The Schoolmarm Group from the south
Despite the stern name, Schoolmarm Mountain is a gentle Elevener in the Puma Hills north of Hwy 24 in Park County. Schoolmarm Mountain is the highest in a grouping of wooded peaks that includes Martland Peak (11,289 feet) and Rishaberger Mountain (10,460 feet). There are many ways to the summit of Schoolmarm, but all guarantee a taste of Puma Hills bushwhacking. What is traded in limited line of sight through below timberline tree cover, though, is paid back in startling solitude afforded by a visit to these hills.
The summit features some USGS markers from 1953 and an old survey triangulation structure. The summit boulders offer limited views, but a decent place to sit, take in what views can be enjoyed, and listen to the wind in the pines. Additionally, from other parts of the summit area views are available of the Kenosha Mountains, other nearby Puma Hills, and the high-country across the vastness of South Park.
highest peak in Colorado
Rank & Prominence Source: Lists of John
Many route options from CR 23 Last few steps to summit
There are countless routes to the summit of Schoolmarm Mountain, departing County Road 23. CR 23 is a graded dirt road suitable for most passenger vehicles. It can be reached easily from Hwy 24 west of Lake George and east of Hartsel
East from the summit McCurdy Mountain from just below Schoolmarm Mountain summit
Located within the Pike National Forest, there are no fees to access this area or to park. However, note that Schoolmarm Mountain is surrounded to the west, south and southeast by private property. Be mindful of the Forest Service boundary and respect the rights of property owners.
Camping & Lodging
1953 Directional Marker 1953 Triangulation Marker Schoolmarm Mountain Summit Snow moving across South Park
Nearby Trailhead-Style Camping
Rustic, dry camping is available in on the numerous Forest Service roads off of CR 23. This camping is first-come, first-served with no facilities. You will need to haul all of the water you need.
Lodges and Guest Ranches
Puma Hills River Ranch
Dream Stream Lodge
Ute Trail River Ranch
Bison Peak Lodge
Established National Forest Campgrounds
|Campground Name||Elevation||Sites||Nightly Rate||Reservations?||Notes|
|Blue Mountain||8,200 ft.||21||$12||Yes||Just a couple miles south of Lake George. |
|Spruce Grove||8,600 ft.||27||$12||No||Let the gurgling Tarryall Creek sing you to sleep.|
|Twin Eagles||8,600 ft.||9||$8||No||Must haul or purify drinking water.|
|Happy Meadows||7,900 ft.||8||$12||No||Situated along the South Platte River.|
|Round Mountain||8,500 ft.||16||$12||Yes||Drinking water, vault toilet and trash pickup.|
|Springer Gulch||8,300 ft.||15||$12||Yes||Situated within the Elevenmile Canyon; water, tables, fire grates.|
|Riverside||8,000 ft.||19||$12||Yes||Situated within Elevenmile Canyon; large grassy meadow with little shade.|
Weather & Seasons
Triangulation Structure on Summit
Cold Late-November Summit
The Puma Hills are a year-round mountain range. Relatively low elevations (below timberline) and gentle grades mean minimal avalanche danger. Schoolmarm Mountain should be accessible from late Spring through Fall. Heavy snows or snowmelt may make CO Rd 23 impassible in Winter and Spring. The aspen that thrive at these middle elevations make Schoolmarm Mountain and its Puma Hills neighbors delightful destinations in Fall.