South Slopes

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 40.38516°N / 105.94661°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 2
Additional Information Grade: II
Sign the Climber's Log


This route is the standard and easiest route up Parika Peak. The route ascends the peak via Baker Gulch past Parika Lake to the summit. The views of this area are amazing, and you can see the whole Never Summer Wilderness, and a lot of the area in Rocky Mountain National Park. This route is 13 miles long, and gains 3400 feet of elevation in this hike.

Getting There

Drive north out of Grand Lake on Highway 40. After about two miles reach the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. The fee into the park costs $20, or a season pass costs $40. From the entrance to the Park, drive north another six miles to a sign for the Bowen-Baker Trailhead. Turn left into the parking lot. There are a bunch of of parking spaces, and there is a bathroom.

Route Description

Baker, Stratus and Nimbus
From the trailhead. Cross over the Colorado River and follow the road for half a mile to a trail intersection with the Bowen Gulch Trail. Go right on the Baker Gulch Trail. The trail is flat at first, but steepens as it climbs along the creek. Soon, reach the Grand Ditch after 3.5 miles. From here, turn right onto the Baker Gulch Trail. Follow the trail for another half mile until you reach Baker Gulch. Cross the creek and stay left at the Baker Gulch Trail. From here, the trail steepens. Follow it as it switchbacks up the valley, with increasingly good views. Reach the lake after five miles, and admire the views. Parika Peak stands out directly to the west, with Farview Mountain just to the left of Parika. Paprika Peak is to the north of Parika Lake, and is harder to climb than Parika.
From the shallow lake, stay on the trail as it loops around the south isde of the lake. The trail around the lake is mostly flat, but then it gains in steepness as it starts to move away from the lake. Looking back to the east, there is a great view of Longs Peak, and Baker Mountain, Mount Stratus, and Mount Nimbus. Follow the steep trail up towards the saddle between Parika Peak and Farview Mountain. Cross the switchback and reach the saddle. From the saddle turn north and follow the steep slope up towards the summit. There is a beautiful view of Parika Lake from this point. Stay on the slope, till it flattens out. The summit is the high point on the north edge of the ridge. Enjoy the amazing views from the summit.
Looking south you can see Farview Mountain, "Never Summer Mountain", and Bowen Mountain. Looking east, you can see Longs Peak, Mount Ida and the surrounding Peaks, and the other peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park. Looking North, you can see the whole northern part of the Never Summer Wilderness, from Mount Richtofen south to Baker Mountain, with Mount Cumulus, Mount Cirrus, Mount Nimbus and Mount Stratus in between. The view is amazing, and it is hard to beat it in this area.
The trail is 13 miles roundtrip, and gains 3400 feet of elevation during the hike.

Essential Gear

A good pair of hiking boots is great for this hike, as it is long and partly rocky.



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