Chaffee County

Unnamed Peak (Alt. 9,124 Feet) - My Climb of a Small Peak East of Midland Hill Near Buena Vista, CO
(February 15, 2009)

Midland Hill East of Buena Vista, CO and north of Highway 24 & 285 is a semi-mountainous and hilly region known as the "Four Mile Area." We are in the thick of winter and most trails in the real mountains west (Sawatch Range) are packed with snow. A sunny 35 degree day in Buena Vista usually translates into the 10's or 20's at best in the Sawatch Mountains, not including avalanche danger. Thus, I've been spending more time in this warmer region.

Today's hike was a summit of a knob... or point... or small peak that doesn't even have a name. Adjacent is a photo taken from Johnson Village. That small mountain is located a short distance east of the summit of Midland Hill. On the right is another knob - an unnamed point at 9,394 feet.

Buffalo Peaks Here is a better view taken from Nathrop, facing north. I put an arrow next to this unnamed peak. Those two peaks covered in snow are known as the Buffalo Peaks. The dark mountain ridge that runs horizontally is known as Marmot Peak at its highest point. In front of Marmot Peak is Midland Hill and the focus of my climb today.
Midland Hill HOW I GOT THERE: From Johnson Village, I traveled east and turned left at the Collegiate Peaks Overlook. I was on Chaffee County Road 304 when I snapped this photo. (Unnamed Peak '9124 on the right.)

Four Mile Area

I then turned right on Chaffee County Road 376A, which for a short distance was the old Midland railroad grade. The road travels along the south side of this unnamed peak.

TOP: Unnamed Peak 9,124' (left) and Unnamed Knob 9,394' (right).

BOTTOM: I parked my car along the road and approached this sandy creek bed about a 0.2 mile distance. I walked around the east/northeast side of the peak, but in retrospect, it is probably easier to walk up the creek bed and climb up the peak's west side. (I actually came down via the west side.)

Your National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map, the topographical map I recommend, should help you with everything I've written above. Don't have a good topographical map of the area? Well ... you have no business being out there. A link where you can buy it directly via Amazon:

Mt. Princeton, CO Walking up Chaffee County Road 376A, I turned back to capture this nice view of Mt. Antero, Mt. Princeton and the valley.

I climbed this peak the hard way. On the southeast side of the mountain is a large and intimidating gate. Private property (with a few private homes) is just beyond this gate, but there is no "No Trespassing" sign at this point. I proceeded and walked a short distance along the road before beginning my climb.

I walked along the left side of the barbed wire fence. At some point, the barbed-wire fenced ended and I veered more to the right as I ascented. I realize this peak doesn't appear to be much of a mountain, but that high point is not the summit. Boy howdy, would that be easy! The summit is farther back.

Upper Arkansas River Valley
At The Summit

Ahhhh ... I have been quite out of shape in the past two weeks. It was so nice to rest at the summit. Adjacent is the grand view of the Upper Arkansas River Valley. The northern Sangre De Cristo Mountains, Mt. Ouray and Mt. Antero can all be seen out there.

Mt. Princeton, CO The view toward Mt. Princeton.
Midland Hill Directly to the west is the summit of Midland Hill.

Below are all my hikes and pictures from this general region east of the valley:

  • Midland Hill (Standard Route)
  • Midland Hill (Northeast Ridge)
  • Davis Meadow Trail
  • Bald Mountain
  • Sugarloaf Mountain
  • Ruby Mountain
  • Trout Creek Pass
  • Arkansas River
  • Four Mile Area Looking toward the Buffalo Peaks and Marmot Peak.
    Four Mile Area Toward the east, the view of Unnamed Point '9394. Lots of pinions out there. Some folks say this region reminds them of the hilly mountain country of New Mexico.
    Mt. Princeton There are two spots that appear to be the high points on this mountain. I visited both, and I sat on this particular rock. Nice view of Mt. Princeton! :)
    Steve A self-portrait. I wore my bright yellow fleece, a sentimental article of clothing. I wore this most days when I biked across America last year.
    Snow On the way back down, I noticed some foot prints. Maybe it was a dog ... maybe something larger. Who knows?

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