Mt. Silverheels is an off trail hike of 9 round trip miles with 3,500 ft. elevation gain starting from Hoosier Pass near Breckenridge. Though there is no trail, the hiking on tundra is pleasant. I'd hiked Hoosier Ridge and North Star Mountain in the past from this trailhead and thought I was pretty familiar with the area so we didn't study the route very well beforehand. We ended up getting a little bit off and descending a bit further down below the mine which added about 4-500 ft. of unnecessary gain.
|Photo from 14ers.com|
We woke 20 minutes before sunrise and made quick work of the short hike to the treeline to catch the dawn. Sunrise was very colorful! No matter how many of these I witness, they never get old.
|Sunrise on Quandary Peak - Prints available|
|Sunrise on Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Bross - Prints available|
The rest of the way we went slower and took our time enjoying the views. We reached the summit around 10 a.m. A thunderstorm moved in very quickly from the northwest and we didn't linger long.
360 summit video
|Grays and Torreys at center|
As we descended, the storm grew closer. We could hear thunder claps right up toward Hoosier Ridge and we considered bailing down into the shelter of the trees to bushwhack down Scott Gulch. Hopefully, we'd find our way back to the highway and then walk up the road back to our car. This would have taken much more time than the direct route up to the ridge and back down. We couldn't decide what to do. So, we said a prayer and made the choice to hike up toward the storm and the standard route with the intention that if it got worse, we would quickly descend back down. The higher we hiked toward the ridge, the more the storm cleared out! By the time we reached the top, the storms had cleared all the way and it was sunny and pleasant. We had a lunch break and enjoyed the rest of the descent back.