Mahana Peak (12,632 ft), 11/01/2008
Mahana Peak from Bluebird Lake Trail, 11/01/08
Pipit Lake from Mahana Peak summit, 11/01/08
Elevation versus distance, 11/01/08
Mahana Peak is in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park. It is north of Copeland Mountain, and south of Tanima Peak. Today, we ascended it via the long east ridge. It can also be climbed via a Bluebird Lake-Pipit Lake-Isolation Lake approach. On its summit, there are impressive views of Copeland Mountain, Isolation Peak, and Pipit Lake.
You can see the GPS tracks for this entire hike. There are some gaps, due to the GPS not tracking.
We started hiking from the Wild Basin Ranger Station at 8:29. After 3.19 miles, at 9:39, we turned left onto the Bluebird Lake Trail (turning right goes to Thunder Lake Trail). We continued on the Bluebird Lake Trail to an elevation of 9,900 feet, where we turned right, leaving the trail and beginning our ascent up the Mahana East Ridge.
The first part of the Mahana East Ridge is slow going, due to lots of fallen timber from the old forest fire. The fallen timber eventually gives way to pristine forest, which isn't too thick, and the going got easier. We then crossed treeline, and the ridge became a boulder field. Further up, alpine meadow appears, and we were able to travel a bit faster. Beginning above treeline, there was a steady cold wind coming down from the divide, and in spite of ascending, we got cold due to sweating at lower elevations.
We reached the summit of Mahana Peak at 12:22, with the odometer at 8.18 miles. Looking down from the summit at Pipit Lake, the scene was already wintry, with snowy cold blue slopes and a half frozen lake.
Because of the cold, we didn't stay on the summit very long; taking a few pictures, then heading back down the way we came.
Returning to our parking place at 16:57, the odometer showed 16.6 miles. This was a good sized hike, with an elevation difference, from lowest (parking) to highest (Mahana summit), of 4,181 feet. The total trip time was 8 hrs, 28 minutes.
|Place name||Elev [ft]||Accuracy [ft]||Lat/Lon|
|Parking at Wild Basin Ranger Station||8493||24||40.20806,-105.56627|
|Mahana Peak summit||12674||7||40.19937,-105.66689|