St Vrain Mountain Trail (12,162′)

St Vrain Mountain Trail (12,162′)

The St Vrain Mountain trail straddles the border between the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area (south) and Rocky Mountain National Park (north). It stands just east of the Continental Divide with views across the Middle St Vrain Creek drainage and Wild Basin Area of Rocky Mountain National Park.

StatsRoute DescriptionDirectionsNotes
  • Trailhead:         St Vrain Mountain
  • Round trip:       9 miles / 14.5 km
  • Elevation:         8,940′-12,162′ (+3,222′) / 2,725m-3,707m (+982m)

The trail climbs up the valley’s north side to the Indian Peaks Wilderness Boundary. The trail then switchbacks hard left (west) one final time) before turning sharply south across the valley. Grades briefly moderate and then steepen back up the south valley wall, turning sharply south one last time before clearing treeline (2.65 miles : 10,765′).

Travel eases along a broad tundra saddle between the shoulders of Meadow Mountain (11,632′), an unnamed peak, and St Vrain Mountain. It reaches the Rocky Mountain National Park Boundary (3.15 miles : 11,180′) and levels for nearly half a mile on a south heading with some of the route’s best views. This section overlooks Rocky Mountain’s Wild Basin Area, Mount Copeland (13,176′), Ouzel Peak (12, 12,716′), Mahana Peak (12,632′), Longs Peak (14,259′) and Mt Meeker (13,911′).

Those not aiming for the summit will be content with views along this stretch. The trail exits Rocky Mountain National Park (3.6 miles : 11,335′) and threads a few pockets of krummholz to an unmarked turnoff for St Vrain Mountain. Leave the main trail (3.65 miles : 11,360′) and aim for a band of krummholz approximately 200 yards away. Once through look for cairns and, most importantly, Indian Peaks – Rocky Mountain National Park Boundary posts to your right (north).

St Vrain Mountain (4.45 miles : 12,162′) is rounded with 2 wind shelters and incredible views. Continuing takes you along its west ridge to the Elk Tooth formation and base of Ogallala Peak (13,138′) on the Divide.

No entry fee

GPS track

I hiked to unnamed peak between Meadow and St Vrain Mountain.

Trek up the St Vrain Mountain trail

St Vrain Trail
St Vrain Trail

Pictures

  • Misty morning on the St Vrain trail

    Misty morning on the St Vrain trail

  • Busy beaver

    Busy beaver

  • Spring along the brook

    Spring along the brook

  • Ptarmigan in summer colors

    Ptarmigan in summer colors

  • Climbing above cloud cover

    Climbing above cloud cover

  • Looking back

    Looking back

  • Snow cover increasing

    Snow cover increasing

  • Sea of clouds below

    Sea of clouds below

  • Heading for higher ground

    Heading for higher ground

  • Meadow Mountain on the right

    Meadow Mountain on the right

  • Heading to a high point across from Meadow Mountain

    Heading to a high point across from Meadow Mountain

  • Sea of clouds to the east

    Sea of clouds to the east

  • Looking south along the Front Range

    Looking south along the Front Range

  • View of Longs Peak and Mt Meeker

    View of Longs Peak and Mt Meeker

  • Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park in the background with Meadow mountain on  the right

    Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park in the background with Meadow mountain on the right

  • Meadow Mountain in the foreground with Longs Peak in the back

    Meadow Mountain in the foreground with Longs Peak in the back

  • Views of Rocky Mountain National Park

    Views of Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Heading back

    Heading back

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