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Chapin Pass Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

2.4 mile 3.9 kilometer point to point
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,872' 571 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 13,032' 3,972 m
Low: 11,160' 3,401 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 15% (8°)
Max Grade: 39% (21°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Nathan Jamieson

A more rugged route than most, offering a new perspective on Rocky Mountain National Park.

Nathan Jamieson

Features Fall Colors · Views

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 Mt. Chapin summit pointing east. The trail winds through the forest until you are almost at the tree line where the trail splits. 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 and rocky trail.

Toward the top of Mt. Chiquita, 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, or you can return the way that you came. If you want to shake things up on the way down, the Chapin Pass - Lower Fork will lead you along a similar route, though the shorter spur is the faster way to reach treeline. Both trails eventually meet back up, so you have nothing to lose!

Flora & Fauna

Keep an eye out for elk, marmots, and pika!

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know

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Check-Ins

Sep 19, 2019
Greg Collette
Sep 7, 2019
Greg Collette
Aug 4, 2018
Darlene Crandall
Aug 8, 2017
Eric Schmidt
Jul 9, 2016
Evan Daigle
Aug 6, 2013
Gabby Carrier

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#6118

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
60%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#496

in Colorado

#6,118

Overall
9 Views Last Month
1,011 Since Sep 12, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
100%
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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
The upper route on the back of Mt Chapin looking up at Mt Chiquita and Ypsilon to the left.
Aug 16, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
Right at the beginning of the trail
Jul 25, 2017 near Estes Park, CO

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