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Indian Peaks

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"Ooh La La!" 
Apache Peak 
Arapahoe Peaks 
Devil's Thumb 
Elk Tooth 
Haimovi Tower 
James Peak 
Jasper Peak 
Lone Eagle Peak 
Mount Neva 
Mount Toll 
Mt. Audubon 
Mt. Bancroft 
Navajo Peak 
Ogalalla Peak 
Paiute Peak 
Shoshoni Peak 
Stone Lake Boulders 

Indian Peaks 


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Location: 40.05011, -105.64007 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: John McNamee on Mar 2, 2006
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Ptarmigans near Lake Isabelle.

Introduction 

Located in the Arapaho and the Roosevelt National Forests in Colorado, the Indian Peaks Wilderness area was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System by Congress in 1978. The name was selected because many of the peaks within the wilderness are named for Native American tribes of the west. This wilderness area covers nearly 75,000 acres, following the Continental Divide south for nearly 16 miles, with the Rocky Mountain National Park as its northern border.

Indian Peaks contains vast areas of alpine tundra, numerous cirque basins with remnant glaciers, and nearly 50 lakes. Streams in the wilderness include Middle and South St. Vrain, Boulder, Buchanan, Cascade, and Arapaho Creeks. Elevations range from 8,400 to over 13,000 feet. The underlying rock of the Indian Peaks area is 80-90% Precambrian biotite gneiss formed approximately 1800 million years ago. The area has since been reshaped by at least six glacial sequences dating back 15,000 years.

Within Indian Peaks lie N Arapahoe Peak (13,502 ft), Apache Peak (13,438 ft.), Navajo Peak (13,405 ft*.), S. Arapahoe Peak (13,397), Ogalalla Peak (13,333 ft.), Mt. Audubon (13,233 ft.), Parry Peak (13,391 ft.), James Peak (13,294 ft.), Arikaree Peak (13,146 ft.), Paiute Peak (13,083 ft.), Mt. Toll (12,979 ft.), Shoshoni Peak (12,962 ft.), "Ooh La La!" (12,945 ft.), Pawnee Peak (12,939 ft.), Jasper Peak (12,923 ft.), Elk Tooth (12,848 ft.), Mt. Neva (12,814 ft.,), Haimovi Tower (12,220 ft.), Lone Eagle Peak (11,940 ft.), and Niwot Ridge. There are four trail passes: Devil's Thumb (11,747 ft.), Arapahoe (11,906 ft.), Pawnee (12,541 ft.), and Buchanan (11,837 ft.).

Be prepared for changing weather, wind, and watch for sudden onset of thunderstorms and lightning.

Note, some areas within the Indian Peaks Wilderness area are closed to the public and trespassing can result in hefty fines.


Getting There 

Please refer to the individual mountain and route descriptions as different trailheads are often used.


Resources 

If you plan to stay overnight, a permit from the U.S. Forest Service is required between June 1 and September 15. Camping regulations will be given to you when you apply.

Permits may be obtained from the USFS District Office at 2995 Baseline Road, Boulder, Colorado 80303 (111 6600), or at the Sulphur Ranger District, US Forest Service, 62429 US Highway 40, Granby, CO 80446."Last Chance" permits are available at Coast to Coast Hardware in Nederland, Colorado.


58 Total Routes


['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',25],['2 Stars',22],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',17],['5.7',6],['5.8',0],['5.9',2],['5.10',6],['5.11',1],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Indian Peaks:
South Ridge        Trad, Alpine, 2000'   Arapahoe Peaks
North Star Couloir        Trad, Alpine, 2000'   Arapahoe Peaks
Skywalker Couloir        Alpine, 1500'   Arapahoe Peaks
Shooting Star        Trad, Alpine, Grade II   James Peak
North Ridge        Trad, Alpine   Mount Neva
Fair Glacier   Steep Snow     Snow, Alpine, 1400'   Lone Eagle Peak
Queen's Way   Steep Snow     Snow, Alpine, 2000'   Apache Peak
South Face   Easy Snow     Snow, Alpine, 1500'   Mount Toll
Kasparov Traverse   R     Trad, Alpine, 2000'   Apache Peak
Snow Lion   Mod. Snow     Snow, Alpine, 2800'   Jasper Peak
Solo Flight   4th 1 2 I M 1b     Trad, Alpine, 5280'   Lone Eagle Peak
Mohling Traverse   5.2 3 8 II D 2c     Trad, Alpine, Grade III   Lone Eagle Peak
Devil's Spiral   5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch   Devil's Thumb
Superstar Couloir   5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c     Trad, Alpine, Grade II   James Peak
East Ridge Direct   5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a M2-3 Steep Snow R     Trad, Mixed, Snow, Alpine, 4 pitches, 3000'   Mt. Bancroft
Bishop's Scepter   5.6 4c 14 V S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 60'   Apache Peak
North Ridge   5.6 4c 14 V S 4b R     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 350'   Mount Toll
Southeast Buttress   5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 1400'   Haimovi Tower
North Face   5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 11 pitches   Lone Eagle Peak
The Rook   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 60'   Apache Peak
Browse More Classics in Indian Peaks

Featured Route For Indian Peaks
The middle of the third pitch.

Northwest Face 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b WI3 M4+ Mod. Snow  CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Apache Peak
This is a big, big face in a remote location. Gerry Roach describes the northwest face of Apache as "steep, broken, and uninteresting." Maybe so in summer, but in the spring, with lots of snow cover and some ice, it becomes a major alpine route. We picked out the line of least resistance leading to the summit. We started with a 750-foot gully (containing two of the route's three cruxes), then some steep rock (5.7) and easy mixed ground leading to a long traverse to the right (south) to skirt a b...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Indian Peaks Slideshow Add Photo
A forbidden beauty. The lovely (but off limits) Arikaree Peak, 13,150', at sunset.  Nov. '04.
A forbidden beauty. The lovely (but off limits) Ar...
The runoff from Lake Isabelle, <br />7/3/11.
The runoff from Lake Isabelle,
7/3/11.
Jasper Lake.
Jasper Lake.
Lake Isabelle.
Lake Isabelle.
Hidden gems of the Indian Peaks.
Hidden gems of the Indian Peaks.
Our route on the south face of Cooper Peak.  5.easy all the way.
BETA PHOTO: Our route on the south face of Cooper Peak. 5.eas...
Jasper Falls.
Jasper Falls.
The Grand Boulder - Surfing for Stars, V10.
The Grand Boulder - Surfing for Stars, V10.
Indian Peaks.
Indian Peaks.
Grand Valley Project....
Grand Valley Project....
Comments on Indian Peaks Add Comment
Show which comments
By Armin
From: Arvada, CO
Aug 18, 2006

Can anybody fill me in if you have to pay if you do any of these routes car-to-car, like getting there before a certain time in the morning like the park and Mt. Evans?

By Leo Paik
Administrator
From: Westminster, Colorado
Aug 20, 2006

You do have to pay to park/enter at the Brainerd Lake Trailheads (i.e. Long Lake, Blue/Mitchell Lakes, (em>etc.). They do check your parked vehicles, too.

By Chris O'Connor
From: bouldertown, co
Jul 13, 2007

However most other access points are free. Camping cost the price of a permit.