Bighorn Point (8420 ft) and Bighorn Mountain (8540 ft) from Salina, 04/19/2008
East side of Bighorn Mountain, 04/19/08
Snowbound mining car, 04/19/08
Both Bighorn Point and Bighorn Mountain are Roaches. Bighorn Mountain is a ranked Roach, at number 56.
From Boulder, driving up Canyon Blvd 3.9 miles, then turning right onto Four Mile Canyon Drive and going another 4.8 miles, then, just past Salina, turning right at Ingram Gulch onto a dirt road and going 0.1 miles, we parked in a clearing beside the road.
Starting our hike at 10:37, we crossed the dirt road, then headed up the steep slope, northwest toward Bighorn Point. The area is riddled with old mining roads and holes, but the terrain of this south facing slope, besides the steepness, is rather nice, with sparse vegetation and not terribly rugged ground.
We reached Bighorn Point at 11:23, where the odometer showed 0.77 miles. Here, there are some great views of Mt Audubon, the summit area of Bighorn Mtn, and Sugarloaf Mountain.
After a few minutes of enjoying the view, we headed north to another knob of Bighorn Point. On the east side of this knob, we got great views of Lee Hill to the northeast, and the Boulder trio (Green Mtn, Bear Pk, S. Boulder Pk) to the southeast. While we were taking pictures, we noticed several ravens flying overhead. Then came a *splat* on the rocks a couple feet away from us, and we realized that one of the ravens had just let loose on us. Getting the message that we were unwelcome on their territory, we left, and continued northwest up the mountain.
Reaching the Bighorn Mountain summit, our odometer showed 1.33 miles. The summit is extremely nice. Someone has built a windbreak wall, using mortar to secure the rocks, around the summit, with a stone bench built into the wall. We couldn't resist the temptation of having lunch there. The summit also has amazing views. Nearby peaks we could see were Bald Mountain to the southwest and Walker Mountain to the northwest. In the distance were views of James Peak, Mount Audubon, Chiefs Head, Pagoda, Mt Meeker, and Longs Peak.
Leaving the summit, we did not return the way we came, but instead headed northeast toward the Snowbound Mine. Our intention was to bag Butzel Hill (8264'), but upon reaching the Gold Hill Road, our way along the Bighorn-Butzel ridge was blocked by private property. Since the day was no longer young, we decided against bushwacking around the private property, and then headed back, hiking southeast along Gold Hill Road.
Making our way back, we soon left Gold Hill Road, following an old mining road south, and then bushwacked southwest toward Ingram Gulch, and finally followed Ingram Gulch, along rugged terrain, down toward Salina. There is private property near the end of Ingram Gulch, which we bypassed around the west side, before returning to our parking place.
We got back to our parking place at 14:13, where the odometer showed 3.63 miles. The GPS wasn't tracking for much of the way, so the actual distance is probably over 4 miles. The elevation difference from lowest (parking) to highest (Bighorn summit) was 1,624 feet.
|Place name||Elev [ft]||Accuracy [ft]||Lat/Lon|
|Bighorn Mountain summit||8592||14||40.06706/105.38964|
|1||Ingram Gulch start||40.0550/105.3796|
|2||Bighorn Point (8420')||40.0630/105.3878|
|3||Bighorn Mtn (8540')||40.0678/105.3894|
|4||Butzel Hill (8264')||40.0742/105.3749|
The geology of the Salina-Ingram Gulch area, V. Quentin Hornback, 1956, Thesis, University of Colorado Boulder.