Mount Audubon (13,223′) | CO Rank: 458/637
Front Range | Indian Peaks Wilderness | Ward, CO
10/08/20 | 8.42 miles | 2,713′ gain | Class 1 & 2
Mount Audubon had been on my short-list for years but somehow I just never got around to it. It’d been recommended to me by a handful of people as an easy 13er with great views. I found it to be exactly that, and thus questioned what the heck took me so long to get up there.
I parked at the Mitchell Lake Trailhead and set off on the Mount Audubon Trail just before 7am. This was plenty early for a Thursday in October, but summer weekends are a different story. The trail goes nearly the entire way to the summit and is well-marked. I first hiked through a beautiful forest for about a mile to treeline.
The trail switchbacked up a steeper section before curving around to head directly to Audubon.
I wanted to head directly up Audubon’s east slopes but the trail kept to the north, heading to the saddle between Audubon and a small point sometimes referred to as “Notabon”.
The saddle boasted a nice overlook into Rocky Mountain National Park. The trail more or less petered out here.
The last 400′ or so to Audubon’s summit was talus. I found numerous cairns and trail segments through here but none seemed to connect fluidly. Eventually I got sick of dead-ending and I just made my own way up.
I’d been sheltered from the wind so far and had gorgeous warm weather, but the last stretch to the summit was very windy.
I took a very short break on the summit since it was so cold, then retraced my steps down the talus and back to the trail.
I saw quite a few more people as I was heading down, but still surprisingly few for such a busy area. I made good time once back on the trail and had a nice, easy walk back to the trailhead.
The Indian Peaks are such a beautiful area and I was so happy to finally visit Mount Audubon. It certainly fits the bill of an easy, scenic 13er (plus it’s close to home). Another perfect day in the mountains.