(G & M: #418)
Ruby Mountain is an easy Class 2 walk-up summit located up the Peru Creek drainage east of Keystone. The trailhead is accessible to higher clearance vehicles. This summit is very accessible to Front Range hikers & peakbaggers as a day hike, and the overall area offers several more 13er routes.
Ruby Mtn SSE Ridge/Flank Route
Short Day // A Wee Little Climb
RT From Peru Creek - Shoe Basin Mine:
From the exit on I-70 for Silverthorne, (#205) head south on US HWY 6 (aka: Blue River Parkway). The highway north of the interstate becomes State Highway 9, but south of the interstate it's US 6. Drive south and east along US 6 to Keystone, passing several arms or bays of Lake Dillon. As you come to the Keystone Ski area, watch for a right hand turn onto Montezuma Road. The road goes briefly south, passing by some of the parking for the ski area, then heads east and follows along the Snake River. At about 4.6 miles from the turn off US 6, watch for the road to make a sharper left, then right turn. At that right hand turn, make a left turn onto FR 260. This is the Peru Creek Road. Coordinates for the turnoff are: N 39° 35' 31.28" W 105° 52' 15.66". In 1.1 mile, the road crosses Peru Creek. At 2.1 miles is the turnoff for Chihuahua Gulch. Many passenger vehicles can make it to this point, but a cross-over type with some better clearance may make you feel more comfortable. There is some limited roadside parking there and back just a short distance on a road that turns south and goes back down across Peru Creek. Coordinates are: N 39° 36' 01.55" W 105° 50' 17.15". 10,475 ft. This is where the route for Lewanee Peak begins. For Ruby Mountain, continue another 2.6 miles to the parking area at the Shoe Basin Mine. This is the Ruby Mtn. trailhead. Shortly beyond here, the road is usually gated. The main coordinates posted for trailhead on this page are for this upper access to Ruby.
4WD vehicles may continue up the road into Chihuahua Gulch. There are two places that afford some parking off the road. The first is at 11,170 ft: N 39° 37" 10.03" W 105° 50' 23.02". It may be possible to camp here and at some other primitive sites along this 4WD road. Further on is the end of any vehicle traffic at 11,240 ft: N 39° 37' 22.23" W 105° 50' 22.75". The following link is to a NF Service description of this 4WD road up Chihuahua Gulch: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recare...
As you drive up the Peru Creek road, there are several primitive camping sites to choose from on generally National Forest land. You may also be able to get away with a car camp at the parking area for the trailhead. However, there are a large number of old mining claims and private property in-holdings and cabins, so be respectful of any private property postings. There appears to be a good primitive campsite area where FR 263 turns off FR 260 to the south and immediately crosses Peru Creek. See coordinates below. If you need additional ideas about camping, try visiting this website: http://www.townofdillon.com/visit/camping-info. Most Front Range hikers will likely do this as a day hike.
Primitive camp ›
N 39° 36' 00.20", W 105° 50' 22.95"
Elevation 10,440 ft.
Click thumbnail to view full-size photo + caption
Year Climbed: 2008
Ruby Mountain is really nothing more than the southern
terminus of the long south ridge coming off Grays Peak. Since it happens to rise over 300 feet above a saddle along that ridge, it counts as a ranked 13er. While the upper portion of the south ridge coming off Ruby is more "ridge-like," the ridge gradually devolves into a wide, southern-facing flank. Much of this entire flank is tundra covered except the last few hundred feet
near the top, where it is more of a ridge. Up there, we ran into a lot of loose chiprock. The hike up is moderately steep, but never difficult. From the parking area, we suggest heading in a somewhat westerly, uphill direction to find the easiest path through some willows. One possibility will be in a shallow, dry drainage. Once past the willows, begin a NW ascent more in earnest and staying close to the SE ridge-line. At the summit you can enjoy a great view of Lewanee to the west – and even study the route we propose for that peak if you've not already climbed it. Grays Peak
looms what seems like a distance far above and you'll also have a bird’s eye view of
the old Argentine
Pass route. We completed this hike, round-trip in under four hours easily. We started in the later afternoon and enjoyed a sunset view from the summit, lingering there for a half hour. We
easily negotiated the scree and then tundra back to the parking area in a short amount of time.
Links to other information, routes & trip reports for this peak that may be helpful.
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