Mount Silverheels: Hiking, Climbing, and Safety Tips


Mount Silverheels, standing at an impressive 13,822 feet, is the 96th tallest ranked summit in Colorado. This majestic mountain, located in the Front Range in the Pike National Forest near Fairplay, offers lots of outdoor activities for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.


  • Mount Silverheels is a significant peak in Colorado, known for its stunning views and challenging terrain.
  • The area offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, climbing, skiing, and wildlife spotting.
  • Safety and preparedness are crucial when exploring the high-altitude environment of Mount Silverheels.

Exploring the Trails of Mount Silverheels

Mount Silverheels boasts several popular 13er hiking trails that cater to various skill levels. The standard route starts from Hoosier Pass and involves a moderate to strenuous hike, covering approximately 6.8 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 3,500 feet. Along the way, hikers can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and valleys and opportunities for wildlife spotting and photography.

A large parking area is available on Hoosier Pass, though it can get very busy in the summer months. There are no restrooms in the area. This nearly 7-mile out-and-back hike usually takes about 4 to 6 hours to complete. There is no formal trail to follow, though hikers can find a clear route by following a map and observing the terrain.

When planning your hike, consider the seasonal conditions and come prepared with appropriate gear. Summer and fall offer the most favorable weather for hiking, while winter and spring may require snowshoes or skis.

The Climber’s Journey: Tackling Mount Silverheels

Mount Silverheels presents an exciting challenge for experienced climbers with its varied climbing routes. The mountain’s north face is considered the easiest approach, offering a less technical ascent. However, climbers should be well-prepared with essential gear and knowledge of high-altitude climbing techniques.

Climbing Mount Silverheels rewards adventurers with a sense of accomplishment and stunning panoramic views from the summit. Just above the treeline, hikers are rewarded with clear views of Quandary Peak, the Front Range, the Ten Mile Range, and the Gore Range. The unique challenges posed by the mountain’s terrain and elevation make it a sought-after destination for seasoned climbers.

Navigating the Terrain: Safety and Conservation

When exploring Mount Silverheels, it is crucial to understand the weather patterns and potential hazards associated with high-altitude environments. Rapidly changing conditions, strong winds, and afternoon thunderstorms are common in the area. Climbers and hikers should closely monitor weather forecasts and be prepared to adjust their plans accordingly.

Conservation efforts play a vital role in preserving Mount Silverheels’ natural beauty. Visitors are encouraged to practice Leave No Trace principles, minimizing their environmental impact by properly disposing of waste, staying on designated trails, and respecting wildlife.

Beyond the Climb: Other Activities in the Vicinity

While Mount Silverheels is primarily known for its hiking and climbing opportunities, the surrounding area also offers lots of activities for non-climbers. Nearby attractions include the historic town of Fairplay, where visitors can explore local shops, restaurants, and museums.

For those seeking a more leisurely experience, the region offers scenic drives, fishing opportunities, and camping sites. Winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy skiing and snowboarding at the nearby Breckenridge Ski Resort.

Preparing for Your Adventure: What to Know Before You Go

Before embarking on your Mount Silverheels adventure, it is essential to be well-prepared. Create a checklist of essential items, including appropriate clothing, footwear, navigation tools, first-aid supplies, and plenty of water and snacks.

Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of altitude sickness and take necessary precautions, such as proper acclimatization and staying hydrated. It is also important to inform someone of your plans and estimated return time and to carry emergency contact information.

Capturing the Beauty: Photography and Art Inspired by Mount Silverheels

Mount Silverheels’s stunning landscapes and natural beauty inspire photographers and artists. Whether you are a professional or an amateur, the mountain offers countless opportunities to capture breathtaking images of its rugged terrain, diverse flora and fauna, and dramatic skies.

Consider joining a photography or art workshop in the area to enhance your skills and learn from experienced professionals. Many local artists and photographers draw inspiration from Mount Silverheels, creating unique works that showcase the mountain’s majesty.

Community and Culture: The Human Element of Mount Silverheels

Mount Silverheels holds a special place in the hearts of local communities, with a rich history and cultural significance. The mountain is named after a legendary dance hall girl who selflessly cared for miners during a smallpox epidemic.

Engaging with the local community can enrich your Mount Silverheels experience. Consider volunteering for conservation efforts or participating in community events to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the area’s history and culture.


What is the best time of year to climb Mount Silverheels?

Summer and early fall offer the most favorable weather conditions for climbing Mount Silverheels, with less snow and milder temperatures.

Are there guided tours available for hikes or climbs on Mount Silverheels?

Yes, guided tours and professional climbing services are available in the area. They can provide valuable expertise, equipment, and safety support for your adventure.

What should I do if I encounter wildlife while on the trails?

If you encounter wildlife, maintain a safe distance and do not approach or feed the animals. Make noise to avoid startling them, and always give them a wide berth.

Can beginners attempt climbing Mount Silverheels, or is it only for experienced climbers?

While some 13er routes on Mount Silverheels are more challenging, beginners can still enjoy hikes and less technical climbs with proper preparation and guidance. Pay attention to the weather and time of day, and leave details of your hike with other people in case of emergency. Locals are often available for hire as guides and instructors.

How can I contribute to the conservation efforts at Mount Silverheels?

You can contribute to conservation efforts by practicing Leave No Trace principles, volunteering for trail maintenance or cleanup projects, and supporting local organizations dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of Mount Silverheels.

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About the author

Simone Weisman

My deep appreciation for nature and active living strongly aligns with the vibrant outdoor culture of Colorado. My enjoyment of yoga, hiking, and exploring scenic trails provides me with a unique perspective that I bring to This personal passion enriches my ability to connect with and inspire our audience, whether they’re local residents or visitors seeking to explore all that Colorado has to offer.