Ascent of Peak 8120 on 2019-05-25

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
Willie-Weimaraner Musser
Date:Saturday, May 25, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Peak 8120
    Elevation:8120 ft / 2474 m

Ascent Trip Report

Karen and the dog wanted to join me on a hike so I picked this area knowing there were trails and not all bushwhacking. Plus the fire scars did not destroy all the area. This is a nice hike. It is both in a Jefferson County Park (Pine Valley River Ranch) and in the Pike National Forest. What is surprising, is how well the trails are connected. I followed Alyson Kirk's route for most of the way. You park at the paved parking lot at the JEFCO park and cross a bridge and scoot around the lake on a paved trail. Then there is a sign and a trail that climbs quickly up the side of the hill and it is full of switchbacks and excellent views of the river, observatory, fire scars, and forests in the area. A surprisingly scenic approach. I recorded a GPS track of the day but it exceeded the points allowed to upload in this site but if anyone wants it, i could email it to them.

About the time you run out of magnificent views in the JEFCO portion of the hike, you are about to lave the county park and join the Pike National Forest. There was quite a bit of bike traffic on the trails in the national forest. This peak is behind a friend house in Pine. I could have beelined it from his house and saved a lot of meandering trails but this was a nice workout for the family. The deeper in you go the more it is burn scared downfall but the trails are clean, free of debris, mostly othoclastic feldspar pink sand. About 2 miles in you will see a big water tank donated by equestrians to water their horses from a natural spring water. My dog enjoyed being a horse!

The trail final stop meandering south and heads east. The trails are marked with good signage with names but I could not find a map with their names anywhere must be on line for the national park. Mostly bikes usage deep in. I was interested in a steep hill feature that I later entered into peakbagger named Pike NF Hill 8120 to distinguish it from its next highest nearest neighbor "Peak 8120" to the east our actual destination. My GPS later confirmed that Peak 8120 is higher than Hill 8120 even though they both end in a closed contour of 8120.

The trail contours around Hill 8120 and gives you a good saddle launching point if you chose to bushwhack up that feature as well. I did later (see TR). Now as for bagging Peak 8120.....We continued to follow Alyson Kirk's GPS route but it showed taking a jeep trail NE that we could never find. We instead bushwhacked up and over the first false summit and then followed the ridge and picked up a bike trail that does not show on the USGS map. This is a crazy fun bike trail across slabs well marked for bikes. Whoever laid it out was a genius. It is an advanced route but doable for bikes and winds through large slabs and boulders and gets you to the top of Peak 8120. The junctions of other bike trails are all signed so there must be a bike trail map somewhere. This sucker does not have to be bushwhacked.

Not being able to tell which peak on the top was taller, I left Karen and Willy on the peakbagger point with the sign in jar and ran over and tagged the twin peak to the NW. So I got the highpoint (whatever peak it was). Then rejoined my family and we followed bike trails down and around Peak 8120 to the south and hit Forest Road that looped us back to the saddle with Hill 8120 which I ran up for extra credit. I believe it to be a legit 300 foot prominence peak as well as detailed in the notes of the write up for the new peakbagger destination.

Entire day was over 11 miles. A nice route trip

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1717 ft / 523 m
    Total Elevation Loss:910 ft / 277 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
65F no snow!
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1592 ft / 485 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1277 ft / 389 m; Extra: 315 ft / 96m
    Loss on way in:315 ft / 96 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Route:see TR
    Start Trailhead:parking lot of Jefco Park  6843 ft / 2085 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:595 ft / 181 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 470 ft / 143 m; Extra: 125 ft / 38m
    Gain on way out:125 ft / 38 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:see TR
    End Trailhead:saddle between peaks  7650 ft / 2331 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Pine-1

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Peak 81202019-05-25 a1717 ft / 523 m
2Pike National Forest Hill 81202019-05-25 b580 ft / 177 m
Total Trip Gain: 2297 ft / 700 m    Total Trip Loss: 1020 ft / 311 m

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