Lenawee Mountain is one of those mountains I’ve stared at for years when heading over Loveland Pass skiing at Keystone or Arapahoe Basin. In fact, it is a prominent backdrop to A-Basin and is right behind the East Wall chutes. The ski area trail map lists the East Wall as coming down from Arapahoe Basin Mountain, but I’d call it more of a ridge of Lenawee Mountain; not that it really matters. So, how did Lenawee Mountain get on my radar all the sudden?
Well, it was very simple actually; I follow Arapahoe Basin Ski Area on Facebook and they posted a picture advertising their bike/hike trails up the mountain. The pictures showed very little or no snow, so I started to investigate. I determined that the best approach to Lenawee Mountain was actually from the Peru Creek side of the mountain, so I did not actually use the ski area trail. Instead, I started on the Lenawee Trail which eventually leads to the top of the ski area if followed the entire way. I was very impressed with the quality of the trail on my way up and it was a great temperature despite for almost 10am start.
This was one of the simpler routes I’m done recently, which was sort of a welcome change; not everything has to be difficult! The trail was fairly steep from the beginning and wasted little time getting to the point. My plan for the day was to enjoy a relatively climb and get some good elevation training. The following week I would be running the Leadville Silver Rush 50 mile race, so I wore my hiking boots up Lenawee and ignored my pace. I didn’t know much about Lenawee Mountain prior to visiting, but it turned out to be a truly awesome hike!
Well, the concludes the days hike pretty much aside from a major treat on the way back down! I had seen several mountain goats in the distance earlier in the day before leaving Lenawee Trail, but I got very close to them on my way back down.
Ok, maybe I’m not done yet. Here are some bonus photos I took during my drive back over Loveland Pass!