Jefferson County Highpoint Trip Report

Crow Peak (9,414 ft) and Elkhorn Peak (9,400+ ft)

Date: July 16, 2003
Author: Tim Worth

I did both peaks as a neat loop hike. The night before I drove to the creepy near-ghost town of Elkhorn, which amazingly still has a few stray residents milling about. Just north of the town is a split in the road - I went right (east, then south) towards Elkhorn Cemetery, then veered left on a mining road which eventually descends into Queen Gulch. Camped along a creek at an intersection of primitive roads, near the 6464 spot elevation in sec 13.

Next day, I hiked up the northbound mining track, marked by the sign, Leslie Lake TH - 3, Jct Glenwoood Lake trail 131 - 4. Hiked up this steep, rough road to trail 131, veering far to the east, away from Crow Peak. Couldn't see where I was yet, since this is all below tree line.

As trail 131 crested the ridge I bushwhacked west and reached tree line, with Crow Peak ahead. On the summit there was a big US flag, metal register box, very old, unstamped USGS benchmark.

Didn't have my hand level but Crow looked higher than Elkhorn Peak. Hiked over to Elkhorn (drop 520 ft). From here it looked even less close than it did from Crow. A hand-level wielding HPer will be able to confirm the obvious. Forest Service lists Elkhorn at 9,389 ft, guidebook lists it at 9,381 ft, and its not a very steep summit so the closed 9,400 ft contour on the topo may not be accurate.

From Elkhorn, I bushwhacked down the west ridge to a mining road, then back into the town of Elkhorn, then back to the car.

Trip statistics: 6 hours; about 10 miles; 3,600 ft of elevation gain