Buckhorn Mountain


Snow makes Buckhorn more fun.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Tom and Susan were up, and had Bill and Barb arriving as company for a hike. What to do? Something challenging but not abusive. With still lots of snow in the mountains, Buckhorn stood out.

So we met and Tom and Susan's at 9, and were soon on the trail to Boulder Lake. That section of the trail was cleared last week, so other than being a little wet, the view of Jughandle from Boulder Reservoir was easy to achieve.


Then pleasant conversation as we climbed the hill toward the lake. We should call this spot Photographer's Point.


The lake had a scum of pine pollen. And still a little ice here and there. Only a slight distraction from our view of Buckhorn, dead center.

Note: That's actually "False Buckhorn" because it's not the top.

There was water breaching pretty much everywhere across the width of the dam. No one fell in, and we were now on a fairly continuous snow floor. Trailhead

Boulder Meadows, with the lake in the background. Suncups. Between the warm day and the fresh snow laid down last weekend, the surface of the snow was a little slippery and sloppy.


At the upper end of the meadow, there is a short rib with some angle to it. And trees.


After rounding the ridge, there is a little bowl to climb. It looks like it would be great skiing (it is) and there were old ski tracks, I suppose from last weekend's dump.


At the top of the bowl, you are in a saddle between Buckhorn and False Buckhorn. This is your first real view of the summit. From here, there are only 4 or 500 feet of elevation left up that ridge. Trailhead

The ridge requires some shuck and jive to get through the deadfall, much of it on dry ground today (I tried). Then as the angle softens near the summit, it's back onto snow. Jughandle in the background.

Looking down the south ridge to Buckhorn Summit, with Rapid Peak on the right-hand edge of the photo. Trailhead

And a final rock scramble to the sunny summit. Susan was the first on top.


Tom, Susan, and their new puppy Finn pose for a family portrait.

Finn is an adoptee. We speculated on what was going through his little head at these surroundings.


Susan and Barb especially marveled at the ladybugs.

And then a long leisurely lunch. We all took turns leaning out to see Malony Lake. And at the risk of totally boring everyone, I played a little NTP.

Then it was back down. This photo doesn't show how narrow the snow ridge was here, with a very steep drop off the left side. Trailhead

Back to crossing the dam at Boulder Lake. No one fell in, although I was ready!


The trail below the dam is fully inundated, so you have to do a short rock scramble to get down (or up...). That white in the background is a waterfall.

And then we were on the terra firma of the Boulder Lake trail. Those lagging behind were doing so in a futile search for morels; this trail sees way too much traffic.

No map posted today, but this is pretty much the same route Julie and I climbed in 2016.

Dave's photos Trailhead

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