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Mount Chiquita

Intermediate/Difficult
  5.0 ( 9 ) Favorite

Trail

5.2 mile 8.4 kilometer loop
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,934' 590 m
Descent: -1,934' -590 m
High: 13,027' 3,971 m
Low: 11,100' 3,383 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 14% (8°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Nathan Jamieson

A moderate route with rocky terrain above the tree line, all on the way to a 13,000 ft peak.

Nathan Jamieson

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Old Fall River Road is one-way and closed from October through early July.

Overview

If you're seeking a way to summit some of Colorado's iconic peaks and experience one of the more remote areas in Rocky Mountain National Park, this is the perfect route. Starting at Fall River Road, you'll soon find yourself traipsing among the clouds in a high alpine tundra.

Need to Know

Storms come in regularly in the afternoon. So come early and enjoy.

Description

Start from the Chapin Creek Trailhead which is off Old Fall River Road. This road is a one-way unpaved road that is only open from early July through September.

From the Chapin Creek Trailhead, you'll hike a short distance until you see a sign for the Chapin summit pointing east, on the Chapin Pass Trail. The trail winds through forest until you are almost at the tree line where the trail splits. We will see this trail later but for now take a right to continue a gradual climb on a well-traveled but exposed trail on the back side of Mt Chapin. Once you get close to the saddle between Mt Chapin and Mt Chiquita, there is a faint trail I didn't take to get to the summit of Mt Chapin. Continue straight uphill toward the summit of Mt Chiquita, and you'll follow an obvious but steep rocky trail.

Toward the top the trail is hard to follow but you can easily step from rock to rock to reach the top where you are rewarded with incredible 360-degree views of Rocky Mountain National Park from just over 13,000 ft. There are several man-made wind breaks which are a welcome relief from cold winds. From here you can continue to Ypsilon Mountain on the Ypsilon Summit Route.

On the way back, we chose to take the Chapin Pass - Lower Fork which branches off from the saddle between Chapin and Chiquita. This trail is a little less rocky and drops down quicker to the treeline until it rejoins the Chapin Pass Trail. From this point retrace your steps back to the trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Marmots, squirrels, and pica are commonly seen. Bighorn sheep can be seen but I didn't encounter any.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, History & Background

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Check-Ins

Sep 16, 2018
Sara Rastegar
5.2mi
Sep 15, 2018
Tess O'Connor
We didn’t have time to make it all the way since we were hitting the Ute Trail next. But we will definitely be back! 4mi
Aug 16, 2018
Joel P
Aug 10, 2018
Leonardo Esperon
Aug 7, 2018
Colin Hensen
Jul 18, 2018
Anna Ferguson
7.1mi
Jun 29, 2018
Kieran Murphy
CCY
Jul 30, 2017
Riley Steele
The climb from the saddle was pretty steep with an extreme lack of oxygen, but the weather was great and the panoramic views were unforgettable!

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 9 votes

#476

Overall
  5.0 from 9 votes
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Featured Hike Rankings

#93

in Colorado

#476

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57 Views Last Month
3,156 Since Aug 16, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

On top of Mt Chiquita looking toward Ypsilon on the left, Lake Ypsilon center, and Estes Park in the distance.
Aug 16, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
On Mt Chiquita looking northwest toward Flatiron Mt and Chapin Creek.
Aug 16, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
One of many marmots along the Chapin Pass Trail
Jul 25, 2017 near Estes Park, CO
In the saddle between Chapin and Chiquita looking southeast.
Aug 16, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
Steep descent with beautiful views
Jul 25, 2017 near Estes Park, CO
Small creek I crossed just before rejoining the main trail back.
Aug 16, 2016 near Estes Park, CO

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