Head north out of Steamboat for about 25 miles and Hahn’s Peak comes into view. At 10,839 ft. it’s not a particularly high summit by Colorado standards, but its position among the neighboring peaks of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness give it a fairly impressive presence.
We first took note of Hahn’s Peak more than 20 years ago. We’ve been up in the nearby Steamboat Lake area on several other occasions through the years, for some nordic races and several starts at the Steamboat Marathon, and we always talked about climbing and skiing this mountain someday. So it was exciting to finally get a chance earlier this month.
It actually made for a great half-day tour. From an easy to find trailhead near the Columbine neighborhood on Highway 129 it was about 2.5 miles up to the summit, climbing a little more than 2,000 vertical feet. Much of the beginning of the route follows a snow-covered jeep road, and after that warm-up the summer trail/skin track leaves the road and takes off towards the summit.
We crested a low treeline (about 10,000 feet, maybe lower due to wind?) and from there it was about 30 minutes to the summit. It happened to be a pretty cold day, single digits, so it was a nice surprise to discover an old shelter that once served as a wildfire lookout tower that was still intact on top. It was in great shape and got us out of the wind for a little lunch break with panorama views.
After our little break in the shelter of the watch tower we clicked in to our skis and follow our route of ascent back down to the truck, all the while acknowledging how fun it was to finally be here and what a great mid-winter tour this was.