Mt. Parnassus  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: Watrous Gulch Route
Posted On: 2020-09-16, By: Brittanyjomad
Info: No snow on the route minus a few very small, easily avoided patches. So no spikes needed. GPS clocked 7.2 miles round trip and 4 hours 23 minutes (includes a 5-10 min stop at the top) Once you reach the saddle there is no more trail, but you can easily follow the ridge up to the summit. Arrived at TH (Herman Gulch TH)at 5:55 am and was only the second car there. It was pretty full by the time we were leaving. Although the peak forecast said high of 57 and 8 mph winds it was much higher winds and much lower temperature- water was freezing. Winter hiking appears to be officially here! 
 
Route: Watrous Gulch
Posted On: 2020-06-18, By: madadraw1
Info: Summer conditions for Parnassus. See my Bard Pk condition report for Parnassus-Bard loop. 
 
Route: Watrous Gulch
Posted On: 2020-06-16, By: gavyns
Info: Beautiful day! We started at 1:50pm, took 2h10mins to summit, back to the lot but 6:15pm. The trail is pretty dry the whole way up! There are a couple piles of snow along the trail still just after crossing the creek before making the left turn north on the Watrous (easily avoidable, I'd say 20ft wide and maybe 10-35ft long). There was about a 150yd stretch of snow on the trail about half a mile down from the saddle of Woods Mountain and Parnassus, but easily navigable up the left (West) side. The trail pretty much disappears after the snow field below the saddle, but just head East up the ridge and switchback as necessary, it can get steep! No problem staying dry all day, in terms of weather or on foot! We only saw one other couple all afternoon! 
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Route: Watrous Gulch
Posted On: 2020-06-14, By: CaptainSuburbia
Info: No snow to worry about. 
4
 
Route: From Herman / Watrous Gulch
Posted On: 2020-06-07, By: WildWanderer
Info: No traction needed to get to Parnassus or Woods (last photo). There is still some snow on the trail, but it's avoidable. 
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Route: Watrous Gulch
Posted On: 2020-05-31, By: VeraUndertow
Info: Climbed Woods and Parnassus early this morning, left my car at around 5:45 from Watrous Gulch. Really nice trail dry on the way in till you get to the big stream crossing, I waded across this morning because the log bridge was icy. After this I turned left up the gulch where the trail splits with bard trail. There is a pretty solid boot pack the whole way if you stay on trail or you could be like me and find your own way and posthole and smash your shins on icy punch crust. IDK why I do that to myself, but it was more fun I guess. Snow stops about 500 ft vertical from the saddle but can mostly be avoided by staying on the well packed trail. Once on the saddle I went up woods first and summited around 7:40, there is a nice summit register but no pencil or paper inside so if you head this way it could use some supplies. Back to the saddle at 8 and on the summit of parnassus by 8:40. Was back at my car by 10:40 after a leisurely descent. 
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Route: Watrous Gulch
Posted On: 2020-05-29, By: Piotr
Info: The trail is snow-free all the way to creek crossing. Afterwards you can find a line without any snow all the way to the top. Top of the gulch still has lots of snow. 
 
Route: North Ridge
Posted On: 2020-03-09, By: bkcheck
Info: Trail is decently packed down up to the Bard trail junction, but the snow is deep and not particularly supportive between the junction and treeline. Snowshoes recommended. A little after treeline the snow diminishes and you can pick a snow-free route all the way to the summit. The ridge up to Woods Mountain is dry as well. 
 
Route: Herman Gulch TH
Posted On: 2020-03-02, By: durkan
Info: Leap day spent atop Parnassus. Microspikes on at trailhead. Donned snowshoes at the Bard-Watrous Trail junction, but stayed to the west of the creek and did not cross toward the sign. Snowshoes stashed at saddle. Traction was not needed today from saddle to summit. 
 
Route: NW ridge via Watrous Gulch
Posted On: 2020-02-16, By: nickle
Info: Good skintrack/snowshoe track from the Herman Gulch TH to approx 2/3 up Watrous Gulch. Put in a good trench from the end of the skintrack all the way to treeline where the route is windscoured. All gullies that are steep enough to slide are wind scoured so there is little avy risk on the primary route. We did get one big 'whumpf' in a low angle area, the snowpack is sensitive, so be aware of route choices. The W face of Parnassus is totally windscoured and not a hazard. The ridge to Bard also looks scoured and low risk, we opted not to make the traverse due to the wind and temps. Beautiful day out. Photo #1: W face of Parnassus Photo #2: Ridge to Bard 
2
 
Route: West Side
Posted On: 2020-01-04, By: CreekRunner
Info: Two of us put in a trench shooting off from the well used Watrous Gulch trail. Snowshoes are needed till just above treeline. Poach it while it's still good! 
 
Route: Watrous Gulch
Posted On: 2019-11-09, By: DorothyK
Info: The snow started fairly close to the trailhead. As soon as we cleared tree line, it was 15" deep in spots, crusty in the morning (and mashed potato in the afternoon upon our descent). The west slope of Parnassus was dry, however; you could get away with no traction. Overall, spikes and gaiters were very helpful. 
 
Route: Bard, Robeson, Engelmann
Posted On: 2019-07-01, By: bludwig
Info: Be prepared for the best views of the Front Range Started at 5:00AM and hiked Parnassus, Bard, Robeson, and Engelmann. Came down the Bard route, which is a steep down climb with a small incline in a boulder field. After that, it's all trail hiking from there. The all mountains were mostly dry, the saddle between Parnassus and Bard is snowy but no traction is required; we did the entire day in trail shoes. Total of 13.25 miles with 5500 ft in gain in 10.5 hours. Photo 1: Wood/Parnassus saddle Photo 2: Parnassus Bard saddle Photo 3: Robeson (far left) and Engelmann (straight back) from Bard 
3
 
Route: Watrous Gulch/West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-06-27, By: HikerGuy
Info: Summer conditions. Dry except for going over a snow bank left by an avalanche. The creek rises during the day, but there are plenty of small ripped out trees close by to make a bridge, if needed. Wildflowers are starting to bloom, but they are few and far between at the moment. 
5 1
 
Route: From Herman Gulch Trailhead
Posted On: 2019-05-12, By: WildWanderer
Info: First half mile of trail was dry, but as soon as the snow starts it doesn't stop. I had to put on crampons to get up certain sections of the lower part of the Waterous Gulch trail early this morning, as it looks like someone flattened it out with a snowboard and it's like walking up an ice chute. On the way down after the sun had warmed the snow it was easier to navigate. Lots of snow in the gulch. Don't expect a trail after the Waterous/Bard turnoff. Above treeline most of Parnassus was windblown. Due to intense winds today I wasn't able to summit Bard, but it looks like it would have been a fun challenge in less wind. Wood Mountain was an easy hike up from the Wood/Parnassus saddle. 
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Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2019-05-05, By: LetsGoMets
Info: Consistent snow from 3/4 mile up the trail until the saddle with Woods basically, though you can take a more direct angle versus going to the saddle and up. Snowshoes not needed in the morning, but it was def getting sloppy and deep in the afternoon. Tons of snow in the basin. 
 
Route: Watrous Gulch
Posted On: 2019-04-17, By: Jay521
Info: Good packed trail. I booted it all the way to the top (microspikes were helpful but not necessary) but I was glad I had snowshoes coming down. Afternoon heat really softened the snow. If you get an early start and are faster than I am (almost everyone is...) you could probably boot the whole thing. Once at the Woods/Parn saddle, you can avoid snow the rest of the way but there is a LOT of snow below that. I haven't figured out how to add text to the photos but the one of the avalanche debris is near where the split to the Bard Creek trail is. 
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Route: Watrous Gulch
Posted On: 2018-12-14, By: LetsGoMets
Info: Flotation required beyond the Bard Creek junction as you head into Watrous Gulch and up to the saddle between Parnassus and Woods. I put down a fresh snowshoe trail through a mix of 1-3 feet of snow all the way to the saddle basically. Enjoy! 
 
Route: Watrous Gulch
Posted On: 2018-09-02, By: madmattd
Info: Around 11.5k, ~1/2-mile after the Bard Creek Trail splits off, there is a very obvious path diverging right that passes through a few campsites then climbs to within 100' vertical of the Woods-Parnassus saddle. The remaining 1000' of ascent on the ridge is tundra with the occasional stretch of a social trail. Hardly any talus to deal with. I found easy going a short ways below the ridge to climber's right. 
 
Route: Via Bard Peak from Ruby Gulch
Posted On: 2018-08-26, By: supranihilest
Info: The ridge separating Mount Parnassus and Bard Peak is not as technical as it looks from far away. At worst it's Class 2+. Stay below the crest and you'll find you can weave in and out of the rocks to keep it at Class 2. Be aware that some of the rock is loose, even some of the huge boulders. You can also drop down below the "difficulties" entirely on tundra but this requires a few hundred feet of loss and re-gain. Dropping off Parnassus to the Parnassus-Woods saddle is somewhat steep tundra but all Class 1. 

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