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  • Writer's pictureJoanna Lee

Mount Flora

Updated: May 12, 2023

June 5, 2021

Mt. Flora (13,132 feet)

Route: Alltrails (from Berthoud Pass)

6.15 miles; 1944 feet elevation gain

Total time: 3 hours 50 minutes

Would the fourth time be a charm? Haha! For people who follow along/have read older posts, I have attempted Mt. Flora three times before today and failed every time. Last year we counted it because we got over 13,000 feet and thought we were very close to the summit when we had to turn around because of wind & cold dogs. We were not as close as we thought we were so I will take that away from myself. But today was the day, yay!

Josh doesn’t climb with me very often but today he wanted an adventure and suggested we do a 13er. I picked Flora because it was close to home and I didn’t want to deal with weekend traffic and, if the weather cooperates, it is an easy hike. The weather forecast looked promising but honestly up there that doesn’t always mean much. It is so exposed that it gets the worst of the wind all the time. I read recent reviews on AllTrails and and knew to expect snow for the first 1.5 miles but clear trails after that. It was already 45 degrees when we started, clear skies and no wind.

We left home at 5am and started hiking just after 6am. The first mile is on the mining road in the trees. There was still a lot of snow but it was well packed and stable to walk on. When we turned off the mining road onto the Mount Flora Trail it was no longer packed or frozen on top. We started post holing immediately, sinking past our knees every few steps. I was able to stay on top a lot more than Josh was, unfortunately for him. The dogs were totally fine, skating on top of the snow and rolling around as usual. We considered turning around because of how bad it was, but we kept pushing through. As you round the corner, where Flora comes into view, you traverse on a steep angle. This was a nightmare last time in the snow and wasn’t much better better today since it was slushy and icy. But once we got to the ridge to head upwards we were free of snow for the rest of the hike! The remainder of the ascent is very straightforward with a class one trail. We reached the summit in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Shockingly there was no wind at all. The 360 degree views were absolutely stunning. We spent about 15 minutes on the summit before another group arrived. We started the descent and saw about 10 groups heading up, only one group with a dog. A few groups were doing the traverse to James Peak; a very long hike but goal of mine one day. On the way down the traverse wasn’t as bad as on the way up, it was slushy but consistent which actually meant less post holing. Before we got back to the mining trail we starting cutting down ski tracks through the trees to shorten the descent and minimize the post holing. Some parts were waist deep!! The whole hike was just under 4 hours and a great start to a Saturday!

If you want to do this peak I would recommend waiting a week or two more for snowmelt and less post holing. It is an absolutely beautiful hike and fairly easy when the weather cooperates!

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