Rocky Mountain National Park can be a sea of tourists and stopped traffic in the summer. If you want to escape the masses, head to the Mummy Range on the northern edge of park. This 18-mile journey across the top of it is perfect as either a beast of day hike or an overnight trip. In total, it scales eight rarely visited mountains (seven of which top out over 13,000 feet). It’s not easy, requiring cross-country travel, route finding, class 3 scrambling and an elevation gain of 6,246 feet total—but that’s the appeal of Mummy Mania.

1. Chapin Creek Trailhead 

This trek works best as a one-way traverse, so you’ll need two cars or a shuttle. Park one car at the Lawn Lake Trailhead and begin just up the Old Fall River Road at the Chapin Creek Trailhead (11,020 feet), following a well-defined trail northeast.

2. Mount Chapin

Ascend moderately and bear right to reach Chapin’s 12,454-foot summit. To avoid storms, you should leave while it’s still dark and enjoy the stars from this summit.

3. Mount Chiquita 

Drop to the saddle. Ascend 1,000 feet to reach the rocky crest at 13,069 feet. Darkness should be giving way to light—pause to soak in the shadowy silhouette of Longs Peak.

4. Ypsilon Mountain 

Scramble 700 feet up to this 13,514-foot summit, the fifth highest in the park, and take in views of Spectacle Lakes Basin, Desolation Peaks, Blitzen Range and the Never Summers.

5. Fairchild Mountain

Take care crossing the stony, exposed ridge off Ypsilon, which requires scrambling around chunky towers to reach the Ypsilon-Fairchild saddle. From this low point at 12,580 feet, settle in for your 922-foot climb. Hefty talus blocks and steeples guide you to the right side of the spine that leads to the 13,502-foot summit.

6. The Saddle 

Navigate across a rugged ridgeline, and then pick your way down a field of enormous boulders to reach the mellow grassy pass at 12,398 feet between Fairchild and Hagues. Shimmering Lawn Lake dominates the view below. This is the only spot where you can bail with ease: If bad weather is imminent, head east down the trail to Lawn Lake. This is a good spot for camping, too.

7. Hagues Peak

Tackle the biggest vertical push on the trek (1,162 feet). Beginning gradually on grassy slopes, the climb steepens as you scramble over lumpy broken blocks, and navigate ledges to reach the top of Colorado’s northernmost thirteener at 13,560 feet.

8. Rowe Mountain

Head north and descend an intimidating talus incline toward a glacial tarn. Curve around it and head up a steep, boulder-covered rise to this pinnacle at 13,184 feet.

9. Rowe Peak 

From Rowe Mountain’s apex, head south across tundra to reach its 13,400-foot sister summit. Retrace your steps, heading southeast to descend, and then navigate the rocky traverse to Mummy.

10. Mummy Mountain

Scale directly up Mummy’s grassy flanks to its 13,425-foot summit. After a rest, head east and let gravity do the work as you descend.

11. Black Canyon Trail 

Bushwhack through the forest below treeline until you intersect with an obvious trail. Turn right (north).

12. Lawn Lake Trail 

After a short distance, reach the Lawn Lake Trail. Filter water from the creek and then get going. After such a long, scenic day, churning through this section—five miles of relatively flat and boring terrain on an established trail—is tough.

13. Lawn Lake Trailhead 

Where your car, stocked with cold beer and sandals, awaits.

Trail Gear


MSR
PocketRocket 2 

This update of the Pocket Rocket is lighter (2.6 ounces), smaller (fits into a travel mug) and more versatile (accepts a greater variety of pot sizes). It boils water in a hurry, perfect for long days—like The Mummy Traverse—where you want the option of stopping to brew up a quick cup of coffee. $45 | msrgear.com

 

 

 

 


Apple Watch Series 2

No other wearable is as comfortable, useful or versatile as the latest version of the Apple Watch. Period. And we have tested nearly 100 wearables over the past four years. It’s also compatible with this and other ViewRanger routes we feature on Elevation Outdoors $399; apple.com/apple-watch-series-2

 

—C.K.

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