Mount Parnassus is a challenging and sensational hike to the Summit of 13,580′ with breathtaking views across some of the highest peaks in Colorado.
WATROUS GULCH TRAILHEAD
Starting on Watrous Trail to reach Mount Parnassus Summit, we headed out in superb Colorado weather in early September. A time of year when the threat of rain is minimal, the best season in Colorado to hike above treeline.
After hiking through a short yet beautiful aspen grove, we break out into sweeping views of what lies ahead. Touches of amber and sprinkles of red show signs of autumn near.
The trek has been a gradual persistent climb to reach an area called the saddle. The saddle is where several hikers turned around after taking in the incredible views. Certainly, a perfect end to a hike if you do not want to attempt Mount Parnassus.
Winds are whipping at the saddle, and the weather is changing, yet it still feels doable. As we debate whether to attempt the summit, the winds stop, the sun shines, and I know we are on our way. It was gorgeous at the saddle.
As we slowly make our way up Mount Parnassus, I am stunned at both the intensity of the climb and the views that appeared the higher we hiked. So much fun!
Not to be taken lightly though. It’s a high-altitude trail and dehydration plus fickle weather is always something to consider. for a look at Practical gear that we have in our backpacks on every hike. > CLICK HERE
SUMMITING MOUNT PARNASSUS
The are several false summits! You are almost there, yet there is more to climb. It’s rocky, with lots of scree, yet not too hard. We took it slow and easy.
We did it, the weather stayed calm, and it was fantastic at the top. At 13,580′, we can see all the Peaks beyond the Continental Divide looking west. Not to leave out all the Peaks in every direction. Breathtaking!
BACK DOWN – WEATHER CHANGING!
I loved this hike. My hiking buddy, who has attempted Mount Parnassus several times, was thrilled. She had tried several times before, but winds and weather kept her at the saddle.
Whether you hike to the saddle or Mount Parnassus Summit, both are perfect day hikes for avid hikers.
7.3 miles out and back
Elevation Gain: 3,290′
Summit – 13,580′
Large parking area – also trailhead for Herman Gulch.
Nearest Town: Georgetown, CO
Arapaho National Forest
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