Peak(s):  Byers Peak - 12804
Watanga - 12375
Mount Adams - 12121
Twin Peaks - 11957
Roaring Peak - 11721
Date Posted:  09/11/2015
Date Climbed:   09/06/2015
Author:  mennoguy
 A weekend in Middle Park   

Byers Peak 12,804
8.6 miles
3400 feet

The trail up Byers starts up an old road for about two miles. After that it is an easy trail hike to treeline. The good trail continues up the ridge to the summit. My sister and I reached the summit but didn't hang out too long because of wind and questionable weather.

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On the descent we followed the trail down the ridge towards bottle pass. We cut through the woods and met up with the bottle pass trail near the old road. Byers peak was surprisingly busy for a 12er. Parking is a bit of a hassle at the new trailhead.

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Chilling with my parents


Watanga Mountain 12,375
Mount Adams 12,121
Twin Peaks 11,957
"Roaring Peak" 11,721
15 miles
5,300 feet

I had not been in the Indian Peaks Wilderness for about five years. That had to change, my family decided to only hike to the lake, my sister and I climbed Watanga. I climbed the rest solo. The trail up the Roaring Fork is steep at first then levels off, making for some quick trail miles. The turnoff for the lake is well marked. On summitpost the author makes it sound like the trail is hard to follow across some of the streams. We never felt that way. It looked like there had been recent trail work, but one of the newer bridges had been washed out. The lake appeared abruptly.

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Lake Granby

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Watanga Lake

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We followed bits of game trails past the other two lakes, from there we angled up the broad southwest ridge. A convenient game trail helped our progress. The wind was howling above treeline. We saw another party headed down. The summit never seems to get any closer as the plateau flattens and narrows.

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Paradise Park

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The summit has an exciting north face with a 500 foot cliff. We watched showers to the north in the Never Summers. After we had had enough of the wind we headed north towards Adams. My sister dropped down at the saddle, I made the quick climb up Adams. The wind annoyed me too much to stay. The traverse to Roaring goes quickly. A game trail cuts across the south face bypassing the difficulties of the east ridge.

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North face of Watanga

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Game trail is visible on the south face

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My dad is down there somewhere

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Twin peaks was way too close to pass up and orphan. With nice weather I had to climb it. So I ran up the peak. The descent goes back to the saddle with Roaring. From there I followed bits of game trail back to the lake. The hike out goes quickly.

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Descent from the Twin Peaks saddle


A couple of notes on the trail, Roach says it is only a mile from the junction to the lake, and 3.5 miles from the trailhead to to junction. My sister and I thought those figured were inaccurate because it took us 30 minutes to get from the lake to the junction and only 45 minutes from there to the trailhead.



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Comments or Questions
Derek

Watanga
09/11/2015 16:40
Love the area up there by the lake. Still one of my favorite areas in the IPW.

I orphaned Adams when I was up there (had my dog, RMNP) so still plan to head back up there sometime.



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