Friday, August 28, 2009

Roosevelt National Forest: Mount Audubon

Today was the start of the weekend during which my brother Kris and I had planned on climbing Longs Peak. After work last night I drove west into Wyoming and south into “Colorful Colorado”. I arrived in Denver just around midnight. Since Kris had to work today, I decided I would do some hiking on my own. Upon looking through my copy of 100 Classic Hikes in Colorado, I decided that mount Audubon had all the requirements I wanted in my hike: a tall mountain (13,233 ft.), beautiful scenery, and close proximity to Denver.

After a quick morning trip to REI to return some zip-off pants I headed into the mountains to Brainerd Lake. The drive, while beautiful, turned out to be longer than I had anticipated. I ended up not getting to the trailhead until about 12:30, much later than one would normally want to arrive at the trailhead to hike up a 13er.
Luckily, the hike was supposed to be fairly easy and I figured I could complete it in quick time.
Hiking up Mount Audubon

The hike indeed turned out to be none too difficult. I made quick time of the ascent. I was up on the summit in just over two hours.
From up there I could see my destination for tomorrow: Longs Peak!
Longs Peak from Mount Audubon

I had the summit all to myself and since there was no register to sign I headed down after a few minutes. I was back to my car an hour after leaving the summit. A fast 3 hour hike!

After my hike I went looking for a campsite for Kris and me for the night. If we were going to make the trail by 3:30 tomorrow we would need to camp somewhat close to Longs Peak. The closest campsite I could find was at Dick Camp. I got the last site available, a double site for $20. I set up the tent and drove back to Denver to pick Kris up. We ate dinner at his apartment, and then drove back for the night.

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