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Chapin Pass Trail

Difficult
 4.4 (5)

A more rugged route than most, offering a new perspective on Rocky Mountain National Park.


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Map Key

2.4

Miles

3.9

KM

63%

Runnable

13,032' 3,972 m

High

11,160' 3,401 m

Low

1,872' 571 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

15%

Avg Grade (8°)

39%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · Views

Runner Notes

This route gets a bit scrambly at the top, but it makes for some great high alpine running until you reach that point.

Description

Start from the Chapin Creek Trailhead which is off Old Fall River Road. This road is a one-way unpaved road that is only open from early July through September.

From the Chapin Creek Trailhead, you'll run a short distance until you see a sign for the Mt. Chapin summit pointing east. The trail winds through the forest until you are almost at the tree line where the trail splits. Continue a gradual climb on a well-traveled but exposed trail on the back side of Mt Chapin. Once you get close to the saddle between Mt Chapin and Mt Chiquita, there is a faint trail I didn't take to get to the summit of Mt Chapin. Continue straight uphill toward the summit of Mt Chiquita and you'll follow an obvious but steep and rocky trail.

Toward the top of Mt. Chiquita, the trail is hard to follow but you can easily step from rock to rock to reach the top where you are rewarded with incredible 360-degree views of Rocky Mountain National Park from just over 13,000 ft. There are several man-made wind breaks which are a welcome relief from cold winds.

From here you can continue to Ypsilon Mountain on the Ypsilon Summit Route, or you can return the way that you came. If you want to shake things up on the way down, the Chapin Pass - Lower Fork will lead you along a similar route, though the shorter spur is the faster way to reach treeline. Both trails eventually meet back up, so you have nothing to lose!

Flora & Fauna

Keep an eye out for elk, marmots, and pika!

Contacts

Shared By:

Nathan Jamieson

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#6721

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#562

in Colorado

#6,721

Overall
19 Views Last Month
1,301 Since Sep 12, 2016
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Photos

On top of Mt Chiquita looking toward Ypsilon on the left, Lake Ypsilon center, and Estes Park in the distance.
Aug 16, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
On Mt Chiquita looking northwest toward Flatiron Mt and Chapin Creek.
Aug 16, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
One of many marmots along the Chapin Pass Trail
Jul 25, 2017 near Estes Park, CO
In the saddle between Chapin and Chiquita looking southeast.
Aug 16, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
The upper route on the back of Mt Chapin looking up at Mt Chiquita and Ypsilon to the left.
Aug 16, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
Right at the beginning of the trail
Jul 25, 2017 near Estes Park, CO

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