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If you are ever interested in doing a short and easy hike - but want a real high-alpine experience, this is the hike for you. In fact, this is where I plan to take flat-lander tourists (friends and relatives) who come to visit and want to go hiking from now on.
The trailhead for Chief Mountain begins about 11 miles (???) west of Bergen Park on Squaw Pass road. You'll know you've found the begining of this trail when you pull off on a wide shoulder along this road (on the north side) where you can see through the trees below you the remnants of the old Squaw Pass ski area which has been abandoned for many years.
Tommy starts out the hike from the unmarked trailhead along the road.
Tommy along the trail with Squaw Pass road visible through the trees below him.
About two-tenths of a mile into the hike you will cross an old gravel road. Continue on up the trail on the other side.
About a third of a mile into the hike, the scene changes as you approach a saddle between Papoose Mountain (el. 11,174 feet) and Chief Mountain.
Then the trail heads back up through the trees.
At about seven-tenths of a mile you begin to feel a real high alpine experience and you find yourself suddenly above treeline.
That's the top up there. It may look steep but the trail slopes gently across the face of the mountain.
A little further along - and you're getting there ...
Approaching the summit - the last 150 yards.
The last few steps to the summit. [Depending upon the time of the year, you most likely won't encounter any snow here.]
From the summit you've got a great view of Mount Evans (el. 14,264 feet) to the west.
Below you Squaw Pass Road is visible winding along the ridge headed West.
To the north the view is as far as the weather will allow.
Squaw Mountain (el. 11,486) is easily viewed in its entirety just east of Chief Mountain with the flats of Denver (Kansas?) visible beyond to the horizon.
Tommy reading the summit register while sharing the summit with two other people (Marshal and ???). Note that you can see Pikes Peak in the background (when looking south).
Along on this hike with me: Tommy.