Jones Mountain - Elevation 13,221 Feet
My Climb of a Colorado 13er in Chaffee County Near Ptarmigan Lake - August 9, 2009
My 2009 climbing adventures have been dedicated to ascending obscure mountains in the
I am sure you've never heard of
Bald Mountain and Banana Mountain, have you?
Well Sunday's hike adds Jones Mountain, a relatively unknown 13er
between Cottonwood Pass and
South Cottonwood Canyon, to the list!
My ascent of Jones Mountain via Grassy Gulch Road was an enjoyable hike.
The view alone of
Ptarmigan Lake and Mt. Yale was spectacular at the summit. If you are a photographer,
this is a place you really might want to consider visiting.
Now I agree Colorado's 14ers are impressive,
but I am quite amazed at how people shun great mountains like Jones Mountain (alt. 13,221 feet),
all because it doesn't reach the magic number
of 14,000+ feet in elevation. On this outing, I did not see another hiker throughout my climb - quite a contrast
to the feeling like you're part of a long parade of humans on an overtraveled trail. I've seen 14er summits packed with
large groups of noisy people that felt more like a zoo, with hikers clammoring away on their
cell phones with no regard to outdoor etiquette!
None of that on Jones Mountain. I had the entire mountain to myself to admire and be in
How To Get There: From Buena Vista,
travel west on Chaffee County Road 306
(as if you're traveling to Cottonwood Pass). Turn left
at County Road 344 and pass Cottonwood Lake. Continue on the dirt road into the canyon, sometimes noted as South Cottonwood Canyon on maps.
Not far past Cottonwood Lake, the road becomes increasingly bumpy.
An ordinary passenger vehicle like mine can
defintitely make it, but you'll want to go slow. Ideally, a 4-wheel drive high clearance
vehicle is probably a good idea past Cottonwood Lake.
I don't know the exact mileage, but a few miles on the right (north) is Road 349, a road only for 4-wheel drive high clearance vehicles.
I parked at the base and began my hike walking up the road toward Jones Mountain.
Obviously, your topographical map will help you.
Enjoy the photos below and happy trails to you! :)
All the best,
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Coming down Jones Mountain, I walked close to the ridge so I could get a better view
of Ptarmigan Lake. Nice photo, don't you think? :)
||I zoomed-in so you could see the people fishing on the lake's edge.
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