Distance: 5 km
Elevation Gain: 175 m (574 ft)
Time: 2 hours
Date Added: July 7, 2019
Last Update: July 7, 2019
The hike to Monument Hill is in the open alpine with beautiful views of the Keno area. Keno Hill itself is the name given to the mountain above Keno City, and is actually made up of five smaller hills, including Monument Hill. There is very little elevation gain on this hike and the route described provides a bit of a loop in order to maximize views of the surrounding area. There is a lot of room to explore on your own along the way.
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From Keno City, follow the signs for the 'Sign Post' road that lead up to Keno Hill (the hill northeast of town). Follow this well-maintained gravel road for 10.8 km up to the alpine (driveable in a car). Stick to the main road the entire time, which takes you to a large parking area at the top where the famous 'Sign Post' is located.
The route described here provides a small loop of the area for scenic purposes, and is not intended to be the most direct route to Monument Hill and back. The small loop takes you to a variety of lookouts for different vantage points of the Keno area.
From the parking area, follow the road that continues to the east for 100 m then leave the road and head south across the alpine tundra towards some small rocky ridges. Follow the ridges east, and find an easy route up the rocky talus to the highest rocky ridge (marked by a cairn and a claims post on top). From here you can get a great view down over Keno City and south towards the Mount Hinton area. This little side trip is only 1 km from the parking area.
Find a way back down from the rocky ridges (same way you came up) and continue northeast across the alpine plateau towards the highest part of the broad ridge of Monument Hill. There is an old road/rough track that you can follow for easier walking, which can be found towards the north side of the ridge.
Continue up the ridge (heading east) to the top of Monument Hill (this is about 1.5 km from the small rocky ridges described in the paragraphs above). There's a post and cairn at one of the high points of Monument Hill; however, the best viewpoint is from a lookout on the east edge of Monument Hill. From here, the ridge drops away to rocky cliffs below for a dramatic view down into Silver Basin Gulch and the surrounding mountains. From Monument Hill the ridge does continue east to Caribou Hill (another ~2 km), which you could add on to this hike if you wanted to make it a longer trip (add 4 km return).
From the lookout, you can return back down the way you came up Monument Hill and then stay on the north side of the ridge heading west towards the old cabin (Sheep Camp, circa 1920s). Along the way you get great views now to the north, over a wide expansive valley dotted with lakes, including Gambler Lake, Hanson Lakes, and Ladue Lake. After checking out the cabin, pick up the old mining road that takes you back to the parking lot.
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