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Bison and McCurdy Route

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.3 (6) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Southern Utah rock formations atop Colorado mountains.


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Map Key

13.2

Miles

21.3

KM

Out and Back

11,851' 3,612 m

High

8,747' 2,666 m

Low

3,550' 1,082 m

Up

3,549' 1,082 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

35%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · Geological Significance · Spring · Views · Wildflowers

Overview

This is a great, strenuous route that makes for a very enjoyable overnight backpacking trip in Lost Creek Wilderness.

Need to Know

We went the first weekend in June. The snow had just melted, the grass was just starting to turn green, the willows had only small buds. The temperature wasn't too hot in the day or too cold at night.

There was water in three places: Ute Creek 1.6 miles from the trailhead, the monument on Bison Peak (dries up in the summer), and at the McCurdy Creek campsite.

The campsite was large, flat, and just above the creek.

Description

The road to the trailhead is paved, making access easy for most hikers.

Initially, visitors will set off on the Ute Creek Trail #629, which climbs through the woods. At 4.0 miles there is a junction with the Brookside McCurdy Trail. Take the trail the right (east) for a short distance, before reaching the point where the journey to the summit of Bison Peak will begin by turning north onto the Southwest Ridge Route. There isn't really a trail to speak of, but the lack of trees and open spaces make this an easy ascent.

At about 5.0 miles into your journey, you'll climb out of the trees to open country. We found a little water below the large monument rock at 5.3 miles but don't count on this in the summer. We summited Bison Peak (12,431 feet) at 6.2 miles. The route to Bison Peak was fairly popular with other visitors. After that we saw only two parties (both backpacking) on the McCurdy Peak section.

We descended back to the Brookside McCurdy Traill and continued on to the saddle between Bison and McCurdy Peaks (8.4 miles). Then we went half a mile north off-trail to water and a campsite along McCurdy Creek at 8.9 miles. Looking at the map there might be another campsite a tenth mile up the creek, closer to the rock formations.

In the morning we explored McCurdy Peak. We visited a window rock, then the west summit, then the summit (12,146 feet). We didn't visit the east summit (11,840 feet).

Once you've spent enough time at the summit of McCurdy Peak, make your way back to the Brookside McCurdy Trail, and take it back to the west. You'll follow this route along the foot of Bison Peak, and then to the intersection with the Ute Creek Trail #629, which will bring you back to the trailhead and your vehicle.

Contacts

Shared By:

Thomas David Kehoe with improvements by Clint Guerra

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 6 votes

#2883

Overall
  4.3 from 6 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#385

in Colorado

#2,883

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73 Views Last Month
5,658 Since Jun 6, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Trail between Bison and McCurdy Peaks.
Jun 6, 2016 near Pine, CO
The highest point of the loop with a fantastic panoramic view of the Mosquito Range.
May 30, 2018 near Bailey, CO
McCurdy dead fall
May 30, 2018 near Bailey, CO
near McCurdy Peak
May 30, 2018 near Bailey, CO

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Check-Ins

Jun 8, 2018
Josh Hohlfeld
Jun 30, 2017
Private User
Jun 19, 2017
Dax Slaughter
Only got to see the beginning but loved the terrain and topography changes. 5mi
May 23, 2017
Joelle Campbell
5mi
May 22, 2017
Joelle Campbell
6mi