Long Scraggy Peak lives up to its name but with a nice payoff

A view of Long Scraggy Peak near Conifer. Photo Credit: Chhun Sun, The Gazette

Long Scraggy Peak is a day hiker’s dream, with terrain worthy of its name, a punishing ascent but tremendous views.

But there’s a catch: The trailhead is hard to find, and once you find it, the so-called trail is not easy to follow.

We started at The Top of the World Road. The area fell victim to the 1996 Buffalo Creek Fire, and it’s a striking realization. You also are skirting private property, so be aware. A short walk up the hill leads to a “Closed to Motor Vehicles” sign to the right. We cut left and headed toward the mountain.

It’s not too far from a singletrack, where we made a left and went about a half-mile before a faint hiking trail to the right led to a boardwalk and an abandoned road/track. Use any convenient uphill route in the direction of the summit past mounds of wood (from fire mitigation) and stacks of logs. At the mountain’s base, go up and around a couple of boulders to the left to (hopefully) find cairns. The brutal ascent starts here and ends on a ridge that continues to the top.

Trip log: 8-10 miles round trip, about 2,000 feet elevation gain, 8,796 feet max

Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous

Getting there: Head west on U.S. 24, then take a right onto U.S. 67. At Deckers, take County Road 126 on U.S. 285 for about 13 miles and look for an easy-to-miss gate on the right with a “Road Closed” sign. Very limited parking to the left.

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