We drove up from Denver on Wednesday afternoon, and stopped in Buena Vista for an early dinner. If you have not already been to the Eddyline Brewing Company in Buena Vista, you're missing out. They have great food, and beer. I would recommend the Colorado Pale Ale, and any of the food is good. After our stomaches were full we continued on to our final destination of the Blank Cabin Trailhead. While driving along US 285 you can see Mount Shavano to the West right before you turn down County Road 140. Once on Forest Road 252, Shavano is directly in front.
Mount Shavano from FR 252
We set up camp to the south of the trailhead. After setting up camp, drinking a few cold beverages, and talking with our neighbors we went to bed. At 0500 we got up, broke down camp, ate a small breakfast, and began hiking at 0537. Due to my dog Ranger's last experience while hiking DeCaLaBro I put his boots on him for this hike. They worked great, and only had to adjust them a few times during the hike. Ranger was definitely the center of attention during the hike everyone we pasted loved that he was wearing boots. I would recommend these to anyone that is hiking with a dog, just to provide some extra protection for there paws.
Ranger ready to hike!
The beginning of the hike is though the forest and is a beautiful trail that runs along streams at one point with a water crossings. Continue up the trail and you will hit the tree line around 12,200 Ft. This is where the Angel of Shavano can be seen, but at this point in the season most of the snow has been melted away. In the distance to the west the saddle to Shavano can be seen.
What is left of the Angel
Mount Shavano from the saddle
Once on the saddle, continue along the trail to the north where you can see Shavano directly ahead. After a few switch backs, there are some rocks you must scramble up and then that is the summit of Mount Shavano! The register tube at the top of Shavano is completely broken, it looks like someone had took it and broke it on a rock. From the top of Mount Shavano you can see Tabeguache Peak to the Northwest. Many of the people on the summit of Shavano were very tired from the first part of the hike and had already ran out of water. If you can going to attempt Tabeguache please use your common sense and don't attempt if you are running low on water or if the weather is turning for the worst. The peak will alway be there.
My Sister, Ranger and I on Shavano
Tabeguache Peak from Shavano
From Shavano, hike to the Northwest along the ridge towards Tabeguache. This route is very rocky and kind of hard to follow since there is not a lot of Cairns along the way. The traverse over to Tab looks longer than it really is, if you have one hour for the hike to the summit and an hour to come back you will be golden. There is not a very defined trail leading to the summit of tab, if you lose the trail continue up to the ridge and follow that towards the summit and you will find the trail again.
Ranger by a cairn
Ranger and I on Tabequache
After summiting Tab, we followed the same trail back down the peak, and then back up to the summit of Shavano so that we wouldn't get caught in any fast moving storms. We hung out on top for awhile eating lunch and talking with some people from Kansas. The clouds really started to move in so then we left the summit and headed back to the vehicle. It was a hot hike down, and finally the clouds began to move into our area and cooled it down. We arrived back at my vehicle around 2 pm. I was really tired after the 11 mile hike. It took us a total of 8 1/2 hours for the hike, with breaks included. We gained 5,232 ft in elevation though out the hike. Here are a few more pictures from the hike back down. If you want to do this hike and have any questions feel free to PM me.