RT Length: 2 miles
Elevation Gain: 828’
The start of this hike was a little fuzzy. I parked my truck at the dead end of Independence Avenue, near an old, boarded up house.
We started out by going through an unlocked gate and just heading up the mountain, hiking southeast. In fact, the entire hike to the summit you just need to continue heading southeast and you’ll make it there at about a mile’s distance.
There’s actually a drainage here that makes the path easy to follow
We headed up the mountainside through grass and into some aspens. Here we found a mule deer antler!
As we entered the pine trees the snow became thick and we needed to put on our snowshoes. I was glad we’d brought them, as from the truck the hike looked clear of snow.
The pine trees ended up becoming very thick with young growth. So thick it became difficult to find a hiking route.
Eventually the pine trees gave way to a flat ridge less dense with vegetation
We wanted to remember our exit point, so I brought out some of the surveying tape I’d pre-cut for just this purpose and we marked a tree
We followed the ridge east now until we came to a wide cairn.
It was difficult on this flat mesa to figure out where the true summit was, but we figured the cairn was a likely indication. There was no summit register, and we’d forgotten to bring one, so we just took a picture
And headed back the way we came
It was surprisingly easy to find our yellow marking tape, and from there we just followed our tracks in the snow back down (we removed the tape, as we didn’t think it would be useful to anyone else and were practicing leave no trace)
We made it out of the trees and back into the grass. From here we could see my truck, so it was an easy exit
I kept looking for another deer antler, but unfortunately didn’t come across one. This is the first deer antler I’ve ever found on a hike, and I do a lot of hikes!
This was a quick, 2 mile hike through some soft snow and densely wooded areas. Our third summit of the day, now we were off to attempt our fourth! Here’s a topo of the route:
*If you plan to do this hike, please get the appropriate permissions before potentially roaming onto private property.