Easy dull mountain with impressive views
The standard route for Chalk Mountain has changed. It was once from Fremont pass, which gave Chalk Mountain a short but steep climb up about 700 feet. This has all changed since the re-opening of the Climax Molybdenum mine. Climax owns the land on both sides of Fremont Pass. The most you can do anymore is stop and take photos. Heading west toward Chalk Mountain, not too far from the parking area, are signs that read, "No Trespassing." Sadly, this route can no longer be accessed.
The good news is that the summit can still be obtained. Further down the highway, heading toward Leadville there is a forest service road that leads to the summit. Instead of 700 feet of elevation gain, it has now doubled to 1,400 feet. The road is easy to follow and is fairly easy, which leads to the summit. This route makes for an excellent snowshoe trip as there is no avalanche danger.
Chalk Mountain may not be the most fantastic looking mountain in the area, more of a dull lump, but the hike is really pretty and the view on top is amazing. It's one of the lowest peaks in the area, so all the peaks around Chalk Mountain tower above. The peak gives a commanding view of the Climax Mine. You can see the whole operation from the summit. The rest of the Ten Mile Range is fantastic to gaze upon. In the West, Mount of the Holy Cross and Holy Cross Ridge can also be seen. 14er Mount Democrat is a fantastic perfectly shaped triangular peak from this advantage. Colorado's high Point, Mount Elbert can also be seen from the summit.
There is no camping allowed in this area.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.