Adventuring on Mount 7
Mt. 7 is your one stop shop for activities in Golden; let’s list a few:
The only limitation is yourself; you can make a Mt. 7 activity experience as easy or as difficult as you want; or it can be as simple as a great spot for an incredible view of the Columbia valley from 1950m. The logging road to the lookout/ paragliding launch is in pretty good shape and can be navigated in a car; just be wearing of rocks. The sunsets up there are incredible and if you’re feeling ambitious, the sunrises are even better; well worth the early drive (a time lapse photographers dream).
In the spring the snow on Mt. 7 melts and forms a perfect 7 (hence the name) and is the inspiration for some to summon one more ski day even though more traditional summer activities are in full swing. Ideally, one would ski the 7 on July 7th (clothing optional), but recent years of warmer temperatures and a thinner snow pack has made June 7th more realistic. Skiing the 7 is the perfect ingredient for brewing a multi-sport day combining winter and summer activities; the bike trails on Mt. 7 can replace the drive down, or perhaps one could consider paragliding down to Nicholson and then paddle the Columbia River back into Golden. The possibilities are endless.
Mount 7 has historically been a great place for families to recreate with power sports and there are lots of old roads and ATV trails that wind their way up to the top to keep things interesting and off the main forest service road. Across from the Reflection Lake lookout and parking lot there is a large gravel pit suitable for larger trucks with trailers for unloading side by sides, quads or bikes. There isn’t a specific route to take up to the top on an ATV but all the old roads and trails will keep you busy exploring. Why not consider a multi-sport day using an ATV to access the trail head and ski the 7?
However you choose to make your way up to the peak of Mt.7, the last few kilometers will be the same for everyone: two feet and a heartbeat. The trail is not difficult and doesn’t require any special equipment or superhuman effort making it a great family outing. The trail starts at the end of the road with a quick descent down to a saddle, then a few switchbacks through the trees to gain the alpine. Once out of the trees the trail winds its way up a scenic ridge that offers views of the Rockies to the north and Purcells to the south. Continuing up the ridge the well-worn trail ends with the last few meters kick-stepping up through the cornice and onto the ridge just below the peak. The ridge is wide at this point with lots of room to relax before dropping into the slushy ski descent that ends just below the main trail below the ridge. The ski decent isn’t a long one, but on a hot day the spray from a few slushy turns is refreshing before the hike down.
Once back at the trail head, the adventure is only half over and it’s up to you whether you drive, bike, or fly back into town. For the complete Mt. 7 experience, be sure to finish the day sitting on a patio with a clear view of the 7 to enjoy your favorite post activity beverage and plan the next Golden adventure.