 9.1 miles with 3270 ft of uphill.

Left Geneva Lake Trailhead (9660 ft) at 6:45 a.m. following the trail north. Soon the trail to Geneva Lake branched to the left. I continued on the valley floor on The North Fork of Crystal River Trail. The waterfall that presumably drains Geneva Lake came to view.

Waterfall below Lake Geneva
Waterfall below Lake Geneva

Looking back at the peaks of Treasure Mountain.

Treasure Mountain
Treasure Mountain

The valley slowly turned east. Maroon Peak appeared as a big shadow at the end of the valley.

Maroon Peak
Maroon Peak

Continuing up the valley.

Slopes of Meadow Mountain
Slopes of Meadow Mountain
Point 12525 ft
Point 12525 ft
Point 12490 ft
Point 12490 ft
Meadow Mountain
Meadow Mountain


At 8:20, 3.3 miles and 10380 ft, I reached where the trail crossed The North Fork of Crystal River.

Where the trail crosses the stream
Where the trail crosses the stream

Shortly after the creek, I left the main trail and followed a trail on the right that headed south into a pine forest and began to climb the slopes toward Hasely Basin. Many fallen tress blocked the trail but bypassing them was not too cumbersome.

Pine forest on trail to Hasley Basin
Pine forest on trail to Hasley Basin

At around 10850 ft, a meadow opened up and the high points at the end of Hasley Basin came to view to the south.

Meadow on Hasley Basin Trail
Meadow on Hasley Basin Trail

Point 12525 ft, which sits to the north of Peak 12665 ft, could also be seen to the west.

Peak 12525 ft (to the north of Peak 12665 ft)
Peak 12525 ft (to the north of Peak 12665 ft)

This impressive peak to the north, was Hagerman Peak.

Hagerman Peak from Hasley Basin
Hagerman Peak from Hasley Basin

Looking south into Hasley Basin.

South end of Hasley Basin
South end of Hasley Basin

At 9:10, 11000 ft and 4.6 miles, I reached where I was planning to leave trail. Rested there for 10 minutes then headed west, crossing the stream going up the grassy slopes on the east side of Hasley Basin.

Climbing Grassy slopes after leaving trail
Climbing Grassy slopes after leaving trail
Climbing Grassy slopes after leaving trail
Climbing Grassy slopes after leaving trail

At around 11600 ft, the slopes began to ease up. The east face of Peak 12665 ft finally came to view. As Google Earth had shown, there was a wall directly below the summit but easy grassy slopes seemed to allow access to the ridgetop to the south of the summit. It seemed like I would have to go far south to avoid a long snow bank directly below the ridgetop.

East face of Peak 12665 ft, first view
East face of Peak 12665 ft, first view

I then entered a beautiful sloped plateau. A huge herd of elk appeared in the distance. They ran away as soon as they saw me. Zoomed views.

Elk on plateau, zoomed view
Elk on plateau, zoomed view
Elk on the plateau, zoomed view
Elk on the plateau, zoomed view


Peak 12665 ft and Point 12525 ft to the north of it.

Peak 12665 ft & Point 12525 ft
Peak 12665 ft & Point 12525 ft

Ponds on the plateau with Mount Snowmass and Hagerman Peak.

Mt. Snowmass, Hagerman Peak and pond on plateau
Mt. Snowmass, Hagerman Peak and pond on plateau

Point 12508 ft and view of the upper end of Hasley Basin.

Point 12508 ft
Point 12508 ft
South end of Hasley Basin
South end of Hasley Basin


The impressive ridgeline between Peak 12665 ft and Point 12525 ft.

Peak 12665 ft ridgeline to Point 12525 ft
Peak 12665 ft ridgeline to Point 12525 ft

A fantastic view of Capitol Peak, Mount Snowmass and Hagerman Peak.

Capitol Peak, Mt. Snowmass & Hagerman Peak
Capitol Peak, Mt. Snowmass & Hagerman Peak

Pond below the summit of Peak 12665 ft.

Pond below the summit
Pond below the summit

Went up the tail end of the snowbank to reach the ridgetop, then followed the ridge top north to reach the summit at 11:00 and 6.5 miles. Sat there, had my lunch and enjoyed the views. To the south, I could see Gothic and Whetstone Mountains which I had climbed the previous year when we had stayed in Crested Butte.

Mt. Crested Butte, Gothic Mountain & Whetstone Mountain
Mt. Crested Butte, Gothic Mountain & Whetstone Mountain

The long ridgeline of Treasure Mountains and its many snow bowls.

Treasure Mountain
Treasure Mountain


Sheep Mountain nearby and The Raggeds to the distant west.

Sheep Mountain & The Raggeds/Chair Mtn.
Sheep Mountain & The Raggeds/Chair Mtn.

Meadow Mountain, Mount Daly and Lead King Basin Road.

Meadow Mountain, Mt. Daly & Lead King Basin Rd.
Meadow Mountain, Mt. Daly & Lead King Basin Rd.

Capitol Peak, Mount Snowmass and Hagerman Peak.

Capitol Peak, Mt. Snowmass & Hagerman Peak
Capitol Peak, Mt. Snowmass & Hagerman Peak

Maroon Peak and the plateau I had hiked to the east.

Maroon Peak & the Plateau to the east
Maroon Peak & the Plateau to the east

South end of Hasley Basin.

South end of Hasley Basin
South end of Hasley Basin

Left the summit at 11:20 a.m. I was hoping to descend the western slopes to reach a trail at 11200 ft. Google Earth had shown the slopes to be all grassy. From the summit, I could not see all the way down the slopes. I was getting concerned that my whole plan was depending on what I had seen on Google Earth. What if I ran into a wall after descending 1000 feet? I had told Tim of Crystal Lake Jeep Tours to pick me up at 1:00 p.m. near Paul’s Cabin. I knew distance-wise, I was not too far away but I was still more than 3000 vertical feet above Paul’s Cabin.

Headed north and began to follow the ridgetop toward the saddle with Point 12525 ft. The east face of this ridgeline had a spectacular wall but the west face was all grassy.

Ridgetop to Point 12525 ft
Ridgetop to Point 12525 ft

Once I reached the saddle, I turned west and began to go down the steep grassy slopes.

Point 12500 ft
Point 12500 ft

Looking back up the slopes.

Steep grassy western slopes
Steep grassy western slopes

Beautiful grassy slopes.

Steep grassy western slopes
Steep grassy western slopes
Grassy slopes on the west side of the peak
Grassy slopes on the west side of the peak

Another view of Treasure Mountain.

Treasure Mountain from the grassy slopes
Treasure Mountain from the grassy slopes

Reached the trail at 11200 ft, 12:15 and 7.5 miles. Sounded like I might be a little late. Fortunately I had given a walkie-talkie to Tim so that he could radio me. Started to hike fast down the trail. A look back at Peak 12665 ft.

Peak 12665 ft, west face
Peak 12665 ft, west face

Meadow Mountain, Cats Eye Peak, the tip of Mount Daly and Lead King Basin Road.

Meadow Mountain, Cat's Eye Peak & Mount Daly
Meadow Mountain, Cat's Eye Peak & Mount Daly

At 12:50, Tim radioed me. I told him that I was close. Another view of Sheep Mountain.

Sheep Mountain
Sheep Mountain
On the trail near Paul's Cabin
On the trail near Paul's Cabin

Reached the road at 1:15. Tim saw me and drove to pick me up.


Red Tape

No fees or permits for day hikes.


When to Climb

Summer