Ascent of Bell Bluff on 1995-12-03

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Sunday, December 3, 1995
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Bell Bluff
    Elevation:3409 ft / 1039 m

Ascent Trip Report

Bell Bluff can be climbed from the west starting on the California Riding and Hiking Trail. From Interstate 8 in Alpine take the Tavern Road exit and proceed south. After about 2.7 miles the road curves eastward and becomes Japatul Road. The highway passes a parking area for the Loveland Reservoir on your right and at 4.9 miles there is a gate in the fence on the left. This is the start of the hike, but unfortunately there are "No Parking" signs now along this section of highway. Your best bet is to make a U-turn at this point and go back and park in the lot for the reservoir about a mile back. You can follow the highway back to the gate and proceed on the good trail which heads east and then makes a switchback to the west and continues up the hill. The trail turns east again and goes along the south side of a canyon. After about 1.5 miles from the gate there is a sign and you want to turn right onto an old road. Follow the road east and along the north side of Bell Bluff with its steep, rocky west face. Well past the summit now, the trail turns southeast. Go right at a road junction and very soon look for ducks on the right side and a trail heading west up the slope. This was marked by orange ribbons in June 1999. The route is 5 miles to the top with a gain of 2000 feet. There is a route west from the summit down the steep slopes which will lead back to the trail. This makes a nice loop and saves about a mile on the return hike. Total mileage using the loop would be about 9 miles. Allow 2 3/4 hours up and 2 hours to return. 6/99 RLC
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