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Virginia Peak is sequenced with four other summits for a five-summit day. There are two ways this hike may be started.
1. From the vicinity of the Banker Mine, there is a single-lane vehicle track that heads SW down toward the creek, cutting through some willows. Cross the creek and pick up the trail on the other side. The trail makes two switchbacks up the hillside, then heads SW to cross the broad SE ridge of Virginia Peak down low, before gaining much elevation.
2. Drive to the end of the road and the trailhead parking. Walk about 100 yards south along the old roadbed/trail and look for an opening in the forest on the right (west). Depart the trail heading west and work through willows and marshy areas to cross the creek just below the confluence of the main branch and the SW fork coming in from Silver Basin. Once across, head NE some to intersect the trail mentioned in #1 above and from there, you should be on the broad SE ridge of Virginia Peak. This way of getting across the creek is more challenging with some willow-bashing involved.
Once you've located the broad SE ridge, pick one of two open slopes, filled with summer wildflowers that will lead up to the ridge proper. It's fairly steep initially. The hike up Virginia Peak offers one of the nicer views around. You can look south down the valley toward the Ice Mountain complex (or Three Apostles), poised in stunning array of rock and snow with a beautifully clear blue sky as backdrop. As you ascend the SE ridge on the grassy slopes, you may frequently stop for photos. We encountered some bench-like areas with diminutive trees that offered nice foregrounds. As we hiked higher, climbing out of the trees, we began to see numerous Old-Man-On-the-Mountain, all with their yellows heads turned toward the morning sun. Other summer flowers spotted the landscape as we ascended on diminishing tundra to the first summit of the day – Virginia Peak. From the township of Winfield, Winfield Peak is the more noticeable summit, but technically, it is not ranked and Virginia Peak is, being about 11 feet taller. Pause at this nice summit and enjoy the stunning view. In 2009, there was a register to sign. Enjoy the low, alpine flowers. Overall, reaching this summit is a pleasant hike of moderate steepness that can be completed in about 2.5 hours. Most of the terrain is grass & tundra with plenty of wildflowers, and increasing embedded rock and minor talus as you approach the summit.