Elevation: 7,326 ft.
Coordinates: 48.613N 116.705W
Trailhead: Chimney Rock, No 256
Trailhead Elevation: 4,020’
Estimate Time: 3-4½ up, 2½-3½ down
South Ridge, class 2
7 miles, 3306’ elevation gain
The climb begins in the parking area of Chimney Rock trailhead (there is a shorter route from the Priest Lake side). The trail gains a mere 300’ in the first two miles as it winds its way up an old logging road (suitable for a mountain bike). It crosses a second bridge and eventually heads southwest (the direction you need to be going). Follow the trail until it reaches granite and then follow the cairns. You will soon see the distinctive shape of Chimney Rock in all its glory as you follow the path through the forest and over blocks. The trail eventually winds around the north side of Chimney Rock if that’s your goal. But if you plan to climb Mt. Roothaan you will leave the trail about a quarter of a mile or just below Chimney and head directly south (left). You cannot see Mt. Roothaan yet. Keep below the crest and look for a saddle just below the crest. You can’t miss it. Once you top the saddle at about 6700’ you will see Roothaan about half a mile away. You scramble down about 100’ and then begin ascending the use trails. Your goal is the reach to far (south) side of the peak. You can climb an easy class 2 or 2+ section and make your way to the southwest ridge just below the summit. The views of Chimney Rock are unsurpassed.