Fremont County Highpoint Trip Report

Bushnell Peak (13,105 ft)

Dates: August 9-10, 1986
Author: David Olson

ascent of Bushnell Peak and the Twin Sisters

On Saturday the ninth I got my usual late start. I accessed the Kerr Gulch turnoff from US 50, located 3.8 miles west of Coaldale, 4 miles east of Howard and 15.3 miles east of Salida (US 50 and CO 291).

Going up the Kerr Gulch road, the map marks a side road at 2.3 miles ("A" below); note it. I got to the end of the road, 4.7 miles, elevation 8,120 feet, after sun-down ("B" below). I headed up the Stout Creek trail. It was late twilight before I found a campsite with water. I camped very near the trail.

The following morning 100 feet uptrail at the stream crossing, I found a pitched tent square across the trail.

The trail up to timberline was a tiresome ascent. I climbed the Little Sister; Bushnell Peak (13,105 feet), the highest point in Fremont county; bypassed the Little Sister and climbed the Big Sister (13,012 feet), keeping west of the ridge line on easier terrain.

Elevation gain is 13,105 - 8,120 = 4,985 feet.

On the way back I found a great restaurant in Canon City - Ortegas.

Variations worth exploring

You can try going up the (A) side road. The road goes up to a radio facility on top of Short Creek Baldy, elevation 8,300+ feet, and a Jeep road goes up from there towards Hamilton Baldy. Just beyond Hamilton Baldy is the Rainbow Trail and the spur trail up to Bushnell Lakes. The topographic maps show minimal shoulder drop behind the two Baldies.

From near the (B) end of road you can access the Rainbow trail. You can hike southeast to the Hamilton Baldy shoulder and then take the Bushnell Lakes spur trail. Charlie Winger reports an ascent of Bushnell Peak from Bushnell Lakes and makes it sound easy.