Mt. Warren - 13,307 feet
Rogers Peak - 13,391 feet
Mt. Warren - 13,307 feet
Rogers Peak - 13,391 feet
|Warren/Rogers Loop: Echo-Chicago-Summit-Ridge to road|
This will be a briefer trip report than some - just highlighting an alternate way to do these two really easy 13ers which turns them into an excellent conditioning hike.
Route: Followed Mount Evans - West Ridge from Echo Lake route up to Summit Lake, then turned and went over Warren/Rogers, down along the ridgetop, across the road and along the Mt. Goliath trail then down the remaining portion of the Mount Evans road to Echo Lake.
Time: 8h, 40min (pushed hard going up; very relaxed pace going down)
Difficulty: Class 2 with a small smattering of optional class 3 going up to Warren.
Route verdict: overall a very good route except needing to walk along the road (sometimes not much shoulder) for the last few miles. Might have bushwhacked a shortcut from Goliath if I had it to do over...
I needed a hike I could knock out on a day with a high chance of afternoon thunderstorms; wanted to get some 13ers I hadn't done before; wanted to make it a conditioning hike for multi-peak link-ups later this year, and wanted it to be a route with easy bail out options if the weather arrived early.
This fit the bill for all of that. I had done the Evans Echo route before and reached Summit Lake in 3 hours. Up to that point you can drop back into the valley and abort fairly safely if a storm came early. From Summit Lake it's less than 2 miles to get both 13ers (I could have just made a reservation for Summit Lake but that would have undermined the conditioning goal). Once on Rogers you can rapidly descend the ridge (basically all downhill) or drop straight to the road and make haste to shelter.
I started early enough (around 2:30am) that no one else was on the Echo Lake route through the Chicago Lakes area, but plenty of folks up at Summit Lake already once I got there. The reservation system has the first slots available at 8am-10am but when I walked up at about 5:30am the lot was already close to full. Didn't bother to look if people had permits for the 8am slot and arrived early or if they were just taking their chances...
Directions are easy - from Summit Lake look and see where all the masses are going then turn around and go the opposite way! I didn't encounter anyone after Summit Lake until I got back to the road.
You could easily do this entire route as a class 2 stroll (steepest section is coming up out of the valley for the ~1k climb up to Summit Lake but even that's class 2).
Alternately, if you're trying to get better conditioning anyways, stay left as you go up Warren and seek out all the little bits of class 3 scrambling that you can find if you look for it. If you really make an effort you might even pull a couple class 4 moves out of this section - but all of this is trivial to avoid if you prefer simple class 2.
You're frequently in view of the road and there are abundant options to quickly drop down to the road if for whatever reason you wanted to.
The summit of Rogers has a fun little summit block - reminded me of the Snowmass summit block but a little smaller and easier to get up on, though about as small on top.
After Rogers, I could see any bad weather was still plenty far off so I just had fun strolling around on the ridge investigating anything interesting looking like the gap/crack between a couple huge rocks that was calling my name (see waypoint called The Crack). Had to take off my pack and carry it over my head to squeeze through it (just to see if I could!).
After that, there was one small hill in the way on the ridge which I could have easily walked around to avoid gaining any elevation but an odd rock formation caught my attention and I felt like exploring.
Turned out to be a funny little tilted table like structure about 6 or 7 feet high (labeled this The Table of Gratuitous Gain - since there's no reason at all to gain that elevation unless you're just getting some more conditioning in and having fun).
After that, just stay on the ridge top until it dunps onto the road.
Then cross the road at the Upper Goliath Trailhead (there were a couple porta potties here) and follow that trail to stay off the road for a while. It's a mostly downhill stroll that starts just above treeline but soon has growing shade.
The trail dumps you out at a small visitor center at a bend in the road. If not for the road switchbacks it wouldn't be too far from Echo Lake at this point. You might be able to bushwhack to cut down road switchback walking - that road isn't really made for pedestrians...
There is some nice scenery along the way though.
2:21am start from Echo Lake
4:30am between the Chicago Lakes
5:22am At the Summit Lake warming hut to get out of the wind for a few minutes
6:13am Warren summit
6:51am continue after long, relaxing break
7:38am standing on top of Rogers summit block
7:55am continue after soaking in the solitude some more
9:52am Goliath visitor center at lower Goliath trailhead (very slow stroll down with several distractions on the way - would be very easy to cover this MUCH faster)
11:01am back at the Jeep at Echo Lake (might have been able to save time with bushwhack to cut past road switchbacks (maybe...)
My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):
|Comments or Questions|
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