Max slope angle
30-45 Degrees
Primary aspect
?
Vertical descent
2,034.00 ft (619.96 m)
Distance
12.00 mi (19.31 km)
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As the spring transitions and the summer equinox comes and goes, snow becomes particularly hard to come by—although not impossible. With a motivation to drive and hike to find those perennial ski descents, Peak 10 and the Fourth of July Bowl offer an accessible option. The Tenmile Range, home to Peak 10, is comprised of a series of mountains numbered one through 10 running north to south.

Dividing the frequently skied resorts—Copper Mountain and Breckenridge—Peak 10 is the farthest south along the spine and, with a summit of 13,633 feet, the tallest. With such a high elevation and a northeast-facing aspect, the Fourth of July Bowl offers one of the last consistent descent options in the central Front Range.

Towering over Breckenridge, the summit provides a panoramic view of the remaining Tenmile Range to the north and south, the northern Sawatch Range to the west, and the Gore Range to the east. Like many of the obscurely named peaks in Colorado, Peak 10 boasts a world-class view and access to boot.

In late spring after the ski resort closes, anyone with a capable vehicle can drive the vast majority of the way up to the basin, stopping at the top of the Mercury super-chair. Only cars with significant clearance may continue another few hundred feet to tree line. Patches of snow persist until late August, after which four-wheel drive vehicles may drive the remaining distance to the basin and the bottom of the bowl.

A local favorite to escape light pollution and stargaze while scoring some turns, the bowl is no stranger to traffic. In fact, the peak of its popularity falls appropriately on the Fourth of July. Heaps of riders hike its flanks and descend to celebrate our independence while sporting costumes. If timed appropriately, you may even be lucky enough to watch the Air Force fly their F-18 fighter planes through the valley in sync with the town's parade. It’s pretty awesome!

Descending a little over 1,000 feet from the summit to the bench along a wide-open bowl, the terrain is forgiving and enjoyable. Arriving at the end of the snow, skiers may choose to strap their sticks back onto their pack or head due east and find a final series of turns back to the upper parking area. With a view of Breckenridge and more skiing, the latter is highly advised.

With a total descent of 2,034 feet to the cars and nothing but spring corn, alpine meadows, and magnificent vistas, it’s an enjoyable descent. If you have good friends to keep you company along the way, it's an even more stellar outing and one for the books.

As always, have fun and be safe!!

Logistics + Planning

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Great views. Easy access. Late spring snow.

Cons

Crowded. Four-wheel drive very helpful.

Trailhead Elevation

9,680.00 ft (2,950.46 m)

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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