Nugget Hill (8582 ft) from Lefthand Canyon/Ward Road Intersection, 2/04/2006
From highway 36, we went up Lefthand Canyon then parked near the intersection of Lefthand Canyon Rd and the road going to Ward (see GPS data). We started hiking at 10:42.
Heading first north up a steep slope with a faint trail, crossing a gulley, then turning west following the Nugget Hill Ridge and staying on the south side of the ridge where the trees are sparse. The south side of this ridge all the way to the Nugget Hill summit is quite nice terrain for hiking in the winter, being sparse forest interspersed with meadow, and not too many rugged rocky spots thrown in. There were only brief patches of snow at the start.
We reached the top of the first knob of Nugget Hill (Knob 8092) at 12:12. The point list below shows roughly the route we took. We next came upon an old mine within the Boulder Creek granodiorite. Continuing along the ridge we topped out on Knob 8415 at 12:58, then went on to the top of Knob 8485 at 13:14. The rock changes from Boulder Creek granodiorite to adamelite near the summit.
We reached the summit of Nugget Hill at 13:38. There is a nice view of the Indian Peaks on the summit as well as the foothill peaks just west of Boulder, but the summit itself is not very nice since it is accessible by ATV. Our return route was roughly the way we had come. We got back to our truck at 16:19.
This is a great winter hike for staying in shape. The snow was almost nonexistent for about the first half of the ascent, and got only about 2 inches deep near the summit of Nugget Hill. The difference in altitude from our parking place to the summit was 2207 ft, with plenty of ups and downs along the ridge knobs. It took 2 hours and 56 minutes from the start to the Nugget Hill summit, which included a large amount of horizontal distance in addition to the 2207 ft elevation gain, with plenty of ups and downs.
|Place name||Elev [ft]||Accuracy [ft]||Lat/Lon|
|Nugget Hill summit||8595||15||40.0912/105.3814|
|1||Nugget Hill Summit (8582 ft)||40.0912/105.3814|
|7||Quad line/Road Inters.||40.1015/105.3423|
- Geology of the Lefthand Canyon-Nugget Hill area, Frederic Grant Files, 1964, Thesis (M.S.), University of Colorado Boulder.