Ypsilon Mountain, Mounts Chiquita and Chapin

Estes Park, Colorado

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The very dramatic, glacier-carved east face of Ypsilon Mountain cannot be seen by climbers as they head up the much easier to ascend west slope. A short, steep trudge though pleasant subalpine forest from the trailhead leads to a branch to the right from the Chapin Creek Trail. Follow this branch toward the top of Mount Chapin. At best, 1.5 miles from the trailhead, this branch fades to trackless tundra where your route is a hiker’s choice, infl uenced by whether or not you are peak-bagging Mounts Chapin and Chiquita in addition to Ypsilon Mountain. Climbing all three is easier walking but of course requires more time—and likely more effort.These three peaks buttress the south end of the Mummy Range above Fall River. Mount Ypsilon was carved by glaciers more extensively than the others. These glaciers formed on the east side of the mountains because snow was dumped there by Mounts Chapin and Chiquita are more dramatic when viewed from the east than from hikers' western approach.
Best Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park

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Best Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park

by Kent Dannen (Falcon Guides)

The very dramatic, glacier-carved east face of Ypsilon Mountain cannot be seen by climbers as they head up the much easier to ascend west slope.

A short, steep trudge though pleasant subalpine forest from the trailhead leads to a branch to the right from the Chapin Creek Trail. Follow this branch toward the top of Mount Chapin. At best, 1.5 miles from the trailhead, this branch fades to trackless tundra where your route is a hiker’s choice, infl uenced by whether or not you are peak-bagging Mounts Chapin and Chiquita in addition to Ypsilon Mountain.

Climbing all three is easier walking but of course requires more time—and likely more effort.These three peaks buttress the south end of the Mummy Range above Fall River. Mount Ypsilon was carved by glaciers more extensively than the others. These glaciers formed on the east side of the mountains because snow was dumped there by Mounts Chapin and Chiquita are more dramatic when viewed from the east than from hikers' western approach.

© 2015 Kent Dannen/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Estes Park
Distance: 7
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 6 hours
Trailhead Elevation: 10,640 feet
Top Elevation: 13,514 feet
Local Contacts: is open; otherwise, Fall River Pass Distance: 7.0 miles out and back Hiking time: About 6 hours Difficulty: Difficult Trail surface: Dirt Elevation: Chapin Creek Trailhead, 10,640 feet; Ypsilon Mountain, 13,514 feet Best season: Summer Other trail users: Human foot traffic only Canine compatibility: Dogs prohibited Fees and permits: National park entrance fee Trail contacts: Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Office, 1000 US 36, Estes Park 80517; (970) 586-1242; www.nps.gov/romo
Local Maps: USGS Trail Ridge; Trails Illustrated Rocky Mountain National Park
Driving Directions: Directions to Ypsilon Mountain, Mounts Chiquita and Chapin

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Apr 2018