Chittenden Mountain (10860 ft, 3310 meters), 06/18/2005

Wanting to do another Boulder County peak that we hadn't done before, we decided on Chittenden Mountain, being an interesting looking hike, as well as a peak that is not so high we would get bogged down in snow this time of year.

From Boulder we drove up Boulder Canyon (CO 119) to Nederland, then south of town, then turned right onto Boulder County Road 130 to Eldora. After the road turns to gravel, we reached the fork in the road where left goes to the Hessie Trailhead (requires crossing a swollen creek in your vehicle this time of year) and right goes to the Fourth of July Trailhead. There were lots of cars parked at this junction, so we turned right and parked about a quarter mile up the Fourth of July Road on the left at the first nice pulloff from the road (parking spot: 39.95819 105.60188, elev 9242 ft, acc 33 ft).

We started hiking at 10:39 from there, following a trail that headed south, and going downhill to the Boulder Creek North Fork. We followed the creek for about a quarter mile until we came out at the Hessie Trailhead (39.95482 105.60239, elev 9129 ft, acc 21 ft) where we crossed the bridge over the creek and headed west along the dirt road. We followed this dirt/rock road for about 4/10 mile, then left the trail (39.9568 105.6104), heading northwest up the ridge of Chittenden Mountain.

Following a steep rocky section, we walked by Way Points 39.9614 105.6126 and 39.9659 105.6122, heading toward the summit. The terrain was generally nice hiking with two steep sections, and lightly forested terrain most of the way. We reached the Chittenden Mountain summit at 12:14 (GPS info: elev 10876 ft, acc 15 ft, 39.96833 105.62249, odometer 2.19 miles).

The summit area was covered with snow, so we couldn't tell if there was a summit register there. The summit is not very dramatic being a broad flat area that is lightly forested. After taking a picture, we headed northwest to Chittenden's second summit (10805 ft). This required going down to a saddle, then back up a little. We reached summit 2 (39.9720 105.6300) at 12:50. This summit was similar to the first, being forested, no nice views, and it was also covered with snow.

From summit 2 we headed northwest, eventually meeting the Diamond Lake Trail at about 13:50, and following that down in a northwest direction toward Jasper Lake. The Diamond Lake Trail to Jasper Lake was actually covered with snow most of the way, and we weren't able to follow it entirely. After a lot of slogging through wet/soft snow we eventually reached Jasper Lake at 14:50 (odometer 4.8 miles) where we had lunch. We did not return the way we had come, but just followed the trails back to the Hessie Trailhead. We got back to the truck at 17:25.

Lowest point on route (Hessie Trailhead): 9129 ft
Highest point on route (Chittenden summit): 10876 ft
Elevation change from lowest to highest point: 1747 ft
Total trip distance: 9.82 miles
Total trip time: 6 hrs, 46 minutes

Topomap of the Chittenden Mountain Area