Routt County, Colorado
Routt National Forest
Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District
View this on the Colorado Trailheads Map
Forest Service Roads: 409, 414, 490
Trail Type: Straight Through
Nearby Towns: Steamboat Springs
Nearby Trails: Ellis Jeep Trail, Seedhouse Road, Farwell Mountain, Deep Creek, Circle Bar Basin, Dead Mexican Park
Trail Length: 11.56 miles
Elevation: 8,155 to 10,423 feet
Hahns Peak is a beautiful, unique mountain. You can see it for the entirety of the trail, and from all different perspectives. This trail offers a little bit of everything in a big loop.
If you start on the north end you will begin climbing up on one side of Hahns Peak and down the other. You don't get to the 10,839-foot peak, but you get close to that elevation. If you drive up the short spur you'll get closer to the top. The views are spectacular. Turning around to go back down can be intimidating because it is close to the edge, but many vehicles can be parked there.
Just past the spur that goes to the top of the mountain is a sinkhole that has been filled with rocks and logs. Careful tire placement is necessary here. The condition of the trail here may change with time and erosion, so you may not be able to cross this section.
The northern side of the trail has the most difficult route finding. You want to stay on forest service road 490, but it is not marked at all intersections. Your route is fairly obvious, though. Keep climbing and you should be on the right road.
If you continue on you will start to go downhill. At the bottom you find yourself in an open area before continuing on into the trees.
The middle of the trail is at the intersection with the Farwell Mountain trail, forest service road 409. If you turn left you will go up to Farwell Mountain. If you continue straight you stay on the Hahns Peak trail.
You will see a sign that states that the road is closed ahead, and "3.5 miles" is hand-written below it. There is a steel forest service gate about 3.3 miles from this sign, but note that the sign is always there whether the gate is locked or not. In other words, the sign is there even if the gate is open.
Continue downhill on 409. It is a steep descent as you curve your way down. There is a tiny spur to the left that goes to the Farwell Mine, which would be a good, flat place for lunch.
The road continues on in a wide open meadow. This is where some vehicles may have troubles. There are often very muddy spots, with big holes and mud bogs. There are no trees to winch yourself from, so you have to get out on your own. It would not be a good idea to be here alone -- having another vehicle to pull you out is recommended.
When the trail takes you above the muddy meadow the views are spectacular. This is also a great place for lunch.
Work your way through the aspens and evergreens. There may be additional muddy spots and mud puddles. You soon come to the forest service gate and a brief section of rocks brought in to alleviate some of the mud.
Stay on 409 all the way out and through the small town of Hahns Peak Village. You soon intersect with highway 129 just across from Steamboat Lake.
Information last updated on August 31st, 2012.
From Steamboat Springs, take highway 129 north about 29 miles. The trail starts at forest service road 490 on the right, just across from some log cabins in Columbine.
Meet at the McDonald's at 1150 South Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat Springs before you get to the downtown area.