Mt. Audubon, 4030m (13233 ft)
Mt. Audubon (highest) seen from Niwot Mtn.
Access (Mitchell Lake Trailhead):
Please refer to the above books for more details and alternative routes
From Boulder, follow Colorado 119 westbound to Nederland, then Colorado 72 north to Ward. Immediately after Ward, turn left towards Brainard Lake Recreation Area. After a couple of miles, you have to pay a $5 fee at the fee station. Continue 6 miles past Brainard Lake to Mitchell Lake Trailhead.
The trail runs through dense forest in the beginning before the trail switchbacks up to the open space plateau. After 1,5 miles from the trailhead, the trail forks (Beaver Creek Trail to the right). Soon you have Mt. Audubon clear in view. In july there was a large snowfield on the eastern foothills. The trail goes to the right of the snowfield and approaches Mt. Audubon from the north side. The trail length from the trailhead to the summit is 4 miles.
I started from Mitchell Lake TH at 7:20AM, made the summit at 9:40AM. I had good speed, and catched up with people who had started an hour earlier. I descended 10:00AM, and went over Mt. Notabon, the small peak just north of Audubon on my way back. I returned to Mitchell Lake Trailhead at 11:15AM, still holding up the speed.
Audubon is ranked as the seventh highest mountain in the Indian Peaks. Notabon is an unofficial name, and the mountain is not ranked. The Notabon name is taken from the book "Colorado's Indian Peaks" by Gerry Roach.
Audubon is an extremely easy hike, and regarded the easiest mountain above 13,000 ft. Only in the talus near the top, you might need to scramble light in case you lose the trail. The view is breathtaking. See the pictures.
Pictures: (move cursor to read notes, and click on the images to see full version)
Pictures from other hikes:
Other trail descriptions for this region: