Peak 8315 from CO Hwy 7, 1/07/2006
We parked just off CO Hwy 7 about a mile west of Hall Ranch on a bridge at the start of the South St. Vrain Canyon at an elevation of 5586 feet (see coordinates below). It was a very warm and sunny day with a forecast temperature in the upper 60's for Longmont.
We started hiking at 9:44, crossing the bridge, then heading in a southwest direction, through meadow interspersed with trees. For the first few tenths of a mile there were lots of cow droppings. The ascent up the ridge, which is the south side of Hwy 7 was very nice terrain, being thinly wooded with occasional meadow. One hazard that we noticed was some rusty old barbed wire which was laying on the ground and which could be easily tripped on. The rock is all sedimentary from point 1 to point 2 (north end of ridge), then becomes granite just past point 2.
From point 1 to point 2 is good steady climbing, then from point 2 to point 3 (south end of ridge) is relatively flat. We reached point 3 at 11:08. In a flat area from point 3 to point 4 (Peak 7487) we found an extensive quartz vein at (40.17912/105.32992) at an elevation of 7115 feet.
We reached point 4 which is Peak 7487 at 11:52. The GPS shows this peak with an elevation of 7520 ft (accuracy 17 ft). I liked this summit, which is rounded and rocky with sparse trees. There was no summit register here. We made a cairn where we figured the summit was. The summit of Peak 7487 has both sedimentary rock and granite. From this summit we headed to point 5 (Knob 7600).
We decided against visiting the ruins (point 6) and instead made a beeline for Peak 8315 (point 7). From point 5 to point 7 we followed an old road for awhile, and had to cross barbed wire a few times before reaching the summit of Peak 8315 at 13:06.
The summit of Peak 8315 is more prominent with a view of plains to the east, Fairview Peak to the south, and a handsome granite knob to the west. We found a summit register on Peak 8315 placed there on Feb 28, 2004 by Mike Garratt, which was never signed by anyone else. The GPS gives an elevation of 8362 ft (acc 16 ft) on Peak 8315.
Heading back, we retraced our steps, and returned to the truck at 16:30. This was an excellent hike with nice terrain and perfect solitude. We did not meet anyone during the entire trip. Peak 8315 seems to be one of the least visited peaks of Boulder County, not having had a summit register entry in almost two years. Gerry Roach ranks this summit as #61 in Boulder County, which I interpret to mean the 61st highest peak of Boulder County.
Our total trip time was 6 hrs, 46 min. The elevation difference from lowest (parking spot) to highest (Peak 8315) point was 2776 feet. But this included lots of horizontal hiking too.
|Place name||Elev [ft]||Accuracy [ft]||Lat/Lon|
|Parking at bridge off Hwy 7||5586||15||40.20387/105.30785|
|1||Parked at bridge||40.2039/105.3079|
|2||North end of ridge||40.1914/105.3232|
|3||South end of ridge||40.1842/105.3246|