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Squaw Mountain Snowshoe

Central Front Range, Colorado

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Squaw Mountain Snowshoe

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  • About 0.2 miles after the trailhead there is a large clearing.- Squaw Mountain Snowshoe
  • The snowshoe route up to Squaw Mountain is wide and straightforward.- Squaw Mountain Snowshoe
  • Snow thins out near the top.- Squaw Mountain Snowshoe
  • Final approach, Pikes Peak is in the distance.- Squaw Mountain Snowshoe
  • A winter storm dusts the mountains near Squaw Mountain.- Squaw Mountain Snowshoe
  • Telecommunication towers at the top of Squaw Mountain. Longs Peak is obscured by cloud cover.- Squaw Mountain Snowshoe
  • The view right underneath the fire lookout with Pikes Peak in the distance.- Squaw Mountain Snowshoe
  • Prime park bench at the summit of Squaw Mountain.- Squaw Mountain Snowshoe
  • Resting at the top of Squaw Mountain.- Squaw Mountain Snowshoe
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Sweeping vistas. Steady ascent.
Cons: 
Windy.
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Region:
Central Front Range, CO
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
860.00 ft (262.13 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.80 mi (6.12 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
10,682.00 ft (3,255.87 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Squaw Mountain is one of the more accessible Front Range summits by in the winter, and it is a good choice for both snowshoes and cross-country skis. Because this hike begins above 10,500 feet, altitude can make this hike moderately challenging. Start out directly on Forest Service Road 192.1 and follow the wide, unplowed four-wheel drive road. If the sky is clear you'll be able to see James Peak, the Indian Peaks, and Longs Peak. After approximately a third of a mile you’ll pass Old Squaw Pass Road (Forest Service 252.1D), another recreational trail.

Keep going straight, continuing your steady ascent. The trail heads southeast with a few curves before a series of four fairly long switchbacks take you to your final approach. As the view clears up on the right, Chief Mountain and Papoose Mountain, both over 11,000 feet, will be in view. At the top there are a surprising number of telecommunication towers and auxiliary buildings. A quick climb further up a mound of lichen-encrusted granite takes you to the Squaw Mountain Fire Lookout, a 1940s Civilian Conservation Corps-built structure with tall windows on all sides. It can be reserved in advance, and it has typical amenities such as an electric stove, heat source, beds, refrigerator, and cookware. Note that guests must provide their own drinking water. A string leads you down to the outhouse during in storms.

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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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(10 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(97 within a 30 mile radius)

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