|Cole Rockin the Summit|
Heading to Summit County for Fourth of July weekend had about as many people roaming around as back home in Denver. So, I guess we weren't really getting away. The drive time up to Frisco was awful; leaving at noon on Thursday it took us almost 3 hours which is double the standard drive time. We heard reports of 5 hours later in the afternoon. Crap like this makes me really appreciate Idaho. But, we still wanted to get up to the cool mountain air and we often find ourselves just dealing with it.
As it turned out my friend Cole was up in Breckenridge doing wildlife surveys over the weekend, so a small peak sounded like a fun idea. Wanting to keep it short I decided on Royal Mountain which is the first peak of the 10 Mile Range starting in Frisco.
|Mount Guyout and Bald Mountain|
Getting to the TR is pretty easy. Head south on HWY 9 turning west on Main Street in Frisco. Follow Main to 2nd Ave, following the road to the end. There is a construction site where the road used to go through to the TH so you will have to park on the street. Being a good boy, I was looking for a way around the construction site since it was littered with NO TRESPASSING signs, but we couldn't find a way through so eventually followed everyone else cutting through the construction site. Once at the TH the trail is easy to spot on the northwest side.
The trail is reported to be 1.8 miles to the summit with 1,400ft vertical gain. We took an “off the beaten path” approach for a while then made our way to the standard trail. This is a steep climb that had me dripping of sweat and smelling like a brewery in no time. Don’t underestimate this little climb, for a little mountain it gets the blood pumping fast.
|Bristlecone Pine Trees|
Once near a small saddle there is split in the trail, head to the right for Royal Mountain. From that point the trail eases up and the views to the northwest are finally visible. I enjoyed the bristlecone pine trees on the summit ridge. We found the high point and took a much needed water break.
This is a heavy traffic trail, which is always unfortunate. But this can be a nice short summit with descent views to the north and west. The views to the south and east are blocked by a lot of the trees at the summit, but can be viewed at various parts along the trail. I’m glad we got out for a lung burner, next stop Backcountry Brewing!
TH Elevation: 9,095 feet
Royal Mountain: 10,500 feet
Total Gained Elevation: 1,400 feet
Distance: 4.07 miles
Time: 2:10 moving, 35 minutes stopped
Climbing Partner: Cole