Bison Peak may be the high point of the Tarryall Mountains, but the trail to its 12,431-foot summit is accessible year-round—and this moderate 11.3-mile hike is especially pretty with spring snow decorating the surrounding peaks. Even better, most peakbaggers overlook the mountain and its otherwordly rock formations.
From the Ute Creek Trailhead, hike through aspen- and evergreen-lined corridors to enter the wilderness. At mile 3.7, turn right on the Brookside-McCurdy Trail and climb to treeline. Once you’re clear of the forest, the peak’s stone monoliths come into view. Leave the fading trail behind at mile 4.9 and hike northeast toward the rock towers—it’s an easy class 1-2 scramble to the top. Leave time to explore the boulder garden and gaze at the panorama of Pike National Forest and Mosquito Range peaks, then retrace your steps to the trailhead.
Info: (719) 836-2031; www.fs.fed.us/r2/psicc
Hike provided by James Dziezynski, author of Best Summit Hikes in Colorado (Wilderness Press).
TO TRAILHEAD: From Jefferson, CO, head southeast on Park County Rd. 77/Tarryall Rd. Drive 20.5 miles to the trailhead on the left side of the road.