Peak(s):  Parnassus, Mt  -  13,574 feet
Date Posted:  06/27/2017
Date Climbed:   06/25/2017
Author:  jibler
 Mount Parnassus - secret Northern approach?   

Climbed Mount Parnassus from the Ruby Creek approach near URAD mine west of Empire.

Just when I thought I'd exhausted all the low hanging/simple hikes between Summit County and Denver along the I-70 corridor -- this one popped onto the radar!

And simple is really the rule to follow here. I was expecting to just check out the drainage - I had just hiked Mt Wilcox on Friday so I wasn't sure if I had the gas in the tank to hit up another 13'er. But in following the old jeep road up the valley - I quickly saw a fairly simple route towards Parnassus.

First look

I approached up grassy slopes between the two snow fields on the mid-upper right on that photo.

Once up on that ridge - there is a pretty dang large shoulder left to climb of Parnassus. Once up there I saw lone figure climbing the Woods Mtn - likely from Herman's Gulch (aka "Herman's Head") - which I myself did a long time ago.

BUT - this way towards Woods and/or Parnassus is way better - you have no notion about I-70 until you're taken that ridge - everything back in the valley is full Serenity.


The view from Parnassus is quite commanding too - full sweep of northern CO - including Flattops; plus practically all of Gores - hints of Elks - and sweeping views of Northern Sawatch and Ten Mile Ranges.



Cap it off with Epic boot ski down that large snowfield (the one on the left of the approach photo) - and you got yourself a good Sunday. Good thing no weather that afternoon too!




overall mileage (estimated) is 5-6 miles from the road. Took me from 2:15pm - 6:20pm or so.

Started at the gate with ominous signage


(there was a more overgrown road a notch further up the road that someone else was parked at - but I have no idea where that road went as it never seemed to catch up with my route)

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Comments or Questions

Fun route!
06/27/2017 11:49
That IS a fun route in a beautiful valley, isn't it? Last time I was up that way (several years ago), there was a sign a mile or so before the sign in your TR that says it's private property for the next xx miles. I always parked at that sign cuz I was afraid my truck might get towed and probably added a couple unnecessary miles to the trek. Obviously, you had no trouble parking where you did. Thanks for bringing back some fond memories. Nice pics!!

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