At the summit of Threemile Mountain
Threemile Mountain juts out of the high prairie of southern Park County. It sits relatively isolated, and provides fine views in most directions from its rocky summit. This is a cool little peak with a rocky finish, and even in the dead of winter demands a relatively small price in terms of overall level of effort to reach its 10,000+ foot summit and enjoy the breeze and the views.
Like neighboring peaks in this area, Threemile Mountain rises out of a dry, grassy plain and has sparse, scrubby trees on its upper slopes and near its summit. The summit area is craggy enough to deter tree growth and provide fine views, even of the distant Sawatch.
highest peak in Colorado
Rank and Prominence Source: Lists of John
Threemile Mountain is east of CO Hwy 9, roughly 15 miles south of the town of Hartsel on US Hwy 24. The peak is in far southern Park County near Thirtynine Mile Mountain, about 8 miles as the crow flies southwest of Eleven Mile Reservoir.
Northward from the summit area Sawatch Range from the summit
Very few rules govern your use of this part of the National Forest. There are privately-held ranches nearby, however; be mindful of avoiding private property. There is no fee to use this part of the National Forest and parking is free.
Scrubby trees below the summit UN 9900 from ThreemileImmediately Surrounding the Peak
This peak is close to roadways and clean, reliable water sources are scarce. Camping right near the peak cannot be recommended.
US Forest Service Campgrounds
The National Forest Service has a large selection of campgrounds in and around the Lake George area.
|Campground Name||Elevation||Sites||Nightly Rate||Reservations?||Notes|
|Blue Mountain||8,200 ft.||21||$12||Yes||Less than 3 miles as the crow flies from the summit of Blue Mountain. |
|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.|Eastward along summit ridge Approaching the rocky summit areaEleven Mile State Park
Colorado State Parks operates eight campgrounds near the Eleven Mile Reservoir, as well as 25 backcountry campsites accessible by foot or boat only. Visit this site (http://parks.state.co.us/Parks/ElevenMile/Camping/Pages/ElevenMileCamping.aspx) for detailed information.
Weather & Seasons
Grassy Slope East from the summit of Threemile MountainSummer:
The route can be a bit hot and dusty in the summer, but the road should be dry and accessible and the breezes on top pleasant.
The snowpack is less deep here than in the high country and melts out faster than higher areas to the west. None-the-less, expect post-holing through unconsolidated snow drifts in the trees.
The aspen coating the slopes of this peak and surrounding neighbors make this area a golden-hued heaven in the fall.
Thanks to proximity to both US Hwy 24 Colorado Hwy 9, as well as to “primary dirt roads”, this peak is accessible year-round,except in blizzard conditions where drifting powder could block roads faster than highway crews can clear the snow.