Kenosha Mountain Range Traverse

On my last backpacking trip, I looked up and admired the Kenosha Range.

The mountains were rounded, broad and were open. I thought of how wonderful it would be to walk along this range. Looking at my topo in camp that evening, the map confirmed my thoughts: The range would be a very do-able, non-technical hike. The range called; I wanted to walk along the ridge and see these mountains that did not even have official names.

After a little research, it turns out that Gerry and Jenny Roach have given some unofficial, but widely accepted, names to that part of the range. Further research also confirmed my thoughts: A walk along this range would be a memorable experience.

The plan for the jaunt was to park a car at one end of the range and have another car parked at Kenosha Pass. We'd walk the ridge and also do some "bonus" peaks just before getting back to the vehicle.

Friday night, a few of us drove up to Long Gulch trail head and made camp. A creek for background noise, a campfire for ambiance, a few beers for libation and wonderful company. It was about the perfect way to spend an evening.

The following morning we packed up camp, I made some much desired coffee and started the hike. The jaunt started with an easy stroll along the Colorado Trail.

At a drainage in a meadow, we ascended to the ridge. Once on this ridge, the grandeur of the hike really opened up.

The ridge was wide open, there was no trail. The mountains were places that hardly anyone summits. We had the ridge to ourselves.

The ridge walk was stunning. Wildflowers abounded, the vistas extended in all directions and the peaks were unique.

When we reached the saddle between peaks "Y" and "Z", we could not help but just look off and soak up the well deserved views.

After soaking up the views, we proceeded Peak "Y" then to the highpoint of the day – Peak "X". Easily the hardest climb of the day..but also easily one of the sweetest spots along the ridge.

On the summit of Peak "X". Pointing to the Roach's card

After summiting Peak "X", Wendy and d-low decided to take a route that was slightly lower and featured less elevation gain. The rest of the hike continued along the broad ridge. Along the way, we spied a herd of elk along the slopes of the unnamed peaks. The route truly was a ridge walkers delight!


We more or less ended the Kenosha Range below Foster Peak, followed the valley a bit and then ascended to the last peak: North Twin Cone. The cone featured a great place to soak up the surrounding scenery. We then ascended down the dirt road, made it to the waiting cars. Just before we left, Wendy and d-low caught up with us. After a well deserved beer, we headed out.

Another great hike!

Route info: Terry GPS'd the route at just over 18 miles and 5000' elev gain. We started at Long Gulch trail head and ascended the ridge via an obvious drainage in a meadow. There was a fairly well worn use trail. You can read the descriptions of this route at Summit Post here and here.

All the photos

UPDATE JULY 2011:     More trip beta is here. I did a version of this hike as backpack, too.

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