Exploring Mount Powell

August 2017  |  Gore Range, Colorado

In early August we backpacked into the rugged north end of the Gore Range and Eagles Nest Wilderness for three nights. We hiked the Upper Piney River Trail for while, branched off on a faint boot trail then camped the first night in the high basin below Mount Powell and Kneeknocker Pass. On day two we crossed over the pass and hiked to the summit of Mount Powell, the highest peak in the Gore Range. I've wanted to hike Mount Powell for about 20 years but never got around to it, so it was quite satisfying to finally stand on the summit! After some rough off trail routefinding we spent the next two nights at a remote alpine lake before hiking all the way back out the way we came.

Hiking on the Piney River Trail through beautiful aspen forests.

Hiking on the Piney River Trail through beautiful aspen forests.

A lovely campsite below Mount Powell.

A lovely campsite below Mount Powell.

Peekaboo! A marmot peeks out from the flowers.

Peekaboo! A marmot peeks out from the flowers.

A sneaky marmot pauses to smell the flowers.

A sneaky marmot pauses to smell the flowers.

An alpine stream below Peak C and Kneeknocker Pass.

An alpine stream below Peak C and Kneeknocker Pass.

Morning below the rugged Peak C.

Morning below the rugged Peak C.

Looking south from the summit of Mount Powell. At 13,448 ft., Mount Powell isn't quite a fourteener but it certainly feels like...

Looking south from the summit of Mount Powell. At 13,448 ft., Mount Powell isn't quite a fourteener but it certainly feels like it with its commanding view over the Gore Range. It also requires a lot more effort to hike compared to most fourteeners!

A panoramic view of the Gore Range from northeast to south from the 13,448 ft. summit of Mount Powell.

A panoramic view of the Gore Range from northeast to south from the 13,448 ft. summit of Mount Powell.

A huge field of Heartleaf Bittercress wildflowers high in the Eagles Nest Wilderness.

A huge field of Heartleaf Bittercress wildflowers high in the Eagles Nest Wilderness.

Backlit columbines cover a tundra hillside in the Eagles Nest Wilderness.

Backlit columbines cover a tundra hillside in the Eagles Nest Wilderness.

A brilliant sunrise reflects in an alpine stream and lake.

A brilliant sunrise reflects in an alpine stream and lake.

A mountain goat and her kid pose for the camera.

A mountain goat and her kid pose for the camera.

A curious mountain goat kid.

A curious mountain goat kid.

The mountain goats kept following us over Kneeknocker Pass.

The mountain goats kept following us over Kneeknocker Pass.

Mountain goats check out the view towards Vail from Kneeknocker Pass.

Mountain goats check out the view towards Vail from Kneeknocker Pass.

A mountain goat still shedding her winter coat in early August.

A mountain goat still shedding her winter coat in early August.

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