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  • Writer's pictureJoanna Lee

Mount Bancroft + Parry Peak

Updated: Jul 1

June 19, 2024

Mount Bancroft + Parry Peak | 13,262 feet + 13,391 feet

7.25 miles; 3406 feet elevation gain

Total time: 4 hours 15 minutes

These two peaks have been on my list for quite a while in order to complete all of the summits along the ridgeline from Berthoud Pass to James Peak (Mount Flora, Mount Eva, Parry Peak, Mount Bancroft and James Peak). I had previously considered doing Parry in combination with Flora and Eva and Bancroft in combination with James, but those plans never worked out so here we are! You could easily add more peaks on to this route or do the entire traverse.

This hike is relatively short and straightforward but does not have a designated trail for a majority of the hike. There is a very helpful trip report on with a lot of details and images of the route. We started at the top gate on the Loch Lomand trail but after mid-July you can drive all the way to Loch Lomand, making it even shorter. There is a clear trail to the left of Loch Lomand slightly before the lake, you will pass through a gate to begin the ascent. There is an old road that leads you to the first ridgeline around 11,900 feet where the trail ends. You will then follow this ridgeline all the way to the summit of Mount Bancroft. This terrain is a mixture of grassy tundra and talus. A lovely ankle workout. Keep in mind you cannot see the summit of Bancroft for a majority of your hike, what you are looking at that looks like a summit is the headwall. You will reach the headwall around 12,800 feet, this is just very rocky and steep terrain that will lead you to the summit. The summit of Bancroft is wide and flat, with stunning views of ridgelines in both directions and distant views of the prominent front range mountains. In case you can't tell, ridgeline routes are my favorite!!

From here the route to Parry Peak is visible and obvious. You will descend slightly before ascending to Parry's summit. Most of this ridgeline in grassy tundra with a few intermittent rocky sections. More stunning views from here as you look along each ridgeline and down to Fall River Reservoir and Chinn's Lake below.

A short detour on this hike would be to add on Lake Caroline which is nestled into the alpine tundra below the more difficult approach of Bancroft. It is visible from your route and easy to access. It was still partially frozen when we were there but the bright blue color was already shining through. Lastly, the wildflowers are incredible up there and I anticipate they will continue to get better over the next month.

Also in this area is another majestic alpine lake that appears to be somewhat of a hidden gem, Ice Lake via Steuart Lake, Reynolds Lake and Ohman Lake. This is a different route than above and starts directly behind Loch Lomand. This route is mostly off trail and does require some route finding. From Loch Lomand is it about 3 miles and 1200 feet of elevation gain.

Hike Details:

Trailhead: 4WD & high-clearance to reach the upper trailhead or Loch Lomand. Lower trailhead is accessible with 2WD and added mileage.

Camping: dispersed camping near Loch Lomand.

Fees & Reservations: none.

Bathrooms: none.

Trash: no garbage at the trailhead.

Dog-friendly: this route is dog friendly.

Recent Conditions: see peak conditions.

Forecast: (nearest peak).

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