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Field Notes: Chief Mountain

Elevation gain: 1129. Top: 11,709.

Climbing time for an average acclimated hiker: expect about an hour to the top and about the same on the descent.

A grove of bristle cone pines makes its home near the summit. Trees of this species are the oldest known living organisms on the planet.

The trailhead parking is limited. More parking is available in pull outs to the east and west of the trailhead and require a walk along the road of a half mile or so. There are no restroom facilities at the trailhead parking.

Trail is great for winter hiking and snowshoeing

Great bouldering opportunities are available in the rocks near the summit

Field Notes: Mt. Morrison

Mt. Morrison’s summit is at 7,881’

Trail elevation gain is 1873’, and is 3.5 miles round trip

Expect about an hour to summit, 45 minutes to descend

The best views of any of the Denver metro foothills, although KXLT’s radio tower does impede some of the northward view

Watch out for rattlesnakes, especially near the top during the scramble

The trail near the trailhead can be almost unusable after a rain. It’s steep and mostly dirt/fine pebbles.

Mountain bikes and horses are not allowed on the trail

Watch the kids and pets around the power line in the first half mile. It is very low in places—even on the ground in a few areas.

Bring a picnic lunch or a book for the top. Lots of room to spread out and enjoy a lazy afternoon.

Check out my YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/Fl9mSs9CN7g

Check out my climbing blog here: https://stevegrimeswriter.com/2021/06/22/mt-morrison/

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