Farwell Mountain  
USGS 7.5' Map: Farwell Mountain, Hahns Peak
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 4 FR 409 14.20 8,400 to 10,600 ft. NA 3-4 hours
County: Routt
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Routt National Forest,
Hahns Peak / Bears Ears Ranger District
925 Weiss Drive
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487-9315
Summary: Farwell Mountain 4WD road takes you to the top part of Farwell Mountain with scenic views of Steamboat Lake.
Attractions: Scenic Views.
Agency - December 2 to June 30
Best Time: June - North side may still be drifted
July - Best
August - Start of fall colors, best
September - Best fall colors
Hiking -
Equestrian -
Mountain Bike -
Ellis South - FT1155
Diamond Park - FT1152, FT1101
Motorcycle -
Ellis South - FT1155
Diamond Park - FT1152, FT1101
Camping: Dispersed camping is at the higher elevations
Base Camp: This area would be a good place to base camp. Other routes include Hahns Peak (FR490) and Diamond Park (FR433).
Fall Colors: Good - At lower elevations near the open meadows.
Snowshoeing -
Cross Country Skiing-
Snowmobile -
Navigation: From Steamboat Springs, CO head northwest on Lincoln Ave toward 7th Street for 1.7 miles. Turn right onto County Rd 129/Elk River Road and continue to follow County Rd 129 for 24.5 miles. Turn right onto Hahns Peaks Main Street and go 0.4 miles. Turn right to stay on Main Street and go 0.2 miles. Continue onto High Street for 0.5 miles. Take a slight left onto Forest Service Rd 409, the Farwell Mountain 4WD road.
History: During the mining boom around Hahns Peak one of the large companies, the Purdy Mining Company, got the interest of J. W. Farwell of Chicago in 1875. He invested $60,000 to construct a twenty seven mile ditch to bring water from the Elk River to the area for hydrolic mining. Sending Robert McIntosh from Chicago to over see the work, International Camp was developed as a Company town. Farwell spent several summers in the camp supervising the project. Farwell was very religious and no one that lived at International Camp worked on Sunday. In fact, most knew to be in church if they wanted to stay on the payroll.

Farwell's camp was in Way Gulch, often referred to as "Bug Town" by the miners because all of the big bugs from back east lived there when they visited. It was northeast of the town of Hahns Peak. Farwell's properties were on String Ridge. After the flume fed the "giants" that washed the gravel from String Ridge the sluices were checked for the gold that would be lodged in the riffles, but no gold was found. Other areas on String ridge were washed out, and still no gold. Farwell cut his losses. After spending $150,000 on the camp and hydrolics, in 1879 he sold the whole investment to a Rawlins, Wyoming banker named James France for $60,000 and headed back to Chicago.

Rober McIntosh stayed, convinced that there was gold in the area around Poverty Bar. He obtained leases on some placer mines at Poverty Bar and a lease on the String Ridge flume, which he extended a mile and a half around the base of Hahn's Peak. In two months he had washed out $30,000 worth of gold. McIntosh subleased the operation to the firm Cody & Hinman, which after six weeks of work at Nugget Cut on Poverty Bar recovered $60,000 worth of gold.

Most likely Farwell Mountain is named for Mr. Farwell.

Burroughs, John Where the Old West stayed Young William Morrow and Company, New York, Library of Congress 62-15756, 1962, Print.
(Note - I have only driven the western end of this 4WD road.)
From the town of Hahns Peak you head north through its residential section and out past more remote homes. Once you enter public lands you will be on FR409. It crosses open meadows and follows a large valley below Hahns Peak.

You will pass an intersection with South Cross (FR417.1A) and a second intersection (FR417) staying to the right in both cases. A short distance up South Cross (FR417), the second intersection, is the Ellis South trail head for FT1155.

Continue on FR490 up the large valley toward the east side of Hahns Peak. You will pas a short road that takes you to an old mine. There is little left here. At the next intersection a left will connect you to Twin Saddle (FR414), stay to the right and climb the hill to continue on FR490. You will pass a newer cabin along the side of the road.

The following is based on a map desription and was not driven.

Continue on FR490 for about 2 more miles to reach the top of Farwell Mountain. There are two spur roads that from FR490 that branch off to the right, FR409.2B, and FR409.2A. They are less than 1/2 mile long and dead end, most likely at overlooks.

The main road will drop down the north side of Farwell Mountain passing a trail head for a motocycle trail on the left and then a short spur road, FR409.2C on the right. In the Diamond Park area Farwell Mountain (FR409) will connect with Lost Dog (FR433) which takes you to the Seedhouse area.
Data updated - May 25, 2017      4WD Road driven - July 23, 2009      Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2017