Bull Hill A - South Ridge

Difficulty:  Class 2 
Upper Elevation: 13,761 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 10,000 feet
Elevation Gain:3,800 feet
Round-trip Length: 7.25 miles
Trailhead: Echo Canyon
Author: BillMiddlebrook
Route Added: 05/16/2012
Last Updated: 06/01/2012
GPX File: Download Login required


From U.S. 24 south of Leadville, take Colorado 82 (Independence Pass) west toward Twin Lakes. Drive about 12.5 miles and turn right onto a dirt road. When approaching the area of the turn-off, slow down because it’s hard to see the turn and it’s unmarked. Follow the dirt road for less than 100 yards to the unmarked "trailhead." There’s parking on the left for two vehicles. Across the road, the trail (old 4WD road) heads north up into the forest.


This isnít marked and the unmarked turn-off from CO 82 is very easy to miss. If you have 4WD and donít want to park in the lower area, turn right (north) and continue 150 yards up the old road (trail) where youíll find a pull-off with parking for a couple more vehicles - easy 4WD to that point and itís on public land.

Start up the road/trail (Photo #1) and turn right at a stream crossing (Photo #2), 0.3 mile up from the trailhead. Continued N/NE on the trail as it parallels the creek in Echo Canyon. Near 10,600í, the trail gets back on the old, overgrown 4WD road that was used to access mines long ago. A defined trail now weaves through the trees on the road - Photo #3. At 11,640í, pass a mine shack (Photo #4) in the area of the Last Change Mine and continue up the road - Photo #5. Thereís a great view of Casco Peak during much of the climb - Photo #6.

Reach the Golden Fleece Mine near 12,700í (Photo #7 and Photo #8) and the road ends just above the mine - Photo #9. Leave the mine and hike (Class 2) up the slope (Photo #10) to reach Bull Hillís south ridge. Finally on the south ridge, the remaining hike is obvious: Easy, grass-covered slopes - Photo #11. Hike north along the ridge to reach a flat-ish spot near 13,500í (Photo #12) and continue (Photo #13 and Photo #14) up to the summit - Photo #15.




Photo #1 Photo #2 Photo #3 Photo #4 Photo #5 Photo #6 Photo #7 Photo #8 Photo #9 Photo #10 Photo #11 Photo #12 Photo #13 Photo #14 Photo #15