Trek through Granite Pillars on Bison Peak

Rate this Adventure Colorado Ute Creek Trailhead

  • Activities:

    Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    12.4 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    4000 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

This challenging 12 mile hike rewards visitors with one of Colorado's most unique peaks; an alpine rock garden of granite monoliths, arches, and boulders.

Bison peak sits 2 hours from Denver in the mountains of the Lost Creek Wilderness. To reach the 12,431 ft. summit you'll start in low density ponderosa forest at 8,750 ft on crushed granite trail. Early starts are recommended in the summer months as the trail's high albedo can make for an extremely warm hike.

The trek up passes through aspens and thicker lodge pole forest before breaking through tree line just below the summit at 11,800 ft. Once on the plateau below the peak you'll enter an incredible landscape of granite formations with sweeping views of South Park and numerous 14ers. The summit lies just under a mile from where the trail ends, and you're free to choose your own path to the top; the easiest approach is from the western face. The entire mountain offers almost 2 miles of rock gardens to explore as well as a slightly lower twin summit. Other options to explore the area include backpacking to the summit, trail running, snowshoeing, as well as glissading in the early summer.

Pack List

  • Running or hiking shoes
  • Running or hiking layers
  • Lightweight rain jacket
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellent (optional)
  • GPS Watch
  • Running vest, pack, or belt with water bottles or bladder
  • Trail food
  • Map or GPS
  • Trekking Poles (optional)
  • Digital camera or phone
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Jason HatfieldExplorer

Adventure and travel photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. I teach photography workshops and offer private guiding around the west. More at jasonjhatfield.com

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