Mount Audubon (13,223′) | Colorado | 10/08/20


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

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.

DSC_0235
DSC_0236
First view of Mount Audubon (right, summit not visible), Pawnee Peak (left, 12,943′), and Mount Toll (center, 12,979′)

The trail switchbacked up a steeper section before curving around to head directly to Audubon.

DSC_0237
DSC_0238
DSC_0239
DSC_0240
DSC_0241
DSC_0242
DSC_0243
Getting closer to Audubon (left)
DSC_0244
Long’s Peak (center background, 14,255′) surrounded by 13ers Pagoda Mountain and Mount Meeker. St Vrain Mountain (right middle ground, 12,162′)

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”.

DSC_0245
Audubon (left), Notabon (right)
DSC_0247

The saddle boasted a nice overlook into Rocky Mountain National Park. The trail more or less petered out here.

DSC_0248
Rocky Mountain National Park looks a little smoky

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.

DSC_0249

I’d been sheltered from the wind so far and had gorgeous warm weather, but the last stretch to the summit was very windy.

DSC_0250
DSC_0251
Almost to the summit now!

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.

DSC_0252
Connecting ridge to Paiute Peak (13,088′)
DSC_0253
Summit views of the Indian Peaks

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.

DSC_0257
Lady found a stick/entire small tree and proceeded to beat me in the kneecaps with it…
DSC_0260

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.


Chelsea


20 thoughts on “Mount Audubon (13,223′) | Colorado | 10/08/20

  1. I always like reading other people’s posts of hikes I’ve done, it’s fun to see the similarities and differences of what we experienced. Also
    I laughed really hard at Notabon, I’ve never heard that before 😂

    Like

  2. That’s an early start for a hike. And on a Thursday. I can’t imagine how crazy busy this trail gets on the weekend. The nice thing about arriving so early (besides getting a parking spot) is that the sunrise casts such a warm glow through across the landscape.

    Like

Leave a Reply to Helen Flanagan-Sullivan Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s