10/9/2010 - Byers Peak, 9810, Ninemile Mountain & Genesee Mountain
From Fort Collins, I drove south on I-25, west on I-70, west on US-40 and west on County Road 50 where I was hoping to climb some peaks, but instead I found a road closure. The sign at the gate stated that the road is closed from November 15th to June 15th. Curious why the road was closed prematurely, I headed back to US-40 where I continued west to County Road 53, which I followed south into the YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch. I turned onto Association Drive, then Indian Peaks Road and arrived at the Ninemile Mountain Trailhead. I first followed the Lynch Trail west, then the Ninemile Mountain Trail to the summit. The views to the east were best just below the summit near God’s mailbox. On the descent I saw a large bull moose. After returning to the trailhead, I made my way back to County Road 53 and followed it south to a coned closure just past the Waterfall Trailhead. I turned around and drove up Lower Young, Upper Young and Eagle Valley Rd which continues into signed private property. I turned around and parked at the southernmost end of the road, right at the forest boundary. I continued up the road and the south face of 9810. I was surprised to see a cairn on top.
9810 & Ninemile Mountain map
I continued back to US-40 and followed it east to County Road 73, which I followed to the Spruce Creek/Tipperary Trailhead and found that closed with yellow tape reading, “Sheriff’s Barrier-Do Not Cross”. So, I continued up the road to the Byers Peak Trailhead, which is now lower than indicated on my Trails Illustrated Map. There is no parking lot at the new trailhead and No Parking signs abound making it difficult to find a place to park. I continued up the road 1.8 miles to the old trailhead then followed the trail to the summit. The visibility was low and the winds were high. On the return drive to Fort Collins, I made a quick stop at Genesee Mountain to see the sunset.
Spruce Creek/Tipperary Trailhead
Old Byers Peak Trailhead complete with bike rack
Looking east from treeline
Looking towards Byers Peak from treeline
Byers Peak map