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  • Writer's pictureJoanna Lee

North Star Mountain

Updated: May 12, 2023

June 2, 2021

North Star Mountain (13,406 feet**)

Route: Alltrails (From Hoosier Pass)

5.6 miles; 2,041 feet elevation gain

Total time: 2 hours 50 minutes

**Alltrails calls 13,406 feet the summit of North Star Mountain. However, (which is a more reliable source) includes the additional ridge which adds 2 miles and ends at 13,614 feet. At this time of the year the ridge isn't safe without full winter climbing equipment and expertise. Before climbing we knew we would not climb the ridge and we would end the climb at the summit labelled by alltrails; therefore we are calling it a summit...controversial I know ;)

Our usual Wednesday hiking half day and the weather cooperated again, so lucky! The forecast called for temperatures in the 30s, clear skies and 10-20mph. You really couldn't ask for much better. We prepared by reading a recent review on alltrails as well as a trip report on There wasn't much information but there was enough, in addition to good weather, to give it a shot. As I stated above, we knew we wouldn't be climbing the additional ridge due to so much remaining snow and dangerous conditions.

We left Arvada at 4am, reached the trailhead at 5:45am and started climbing at 6am. I had Kane with me and Brittany had Gryff. The initial 1.5 miles of the ascent follows Hoosier Pass trail, which is a dirt road. It is class one and very straightforward. There were a few patches of snow remaining in the trees but it was mostly clear. The second 1.5 miles of the ascent is much steeper, with about 1200 feet of elevation gain. This section alternated between frozen/packed snow and a rocky trail, typical of the Mosquito range. We reached the summit much faster than we anticipated in 1 hour and 40 minutes. This was due to less snow than expected and great conditions! We spent a few minutes on the top and took some photos before heading down. We were able to glissade quite a bit on the way back down to where the trail joins the road, this made the descent very fast!

We were back at the car in just under 3 hours, making our drive time longer than our hike time today! We honestly expected this to take us at least 4 hours but I was very happy with our pace. We only saw one other group, two men backcountry skiing. It was an absolutely beautiful day and a great hike; maybe we will come back for the ridge this summer so we can "officially" count it! This was definitely our least complex hike so far in 2021 in terms of planning, weather, route finding and difficulty.

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