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.


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. 

Osprey Backpacks – My favorite for fitting and holding all my essentials.

Smartwool Hiking Socks – I love them!

The North Face Venture 2 Dryvent Waterproof Rain Shell Jacket.


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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.

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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


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!


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

Rated: Strenuous

Elevation Gain: 3,290′

Summit – 13,580′

Portable Toilets

Large parking area – also trailhead for Herman Gulch.

Nearest Town: Georgetown, CO

Arapaho National Forest

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Herman Gulch Trail

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Can't wait to see you on the trail!

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