LoJ: #616 (G & M: #615) / 13,038' UN 13038 Old Baldy

Range › Front Range
Quadrangle › Monarch Lake
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 40° 01' 01.70", W 105° 38' 16.20" (Not Field Checked)

Peak Summary

Easy to include with a day of climbing the Arapaho Peak summits (north & south), "Old Baldy" can be ascended on easy Class 1 terrain in about 15 - 20 minutes from the saddle east of South Arapaho. The rounded summit offers an excellent view of the east face of the cirque below the Arapaho Peaks and of the "glaciers." Trailhead is accessible by passenger car & close to Front Range locations.

Old Baldy West Ridge Route

Class 1
Peak Icon Peak Icon
Medium Day // Take a Lunch
Climbed with South Arapaho Peak
RT From Fourth of July: 10.3 mi / 6,225'
From South Arapaho Peak: 3.35 mi / 2,925' (One-Way)
  • Trailhead
    • Fourth of July Trailhead

      If coming from the northern Front Range areas or up from Boulder, drive to Nederland and from the traffic circle where the three main roads intersect, drive south on SH119 .7 mile and turn right (west) onto CR130 to Eldora. If coming from the south by way of SH119, this turnoff will be just south of town just after a couple of switchback curves in the highway drop you down to town level. Turn left (west) and drive to Eldora on paved road, passing the high school and the turnoff for the Eldora Ski area. From Sh119, it's 1.5 miles to the ski area turnoff. Continue through the town of Eldora where the paved road ends and continue in a NW direction on CR130 to the Fourth of July Trailhead and campground which is about 7.6 more miles. The road becomes progressively rougher but does not necessarily require high clearance or 4WD, but you might be more comfortable with a higher clearance vehicle at least.

      There is a small campground and a trailhead parking area above. There's a vault toilet available.


      Camping

      Other than the small campground at the trailhead, because there's so much private property on the drive in, finding any legal, at-large camp spots is difficult. Expect the campground to be full any time around a weekend. There are about 10 tent spots for use and no water supplied, but there is a vault toilet. No fee is collected for the campground, but that can always change. "No Camping" is signed at the trailhead parking. There is an overnight parking fee. Because of the popularity of this trailhead, expect the parking area to fill up early on weekends.
    Approach Map Photos
    • From South Arapaho Peak

      From the Fourth of July TH, hike up the trail that eventually leads to Arapaho Pass. There is one switchback right at the beginning and then another more pronounced switchback about 1/2 mile up. The trail is well-used, easy to follow and ascends at a fairly gentle gradient. At 1.6 miles up, the trail comes to the Fourth of July mining ruins. (See coordinates provided.) The trail for the Arapaho Peaks turns of in this vicinity and was signed when we passed by in 2012. You may see other trails earlier that serve as a shortcut. Most likely, the Forest Service discourages their use.

      From the trail intersection, head up past low trees and onto open tundra slopes. The trail heads NE and E as if climbs steadily on switchbacks through mostly tundra terrain that gives way to more rock higher up. Near the saddle between South Arapaho and "Old Baldy," (UN13,038) the trail joins the "Glacier Trail" coming in from the east. At the saddle, turn and head NW, basically following along the ridge to the summit. The gradient increases in steepness. There are spectacular views looking down to the right into the Arapaho Glacier cirque. Staying on the trail will keep you safe. Venture near the edge at your own risk. The trail finishes amid boulders & rocks at the summit.

      Now it's time to take a good look at the weather and decide if you have the additional two hours minimum to make the traverse on over to North Arapaho and back without putting yourself at too much risk. To descend from S. Arapaho, simply retrace your ascent route back to the TH, but don't forget to include "Old Baldy," which is no more than a 15 minutes jaunt up from the east saddle over mixed tundra & rock.

      Route GPS Coordinates

      Fourth of July Mine & trail turnoff › N 40° 00' 38", W 105° 39' 32"

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    Peak Icon Route Map Photos

    Route Info Old Baldy West Ridge

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 1998
    Follow the route description for South Arapaho Peak to the saddle between Old Baldy and South Arapaho. From the saddle, walk east mostly on "use trail" along the ridge crest to the summit of Old Baldy over more rocky terrain with boulders. Enjoy the excellent view of the Arapaho Peaks and the cirque below the peaks with the Arapaho Glacier. Return by the same route.

    Route GPS Coordinates

    S. Arapaho - Old Baldy saddle › N 40° 00' 56.83", W 105° 38' 37.46"
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