The Chimney: First Creek

Central Front Range, Colorado

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The Chimney: First Creek


  • Second Creek Trailhead.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • The Arapaho Trailhead at Second Creek.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • This is avalanche country! Be prepared for avalanche mitigation.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • Starting the ascent up Second Creek.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • Beginning to climb up the southwest aspect of Second Creek.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • Approaching the ridgeline.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • Transitioning to ski the north face of First Creek.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • Heavy snow conditions at First Creek.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • Looking into First Creek.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • The Chimney.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • Moderate angle open skiing.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • North aspect skiing.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • Approaching the gap in the rocks.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • Looking up the Chimney from below the gap.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • Final descent into First Creek.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • Looking northeast at the highway.- The Chimney: First Creek
  • The Chimney from the parking lot.- The Chimney: First Creek
Overview + Weather
Short approach. Cool terrain. North facing. Moderate angle.
Central Front Range, CO
Max slope angle: 
30-45 degrees
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Total Distance: 
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Trailhead Elevation: 
10,588.00 ft (3,227.22 m)
Vertical descent: 
652.00 ft (198.73 m)
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


For those who are looking for a moderate line through beautiful rock features on a powder-collecting north aspect, the Chimney delivers. Accessing the approach from the Second Creek Trailhead, skiers navigate the southern aspect of the north ridgeline. Utilizing the same trailhead as the popular Broom Hut, cars frequently crowd the parking area.

After gaining the ridge, the highway comes back into view and the Chimney is not far. Utilize the highway and the open glades on skier's right as landmarks, and continue until you reach a moderate angle open slope that seems to cradle you as you descend. The further you descend, the bigger your smile will become. Charge through a gap in the cliff and finish the descent in open glades nearing the highway.

Having descended 647 vertical feet and climbed only 490 to gain the ridge, the work-to-fun ratio is in your favor. A highly repeatable line, skiers can then migrate toward the road and hitch a ride back up to Second Creek, or they can transition and head west to contour around and access the ridge for round two. With no significant terrain or steep slopes, the Chimney is a friendly descent offering protected snow conditions and a moderate approach.

Note: Coverage on the south aspect can get sparse late into the season, and bare patches can and do exist at times.

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(26 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(93 within a 30 mile radius)

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