Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Yellow Hill-Elbow Peak

Perfect weather!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Currently need to walk an extra 2 miles each way to the start of the summer trailhead due to a snow berm on the road right as the pavement ends.   Beware of many trees burned in the Jolly Mountain fire of 2017, could topple in a slight breeze.

We had perhaps the best weather day of the season so far.  Absolutely clear skies, and no wind, with temps in the 20s.  That was a good thing, because as we traveled through the burned out forest, I noted that many trees were just burned out shells.  The roots also burned in the ground, leaving many holes to fall into.  Fortunately we had good snow cover for most of the trip, so it wasn't much of an issue.

Given the current conditions of the forest, and the fact there is no water available on the route, I would only recommend this peak in the winter.  However it's a long way from where we parked, ~14.5 miles and either 4000' or 4700' of elevation gain depending on whose GPS is more accurate.

The Jolly Mountain fire appears to have burned nearly the entire area bordered by Hex, Jolly, and Yellow Hill (with Elbow Peak somewhat in the middle, we had an excellent view of the damage done).

One note to future parties going to only Yellow Hill, if you travel a tenth of a mile further north, there are much better views than on the summit.