Piney River

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Required:
A long day
Class III to V

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Piney River
Created On: Jul 24, 2011
Last Edited On: Mar 19, 2018


East Corner and Corner Peak

Piney River Trailhead gives access to the Corner Group from the South.

On your way back to the trailhead you will get a glimpse of the very rarely visited East Meadow Creek Valley.

Getting There

Corner Peak and Northwest Corner

Turn off at Exit 176 on I 70 (VAIL) - go west and turn on Redsandstone Rd, which turns into Piney Lake Road (dirt/gravel). Piney Lake Road is in decent shape until it descends down to Piney River Valley. The last 5 miles of the road are full off deep potholes, it will be a very very slow ride - but it is makeable for a normal sedan. Park before the Piney Lake Resort gate to your right

Route Description

Ripsaw Rige from Corner Peak Group

Hike on Piney River Trail to the waterfalls of Piney River. A faint trail will split off Piney River Trail about 100 yards after the falls to your left. The trail is at times hard to follow but will get you to the bowl right below Mount Powell and C Peak.Hike up to the most Eastern Towern of the Corner Peak Group rising right next to Game Pass which separates Moutn Powell from the Corner Peak Group.

Here the scrambling fun begins. You will cross five major towers and numerous smaller spines in between. East Corner Peak is the second tower counting from the East. The section between East Corner and Corner Peak is the most technical part of the ridge. Staying straight on the ridge line would be a Class V climb, but there is always a Class III option to get around the most difficult parts (this will include downclimbing from the ridge at one or two sections).

The scrambling ends after you climbed over the second tower West of Corner Peak. The scraggy towers give way to flower filled meadows on the slopes of Northwest Corner Peak.

Avoid climbing down the very steep scree filled slopes straight below Northwest Corner Peak. Continue on a faint trail to the saddle below Meridian Peak and hike down to the valley of East Meadow Creek right below you.

On the map you will see Trail 1889, connecting  the East side of the creek with the  Piney River Trail. I was not able to find the trail. If you cannot find it either, follow East Meadow Creek downvally (heading south) until the creek makes almost a 90 angle degree turn to the West (following the creek any furter would get you far away from Piney Lake). Leave the creek valley and hike uphill heading south to cross the ridge separating Meadow Creek from Piney River (you will cross dense forest and will not see any surrounding mountains, you need to trust your sense of direction). With luck you will run into trail 1889 on the other side (it was almost overgrown in summer 2011 even on the Piney River Valley side) otherwise just bushwhack downhilll until you are back on Piney River Trail

Essential Gear


Ice axe and crampons in early summer - a helmet is a must for all seasons

Piney River

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