Sunset on Resolution
Resolution Mountain lies about a quarter of the way between Vail and Leadville. It is an easy mountain to access in all seasons. If one is mountain biking through the area (Resolution Gulch), hiking from Hornsilver Mountain, off-roading or come winter, snowmobiling with NOVA Mountain Guides, it is a quick, easy side trip.
The one distinguishing fact about Resolution Mountain is that it quietly looms over Camp Hale
. This was the famous WWII site where in December of 1942, almost 11,500 troops were stationed in the small valley and where the famous 10th Mountain Division solders trained for alpine and high altitude combat for later deployments in Austria and Germany against the Nazis. Even today, every so often, they’ll be odd snippets in the local Vail Daily about how someone found an unexploded ordinance tucked away in the brushes at Camp Hale.
There is a 4x4 road that courses up to 11,500’ to the Fowler-Hilliard Hut
just below the summit. On September 23rd, 2009, a fire broke out
in the cabin due to faulty lighting (as it was determined). The fire was so intense, everything except the cement foundation burnt to the ground. Even the nearby outhouse was scorched so bad, it too needed to be torn down. After a year of having a temporary parachute tepee erected, a new, 16-person hut was rebuilt during the summer of 2010. It is part of the 10th Mountain Division Hut system,
Resolution Mountain is only a class-1 summit. It lies in Eagle County within the Pando Quadrangle
and carries 445’ of prominence. Of the multitude of lower elevation peaks along hwy 24, Resolution Mountain has some of the better views of the Northern Sawatch Range.
Lists of John (statistical beta)
From Vail, drive west for three miles to the Minturn exit at Dowd Junction. Continue heading south to the small railroad town of Minturn. Another 15 miles later will bring you into Camp Hale Valley. Look for a non-descript, dirt road on the left. If you see two, stone pillars and an old canal, you’re in the right place.
If approaching from the south (Leadville), drive south on hwy 24 for 14.8 miles to Camp Hale. Take the dirt road (on the right) and cross the narrow valley to the semi-marked trailhead at 9,678’. The road is surprisingly good and passenger cars may drive a bit further to around 10,000’, depending on bad the prior winter/spring was that is.
This is a hike, not a climb. In fact, a lot of people will mountain bike from the trailhead up to the hut and hike the last few hundred feet to the summit. Others will bike up Resolution Gulch, make the quick side trip and continue on over to Shrine Pass (Vail Pass/I-25) and perform a massive loop or car shuttle.
Leave the lower trailhead (9,678’) and hike up the easy to moderate Jeep trail (Resolution Creek Road- #702)
. Follow the road for 2.0 miles to a ‘T-Junction.’ Take the left hand fork and follow the road in a northerly direction towards a ridge that straddles treeline.
When in doubt, just follow the forest service signs for the Fowler-Hilliard hut or Resolution Mountain Road. Even though most of this is on roads, the forest is thick; this makes for a great short day excursion. The views of Mt. of the Holy Cross and Hornsilver Mountain are terrific!
Another option is to take the less frequented, McAllister Gulch
. To reach this ascent, leave Camp Hale but instead of driving up into Resolution Creek, drive past it to the north and follow McAllister Gulch (#708) as it winds up a partially hidden gulch. This will allow you to approach Resolution Mountain from the west.
When to Climb
This is a mountain that lends itself well to any season.
It can be mountain biked to, Jeep or other off-road vehicle and come winter, this makes for an excellent destination on cross-country skis or snowmobile.
Just bring the appropriate clothing!
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Several options exist for camping around Camp Haler and Resolution Mountain.
Roughly 15 miles south of Minturn is the developed camping area called Camp Hale Memorial Campground (operated by the White River Recreational District)
. There are 15 sites with picnic tables, toilets and campfire rings.
Water however, is not available. Sites run $16.00 per night and reservations are not accepted. It is first come, first serve. The camping area is open from mid-May until early September. For further information, call (970)927.0107
There is also a group site that can be reserved in a seperate location called the Camp Hale East Fork. There is only one spot and it is located about 18 miles south of Minturn. The fee is $85.00 per night but will accomodate up to 100 people. Contact the number listed above. It is also delegated by the White River Rec. District.
Unfortunately, the forest service no longer allows free camping along the valley floor in Camp Hale (not sure why). However, if you're willing to drive up Resolution Creek Road for a short stretch, several smaller spots are visible in the trees.