Coon Hill 12,757'
Coon Hill is another example of a great peak just over the Continental Divide. The mountain is on the east end of the Williams Fork Mountains and is at the head of Straight Creek. Straight Creek is the valley the Interstate 70 follows from Silverthorne to the Johnson and Eisenhower Tunnels. The tunnels of Interstate 70 provide nearly instant access to the base of Coon Hill. Drivers speed by on westbound I-70 at the tunnel’s exit and may notice big rigs pulled over and dismiss the area as a chain-up station. Just behind the upper Straight Creek valley that is easily accessible. Coon’s Southeast Face stands directly above this valley and the summit is quickly accessible via the Southeast Ridge. The Northeast Face drops into the William Fork River drainage, and the high access point at the tunnel makes this normally inaccessible face quite obtainable. The views from the summit looking to the Gore Range are spectacular!
1 – Southeast Face
- Rating: I D5, D8
- Season: Spring
- Exposure: Southeast
- Vertical: 1,350’
- Approach Elevations: 11,145’ - 12,757’
- Approach Distance: From Eisenhower Tunnel Trailhead: 1.5 miles
- Top of Route Waypoint: 39.6889, -105.9456
The Southeast Face of Coon Hill is one of the most accessible routes in the Front Range. The slopes beneath the Southeast Face can be a powder playground during stable winter conditions. Higher up on the Face, and after the spring snow has consolidated; there are several lines to be had. The skier’s right side of the face provides a broad slope for open turns (D5), the middle of the face is often windswept, and skier’s left can has a defined chute called "Double Chokes" that is steeper and spicier (D8).
Most skiers and snowboarders climb the broad Southeast Ridge to the summit. The slope leading up to the Southeast Ridge is also a good descent option. To access this area from the trailhead find the road leading past the CDOT building and into the Straight Creek valley. Behind the building proceed northeast into the valley. You will quickly (0.45 miles) reach a flat point in the valley, and then head West to access the Southeast Ridge. It is approximately 1.5 miles from the trailhead to the summit via the Southeast Ridge.
Eisenhower Tunnel (11,145’)
The trailhead for Coon Hill is located on the north side of Interstate 70 at the westbound exit of the Eisenhower Tunnel. This is 12.5 miles east on I-70 from Silverthorne and also about 12.5 miles on I-70 west at the onramp at Georgetown. Eastbound drivers can carefully exit right prior to the tunnel and follow the road around the tunnel entrance to the parking area. Westbound drivers pull of right immediately after exiting the tunnel. Park near point where there is a road coming from the CDOT building. Avoid being close to the interstate and in the way of any big rigs that are pulled off here. [39.6787, -105.938]
+ MAPS & PICTURES
Below we have included a link to a Google interactive map and a curated list of photos of the mountain.