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South Arapaho/4th of July Trailhead Conditions?

Colorado 13er questions, conditions, and other info should be posted here. Also includes topics related to 13ers.com. 13er Trip Reports
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South Arapaho/4th of July Trailhead Conditions?

Postby Liquid Shadow » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:39 pm

Hi guys, I'm thinking about doing South Arapaho tomorrow with a friend. Anybody's been to the trailhead lately? I know the road leading to the 4th of July trailhead is not plowed. If the snow is hard packed will it be drivable? I have a 4wd CRV.

Also are there any other summits in the Indian Peaks or within an hour from Boulder that are doable in the winter without a LONG approach (like Audubon because of road closure)

Thanks guys!

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Re: South Arapaho/4th of July Trailhead Conditions?

Postby DanR » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:55 pm

I don't know anything about the 4th of July trailhead right now (and I'm guessing you won't reach anybody if you try calling the Boulder forest service office), but for other IPW summits you could do far worse than Saint Vrain Mountain.

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Re: South Arapaho/4th of July Trailhead Conditions?

Postby ak47 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:45 pm

Road is not drivable in winter. IPW is tough to access in winter. I have been going up the coney flats road, which is drivable for a 3-4 miles but rough 4wd, to access sawtooth and red deer mtn. It is still a haul to get the summits, but closer and easier than most of the other IPW peaks. Audobon can be climbed from coney flats too in a very long day, but the connecting trail winds steeply through trees and snow was rotten and unsupportable two weeks ago( we didn't make the summit). From the summit of berthoud pass today it looked like mines pk, flora, eva, and parry are all doable with minimal snow above treeline and a well packed trail from the parking lot to treeline, you could bring snowshoes but probably don't need them. Anything else in IPW is a multi-day excursion at this point. Hope this helps! Alex

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Re: South Arapaho/4th of July Trailhead Conditions?

Postby Liquid Shadow » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:05 pm

Thanks for the info guys. We are going to wait until my friend has her sleeping gear ready then we'll tackle the peaks near Brainard Lake.

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Re: South Arapaho/4th of July Trailhead Conditions?

Postby jmc5040 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:27 pm

ak47 wrote:Road is not drivable in winter. IPW is tough to access in winter. I have been going up the coney flats road, which is drivable for a 3-4 miles but rough 4wd, to access sawtooth and red deer mtn. It is still a haul to get the summits, but closer and easier than most of the other IPW peaks. Audobon can be climbed from coney flats too in a very long day, but the connecting trail winds steeply through trees and snow was rotten and unsupportable two weeks ago( we didn't make the summit). From the summit of berthoud pass today it looked like mines pk, flora, eva, and parry are all doable with minimal snow above treeline and a well packed trail from the parking lot to treeline, you could bring snowshoes but probably don't need them. Anything else in IPW is a multi-day excursion at this point. Hope this helps! Alex

Did Flora from Mines Peak two weeks ago. The cat track to Mines Peak was firm enough that you could get by without snowshoes, but used them for traction purposes. The rest of the route did not require snowshoes.
"My senses become heightened and the stresses of life fade with each step I take further from civilization. When I'm in the wilderness my brain and body work seamlessly together to do their finest work - a single flowing track down one of natures high peaks." - Jeremy Jones

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Re: South Arapaho/4th of July Trailhead Conditions?

Postby skimrg81 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:27 am

Skied a 15 mile loop up the 4th of July road to diamond lake, to jasper lake and back to eldora yesterday. The road is passable in a good 4wd vehicle up to the hessie turn off. Several vehicles were up there yesterday. From hessie to the 4th of July summer TH is 4 miles, and the road is hard packed and bare in spots. Evidence of bootpack all the way up to the summer TH. You should go for it.

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Re: South Arapaho/4th of July Trailhead Conditions?

Postby Liquid Shadow » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:29 pm

skimrg81 wrote:Skied a 15 mile loop up the 4th of July road to diamond lake, to jasper lake and back to eldora yesterday. The road is passable in a good 4wd vehicle up to the hessie turn off. Several vehicles were up there yesterday. From hessie to the 4th of July summer TH is 4 miles, and the road is hard packed and bare in spots. Evidence of bootpack all the way up to the summer TH. You should go for it.


Thanks for the info skimrg81. You think a 4wd vehicle can make it all the way to the summer TH? An extra 4 miles each way is a bit long for a single day trip for me.

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Re: South Arapaho/4th of July Trailhead Conditions?

Postby skimrg81 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:31 am

No I don't think a 4wd vehicle could make it all the way up, that would be a little ambitious. However, a good 4wd could probably make up up atleast another mile past hessie.

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Re: South Arapaho/4th of July Trailhead Conditions?

Postby Liquid Shadow » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:54 pm

Thanks. In that case I think I'm going to camp at the summer TH and do Skywalker couloir the next day or something.

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Re: South Arapaho/4th of July Trailhead Conditions?

Postby FullertonImages » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:49 pm

Not to sound condescending or assume you don't know your avy stuff, but with all the new snow lately, I would be very cautious about going anywhere near Skywalker (or any other couloir or avy slope). Skywalker is a long steep walled couloir, and if you were to find unhappy snow conditions half way up, you would have little option but to continue up or go all the way back down (and stay in the path of danger).
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