Mount Morrison (7,881′) | Matthews/Winters Park
Morrison, CO | 12/19/20 | 4.02 miles | 2,022′ gain
Mount Morrison’s south ridge is a popular exercise spot for locals. With an ascent of 2,000′ in just 2 miles, it’s a quick but steep route often repeated multiple times in a row. The trail starts near Gate 4 at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. When Diana and I arrived at 8am, the few parking spots at the gate were already taken so we parked along the road. We walked through Gate 4 into Red Rocks, following the entrance road for about 0.1 mile. Here, the trail cuts off the road to the left through another gate.
Once through the second gate, the trail ascends the steep slopes of PT 6636, following a powerline. The trail is generally a mix of loose dirt and scree but this was covered by a layer a snow. Still slippery, but microspikes helped.
Once on top of PT 6636, the grade eased slightly before ascending to the south ridge.
Once on the ridge, we had great views of our route and the surrounding mountains. We followed the ridge all the way to the summit.
The final 450′ was brutally steep. We slowly worked our way up and finally popped out on top.
There were a handful of people hanging out on the summit, so we found a quieter spot for our snack.
Clouds had rolled in and it felt pretty cold so we didn’t stay long.
After our break, we made our way back down the steep trail. There were dozens of people coming up now and I was glad to have gotten an early start. Even though this is a short hike, it certainly felt difficult and we were happy to make the climb just once.