Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 40.42750°N / 105.8373°W
Additional Information County: Grand
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 11340 ft / 3456 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Frosty Trees (P) on Shipler MountainFrosty Trees on Shipler Mountain

There is a special joy that comes with visiting Rocky Mountain National Park in the winter. This heavenly place, crawling with crowds in the summer, becomes a peaceful, snowy sanctuary in the winter. Nestled deep in thick Twelver territory near the headwaters of the Colorado River, Shipler Mountain is moderately easy to reach in the winter and serves up a lot of bang for the buck.

Shipler Mountain is not one of the grander or more dramatic mountains in this park full of alpine rock stars. But set among mountains topping out more than one thousand feet above, Shipler Mountain serves as the perfect little viewing station to take in miles and miles of alpine eye candy. To stand on the bare summit of Shipler Mountain and swivel about, marveling at the scenery, is to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of alpine adventure awaiting the visitor to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Colorado Rank: Unranked
Prominence: 160 feet
USGS Quad: Fall River Pass
Trails Illustrated Map: #200 Rocky Mountain National Park

Rank and Prominence Reference: Lists of John

Getting There

Never Summer Range PanoramaNever Summer Range Panorama
Photo by Mountain Jim

Shipler Mountain is in the far northwestern corner of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). RMNP is in north-central Colorado. Denver is the nearest major city with an international airport, and the winter trailhead for Shipler Mountain (Timber Lake Trailhead) is about 2 hours from Denver. To the east is Fort Collins, and to the northeast is Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Shipler Mountain_Getting There Map

Red Tape

Specimen MountainSpecimen Mountain to the northeast

Rocky Mountain National Park
Many regulations govern your use of this National Park. Regulations include:
• Pets are not allowed on trails or in the backcountry. Leashed pets (leash 6 feet or shorter) are allowed only in vehicle accessible areas (e.g. roadsides, campgrounds, parking lots, etc.)
• Camp in designated areas only. Backcountry camping requires a permit.
• The individual automobile entrance fee is $20, valid for seven consecutive days beginning the day of purchase.

Specimen Mountain framed by treesSpecimen Mountain framed by trees

Specimen Mountain Research Natural Area
Shipler Mountain sits within a special land management area and special regulations apply.
• No camping is permitted in this area.
• Season closures affect some trails in the area in the summer for Big Horn Sheep lambing, specifically the Crater Trail to the east of Shipler Mountain. It is recommended you check with a ranger regarding the status of area closures before setting out for the summit of Shipler Mountain from the east.

Camping & Lodging

Mount Cumulus at centerMount Cumulus at center
Westward along the summit ridgeWestward along the summit ridge

Timber Creek Campground
The nearest front-country c ampground to Shipler Mountain is Timber Creek Campground, operated by the National Park Service.
• Roughly 2 miles north of the Timber Lake Trailhead
• 98 campsites
• Open year-round
• First-come, first-served (no reservations)
• $20 night when water is on / $14 per night when water is off

Grand Lake Lodging
A few hotels, inns and cabins are available for rent in nearby Grand Lake, Colorado. Visit the Trip Advisor Page for Grand Lake for more information on lodging in this area.

Weather & Seasons

The Kawuneeche ValleyThe Kawuneeche Valley
Ascending the ridgeAscending the ridge
Specimen Mountain from the Shipler summit ridgeSpecimen Mountain from the Shipler summit ridge
To the west from the summit of Shipler MountainTo the west from the summit of Shipler Mountain

Shipler Mountain is an easily-accessible, year-round peak.

Winter is a peaceful time to visit Shipler Mountain. Expect deep snow in the timbered areas and bitter cold wind above timberline, but the payoff is solitude and eye-popping views.

Spring would bring rotten pillows of snow and a lot of post-holing, but warmer, sunny days.

In summer, Rocky Mountain National Park is crawling with visitors and crowded. Once off-trail heading toward the Shipler Mountain summit you should find some privacy, but expect limited parking and a lot of road noise from Trail Ridge Road sight-seers.

Autumn brings crisper air, and more slender crowds, plus golden aspen leaves and bugling elk.

Zone Forecast for Grand Lake, CO

Colorado River ValleyLooking down the Colorado River Drainage from the summit of Neota Mountain.
Shipler Mountain rises above the valley to the left.
Photo by Mountain Jim



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.