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Vasquez Peak

  • Sep 29, 2012 · 9:30 AM
  • This location is shown only to members


We will meet at the trailhead by 9:15 am, and start hiking by 9:30 (NOT at El Rancho) - See directions to Vasquez Peak trailhead below.


From Denver:From I-70, take exit 232 or US 40. Follow US 40 through Empire to the Big Bend Picnic area. Turn left towards Big Bend Picnic area. Follow this road until you see the sign for Jones Pass/Henderson Mine where you will be turning right at CO Rd. 202 or Henderson Mine Rd./Jones Pass Rd. Follow this road and bear right at the Henderson Mine turnoff. Follow this dirt road all the way up through a forest of trees for about 1.5 miles until it opens up to a parking lot. Park here and the trail (old road) starts east of the parking lot. There are no signs marking this trail. To access the trail, go around the wooden gates/fences at the far right.

Avoid irking the Henderson Mine Company by blocking roads etc... The Henderson Mine provides the road and the parking for the trailheads. Try not to begrudge them as this is much more then many private or corporate entities are willing to do in Colorado.


Starting elevation: 10800 '
Ending Elevation: 12,947'
Elevation Change: + 2,147' net elevation gain
Difficulty: Moderate
Total hiking time: Approximately 3.5 hours
Round Trip Length: Approx 4 miles

"Vasquez Peak is the highpoint of the Vasquez Mountains. Its gentle summit sits astride the Continental Divide between Clear Creek County and Grand County. The name honors Louis Vasquez, a french trapper and hunter who explored this section of Colorado, and was one of the first European settlers of what would become Clear Creak County.

Vasquez Peak is most remarkable for the views it offers. From a sweeping vista of the Gore Range to an interesting view of Pettingell Peak and its attendent summits, to a vantage of the Grays and Torreys and the Evans Massif, to the gentle sweep of the James Peak Wilderness, to the jagged extent of the Indian Peaks rising toward Longs Peak; Vasquez Peak offers three hundred and sixty degrees of splendor.

Physicaly Vasquez Peak is a rounded mountain that is dificult to see from the nearby valleys. It rises over 500 feet from nearby Vasquez Pass and is higher then any of the surrounding summits; yet its prominence isn't apparent from below. On top of Vasquez Peak it is apparent that you are on the highest mountain in the vicinity. Vasquez Peak has a 12,900 ft tall sub-summit that is a fine companion peak for this mountain. The stroll between the sub-summit and the main summit is a fine place to stretch ones legs and see countless wildflowers during the summer months. Although alpine tundra and grasses cover the slopes the summit region itself does have a small rock outcrop. The geology of Vasquez Peak is typical of the Front Range; the mountian is composed of Idaho Spings Formation granites, schists, and gniesis; Colorado's basement rock hoisted high. It is part of a small anticline that makes up the Vasquez Mountains.
We will meet at El Rancho starting at approximately between 2:30 and 3pm.

El Rancho Restaurant and Tavern

29260 US 40
Evergreen, CO 80439



2) Bring extra water, as high elevations dehydrate the body at a faster rate.

3) Arrive early to secure parking, avoid crowds and afternoon thunderstorms. Be mindful of changing weather patterns and leave the summit well before storms develop. Expect cooler temperatures, strong sun and wind in the open tundra. Carry versatile layers with sun, wind and rain protection.

4) Hiking poles are highly recommended to assist with steep grades and uneven terrain.

5) Please remember that mountain hiking, especially high altitude hiking is going to mean that we will end up spreading out according to our pace and fitness levels. If you do split off ahead from the group, please wait at the summit for most of the members to arrive. If you feel that you will be in the tail end of the hike, we will provide a walkie-talkie to one host to communicate with the advance group (cell phones will not be of much use).

6) IF you run a carpool, or participate in a carpool, please coordinate with each other as to your individual pace!

7). Bring a change of shoes for the restaurant. I suggest some sort of flip-flops. Your feet will thank you!

8) Have fun!!

Join or login to comment.

  • Mike P

    Sara said it all. Couldn't find anyone else per this Meet-up's directions; nonetheless, we hiked & had a good time, then were at El Rancho just before 3 PM & nobody there either. Still wondering what happened . . .

    September 29, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wouldn't know. Wound up hiking around with Mike. Neither Mike or I couldn't find the group or trail head, both of us drove 5+ mi. up a dirt road looking for a parking lot at 1.5 mi. and cars/signs indicating that there was a meet up group.

    September 29, 2012

  • Nicolas

    Rob ? Any spot left for the hike ? I'm on the waiting list but be glad to join you if possible. Thanks,

    September 28, 2012

  • Deepak

    Hey Rob, is it possible that you can give your cell number if someone has to coordinate

    September 27, 2012

    • Rob

      My number is[masked]

      September 28, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is anyone doing the Wooley Mammoth Pk lot? time?
    If so, I could use a ride.

    September 27, 2012

  • Deepak

    ANy one coming from Parker or that side and willing to car pool

    September 24, 2012

12 went

  • Rob
    Shazam, Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Mike P
  • David
  • Dahlia
    Candy Corn
  • Ben H
    NS: 1 Paperback Writer
  • Mary
  • Nicolas
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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