Bull Hill – 10,808’ (Attempt)

RT Length: 1.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 558’

Turns out this one’s illegal. We knew once we arrived at the trailhead and saw what was before us our chances of summiting were slim, but we decided to try it anyway.


The gate was unlocked so we passed through and started our way up the road. It was supposed to be a quick, 1 mile hike on a road and then a short distance to the summit. We walked about a third of a mile and turned right


And headed up a wide, rocky road



We had a great view of Big Bull, the mountain we’d just climbed a few minutes ago


As we were walking along the road we heard a loud rumbling and saw a dump truck the size of a house drive past us, full of rocks. We were on an active mine, and immediately began to worry we were going to get in trouble for being here. We saw a water truck drive by, and then after hiking along the road for eight tenths of a mile we saw a white pickup truck with lights coming towards us. We asked the man in the truck for directions to the summit, to which he very politely told us we weren’t allowed to hike here and asked us to turn around. He said we could try to summit another way, on the other side of the fence (but we knew that wasn’t possible because the fence went all around). He actually offered to drive us back to the gate, but we declined. He sat in his truck and watched us hike the entire way back. I’d wanted to take more pictures, but figured he wouldn’t appreciate my doing so.


We had a gpx file for this route, and that person either a) made the file on CalTopo and never actually hiked it, b) hiked it illegally, or c) somehow got permission. There are no trip reports on this hike with more information. I’m thinking b is the most likely option, but I’m not going to name names.

We made it back to my truck and pondered how we were ever going to hike this ranked summit? Legally that is. I’m sure this mine is operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There was a phone number listed on the gate. I’m going to try to call that number and get special permission to hike. I don’t have high hopes that will work, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway.

Here’s a copy of our topo.  We were so close!

Oh well, on to the next peak!

Author: Laura M Clark

Laura has summited over 500 peaks above 13,000' solo, including being the first woman to solo summit all of the Colorado 14ers, as well as the centennials. After each hike, she writes trip reports for each one and publishes them on her blog, which is read by fans all over the world. Author of Wild Wanderer: Summiting Colorado’s 200 Highest Peaks, which is available to purchase on Amazon.

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