Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 39.13540°N / 105.3294°W
Additional Information County: Jefferson
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 8220 ft / 2505 m
Sign the Climber's Log


 Big Rock Candy Mountain  from  Tick Dome
With views like this, who needs an excuse to climb?
"Big Rock Candy Mountain" from "Tick Dome"

From out of the ashes of the Hayman Burn, where the South Platte cuts a deep scar across the land, rises a playground of granite spires, domes and outcrops begging to be climbed. One of these sublime mounds of cracked and weathered granite is nicknamed “Tick Dome,” presumably due to its resemblance to an upturned tick.

Located in far southeastern Jefferson County, near the four-corner intersection of Jefferson, Douglas, Teller and Park Counties, the summit of “Tick Dome” does not readily reveal its secrets to the unprepared. Be ready for a 5th class climb on lichen-covered rock to gain the summit, itself a jumble of off-camber blocks and thick flakes.

The views from the top of “Tick Dome” across the vastness of the burn area are rewarding, including the back side of the ridge containing Pilot Peak to the west, Cedar Mountain and Hackett Mountain in the distance to the east and numerous surrounding domes such as “The Turret,” Sheep Rock and Sheeps Nose. But most striking of all is the awesome, full-frontal view of “Big Rock Candy Mountain” directly across the Platte River canyon.

Colorado Rank: “Tick Dome” is a soft ranked peak, which basically means there is no confirmed 300-ft variance between its summit and the lowest point of the saddle with its next highest neighbor. ...unless, of course, it's determined that a contour is missing from the USGS quad...
Prominence: 280 feet
USGS Quad: Cheesman Lake
Rank & Prominence: Lists of John

Getting There

Getting There Map

“Tick Dome” is accessible from the west via FS 211, also known as Matukat Road. This road can be accessed from CO 67 from the north or from Park County 77 from the south. High clearance is recommended in dry conditions and 4x4 would be a must in snowy or wet conditions.

From Denver, take Hwy 285 south to Pine Junction, Hwy 126. Head south down to Cheesman Trail (22 miles, approximately 40 minutes). From there, take a very sharp right hand turn (270 degrees!) as it turns to a dirt FS road. Follow this road (FS 211) west and south another 15 miles (30 minutes minimum). This is also named "Goose Creek Road" and alternately, "Matukat Road". Park at the broad shoulder at the designated parking area, almost due west of "Tick Dome." Thanks Jeremy.

 Tick Dome  looming above
"Tick Dome" looming

Sheep Rock en route
Sheep Rock en route

Red Tape

 Tick Dome  from the SE
"Tick Dome" from the southeast

Give the land time to heal from the fire and please observe parking / driving restrictions and other use restrictions as posted by the US Forest Service. There is no fee to use this area. Please observe private property boundaries, such as those of the nearby Lost Valley Ranch, as well as Denver Water District closures.

Overlook below summit
Overlook below the summit

Approaching from the west
Approach from the west


 Tick Dome  from the ESE
"Tick Dome" from the east-southeast

As the land recovers from the ravages of the Hayman Burn, parking in this area is limited to designated parking areas only, greatly constricting rustic camping. The Forest Service operates the seasonal Goose Creek Campground which is just a few miles drive from the western approach to “Tick Dome.”

The Goose Creek Campground, elevation 8,100 feet, has 10 campsites and is the closest campground to “Tick Dome.” The campground has a pit toilet and fire rings and sits in dense forest along Goose Creek. Amazingly, the campground survived scorching by the Hayman Fire. Most campgrounds in the South Platte Ranger District open Memorial Day and close Labor Day. Dial 303-275-5610 with questions about campgrounds in the South Platte Ranger District.

Northwest from the summit
NW from summit

NNE from the summit
NNE from summit

Weather & Seasons

Close-up of  Whale Dome
Close-up of "Whale Dome"
 Whale Dome  en route
"Whale Dome" en route

Spring or fall would be ideal times to visit “Tick Dome.” The relatively low-elevation, western approach could be dismally hot in the summer. Heavy winter or spring snows would make FS 211 impassible.

Zone Forecast for Deckers, CO

 Big Rock Candy Mountain
"Big Rock Candy Mountain"

Benchmark picnic area
Picnic area below summit

 Tick Dome  from the east
"Tick Dome" from east

K-Wow Working the Crack
K-Wow working the crack

External Resources

Dancin  the day away
Father and son dancin' the day away
Sarah on the summit
Sarah on the summit

Thanks to fellow SPer Jeremy for this additional information for beta on "Tick Dome" and other area climbing:

Peter Hubbel's guide to the South Platte
MountainProject info on "Tick Dome."

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-4 of 4
Sarah Simon

Sarah Simon - Dec 8, 2013 9:55 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: another wale of a tail!

What??? I'm confused, Hakes, what are you talking about? =) Seriously, I'm lost. More details, favor...

Sarah Simon

Sarah Simon - Dec 9, 2013 6:49 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: another wale of a tail!

wale whale wail It's all good! Thanks for the catch, my good copy writer. I still have you on retainer, correct? No need to invoice me this time around! Sarah

Jeremy Hakes

Jeremy Hakes - Dec 12, 2013 8:18 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: another wale of a tail!

All deleted!


Niederbayer - Mar 5, 2023 5:48 pm - Hasn't voted

F 211

any car can drive on F 211 as long as road is not icy.snowy - you just need to take it slow at some sections - drover on it multiple times with a normal sedan. Ascent/Descent to Cheesman Reservoir in icy condition is scarry as not much would hold you from running over the cliff if you slide off the road...that would be most likely the end of you

Viewing: 1-4 of 4



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