Ascent of Indian Mountain on 2017-07-29

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, July 29, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Indian Mountain
    Elevation:7281 ft / 2219 m

Ascent Trip Report

Woke up realized it was going to rain all day in the high mountains so I abandoned my goal of getting a 14er. Instead, I set my sights on the hogback ridge peaks I had not completed in Golden/Lakewood area. I followed the following agenda:

1) Indian Mountain – Apex Park (7281) Summited
2) Bandimere Ridge – South Dinosaur Park (6283) Summited
3) Peak 6262 – South Hogback Ridge (6262) Summited
4) Peak 6482 – South Hogback Ridge (6482) Private property did not climb
5) Hogback – South Hogback Ridge (6536) Private property did not climb
6) Plymouth Mountain – Deer Creek Canyon Park (7295) Summited
7) So. Plymouth Pinnace Pt – Deer Creek Canyon Park (7286) Summited

Indian Mountain – The parking lot for this trailhead is next to an amusement park off of West Colfax Ave (US 40). This is another nice Jefferson County Park. It was a 5 mile hike with very nice views and interesting canyon and overlooks along the way. Lots of vertical gain for a peak with very little prominence. So if you want a good hike, good views, nice trails, big gain – this is your hike. But if you do not like crowds or want big prominence this is not your hike. There were plenty of people, dogs, and bikes and it was drizzling on us all day. I would bring Karen and Willy back here for a day hike. I used Argos to Pick N Sledge to bushwhack. The trail does not go all the way to the summit but there is a use trail on the backside or you can bushwhack the last hundred feet. Coming down I used the Sluicebox, Hardscrabble, and Apex Trail to get back to the parking lot.

Bandimere Ridge – This is a hogback ridge peak that has recently been opened by new trails. I decided to attack it from the west side this time instead of the ridge from the dinosaur fossil park. I parked at Red Rocks Amphitheater Entrance #2 where there is a small parking lot. Crossed Hogback Road and took the new “Bail Out Trail” up to the Dakota Ridge Trail. Found a few places to scramble just off trail and came back down. The Bail Out Trail.

Peak 6262 – This summit is a challenge. The maps show a public named road but it was closed with a gate. There is a subdivision of expensive homes (over 900k) being built on the back side of the mountain. It was obviously easy to bag this one from the backside until this land development project started. Now they are signing the back trail no trespassing for residents of the subdivision. So here are your choices and none are great. Access to this peak is about to go away. One choice is to walk around the gate and hike up the mining road Diamond Back Road. Easy hike, right up to top but you will need permission. On the weekend the hauling trucks were not being used but there was plenty of action at the structures at the summit. Or one could go look for a house being constructed in the new subdivision and slip up the back side of the mountain. There are sales people and construction workers building homes along the street. That is an easy fast climb but would also require permission. Another potential path is to park at the pull out along Turkey Creek Road near the shale slide and work yourself up the steep class 2+ deer and herd trails along the exposed ridge. At one point along the ridge the fence disappears and one can scramble, hike, and bushwhack terrain that is similar to Mount Glennon. Advantage to this route is stay out of issues with trespassing for much of the hike and has great view down on the highway and old mining sites but this route eventually also puts you on private property just before the summit (or you have to contour around the back side on some difficult terrain). Bottom line is there is no good way to get this 300 foot prominence peak anymore and it will only get more difficult as the subdivision is completed. I was able to get the peak and on the way down bushwhacking I slipped on a wet slab (these new salmon boots I bought are very comfortable but the soles suck! There are not viberam). As I picked myself up off the side of the slope and was relived I was not hurt I noticed a big buck horn on the ground. I went over to pick it up and found another…then another! One of the racks was a 7 pointer! To make this trip even more interesting, when casing out the various routes, I startled up a coyote and saw him from 40 feet and he has the back hind quarter of a deer leg in his mouth. I wonder who killed it?
Peak 6482 – This was another disappointment. As you head south on the hogback ridge private property issues become a mess. It looked like the folks that had nailed this peak before me off of the dirt road adjacent to Crestbrook Drive. I drove the road past the last house and right about where I was hoping to park my car, the road ends in a big private gate. There is a small access gate to the peak about a mile north that say Jefferson County Open Space but there are no trails and no parking allowed at that gate. It was raining and did not feel like bushwhacking up from there and hope I did not find more no trespassing gates along the way. I am not going to try this one again unless someone can find a good public access to it.

Hogback – Can easily be bushwhacked from the Hogback trail from the backside. The problem here is there is 10 million signs surrounding the trail system saying all the paths, all the trails, all the parking is for residents of this huge development. The roads are not private they are public but they say that the open space is owned by the development and you are not welcome! So you can pretend to live there ( I do not believe in doing that…) or you better know someone that lives there and go as their guest otherwise, it is another 300 foot prominence peak with no public access. So I gave up and kept driving.
Plymouth Mountain – is one of two peaks in another wonderful Jefferson County Park called Deer Creek Canyon Park. This was another 5 mile round trip hike and like Indian Mountain, a lot of vertical gain, great trails, great views, but very little prominence. It had quit drizzling on me, yet this park was not crowded like the others. A few bikes and dogs but a third as many as at Indian Mountain. The hike has many trails to choose. I used Plymouth Creek Trail to Plymouth Mountain Trail to Scenic View Trail. That gets you to the summit. At the summit there are two pinnacles. The first is the peak. It has a class 3 scramble to the top that is slightly exposed but only class 3 for an adult. A child would struggle with this close as the reaches and drops require a longer body. Views are very good on the pinnacle. The lower pinnacle has the best views and it is an easy short scramble 2+/3 and only 15 feet tall. I took the same route down but before I came down, I was tempted to bushwhack the pinnacle peak to the south.

South Plymouth Pinnacle Point 7286 is a USGS point south of Plymouth Mountain. There is not trail up this peak. In fact, it is the most dense bushwhack I have encountered in CO so far. But that is relative. Maine and Florida bushwhacking is some of the thickest nastiest I have ever done and this was not bad. Short but steep. The top is another pinnacle with a class 2+ scamper/scramble and great views once again. This peak has as much prominence as any other peak in the park so why not grab it too?
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1176 ft / 358 m
    Total Elevation Loss:55 ft / 16 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Grade/Class:1, 1+
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1136 ft / 346 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1121 ft / 342 m; Extra: 15 ft / 4m
    Loss on way in:15 ft / 4 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Route:see TR
    Start Trailhead:Public Parkling Lot  6160 ft / 1877 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:40 ft / 12 m
    Gain on way out:40 ft / 12 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Route:see TR
Ascent Part of Trip: Denver-11

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Indian Mountain2017-07-29 a1176 ft / 358 m
2Bandimere Ridge2017-07-29 b343 ft / 105 m
3Peak 62622017-07-29 c462 ft / 141 m
4(Attempt) Peak 64822017-07-29 d 
5(Attempt) Hogback2017-07-29 e 
6Plymouth Mountain2017-07-29 f1415 ft / 431 m
7Plymouth Pinnacle2017-07-29 g126 ft / 38 m
Total Trip Gain: 3522 ft / 1073 m    Total Trip Loss: 1520 ft / 463 m

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