Legault Mountain (9,074′) | Meyer Ranch Park
Conifer, CO | 03/31/19 | 5.30 miles | 1,199′ gain
Legault Mountain is a minor Front Range peak. Although it’s visible from US-285, it’s not very conspicuous and wouldn’t look like much to the average person driving by. Kyle and I discovered this mountain nearly two months ago when we did a loop at Meyer Ranch Park. Now that we’re starting to crack down on 14er season training (after many weeks of short & easy hikes), Legault seemed like a good one to get done first. We were familiar with the park, it was close to home, there wasn’t very much snow, and the hike itself wouldn’t be so difficult that we’d have trouble completing it.
We followed the same trails we took last time in our loop at Meyer Ranch: Lodgepole, Sunny Aspen, and Ski Run. On the way up, we kept left at all intersections to keep our ascent as short as possible. This would give us the option of extending our hike slightly by taking a different way down. (Spoiler alert: We went back the same way we came. More on that later!)
We stopped at the picnic shelter at the junction of the Sunny Aspen and Ski Run trails to have some water and strap on our snowshoes. We didn’t really need the flotation but the spikes on the bottom of the snowshoes helped tremendously.
The trail to Legault Mountain follows the main trails most of the way, and then turns off onto an unmarked side trail. We turned off of the Ski Run Trail Loop near the very middle at an inconspicuous sign. Luckily, there were tracks in the snow to follow, otherwise we may have missed the turnoff. I did download the offline map on AllTrails just in case. We used that to double check that we had the correct turnoff, as well as to make sure we were on the right route once we turned off the main trail.
The main park trails were very obvious and well boot-packed. Once we turned off, we followed a set of snowshoe tracks which led us right to the summit of Legault Mountain. This turnoff is not well known so the snow was a bit softer, but even so, we only had minimal trouble with post-holing. However, the trail did get pretty steep after the turnoff and we ended up having to kick in steps in a few places in order to get traction.
We finally reached the summit and were pleased to find that the summit had better views than we expected. We had a quick snack, took a few pictures, and then I heard Kyle yell “What the hell!?” His water bottle had popped open and spilled all over his lower leg and foot, soaking his pant leg and boot! Unsurprisingly, Kyle was not thrilled about having a wet foot and walking through snow so we set out pretty quickly afterwards.
With Kyle’s wet foot, we booked it back to the car, following the route we used to ascend. He was pretty happy to be able to get his wet boot off and dry out his foot. Luckily the day was decently warm, so no harm done!