| Square Top Southeast Ridge
My son and I did Square Top Sat July 30th.
A Quick Note: Before heading up, check if Guanella is closed. We passed a sign that said Guanella would be closed M-F and listed times. I think 5am-11am and then 1-5pm. Not sure, contact CDOT before heading up. The road is undergoing new paving and is ripped up for several miles.
My son and I head up the Square Top on Saturday hoping to be there for sunrise. The first lot was completely filled, but we were one of the first to get a spot in the second lot.
We started as the sun was coming up. It was chilly (40 degrees), and the grass was covered with frost.
We were out there for almost an hour before we even saw another person. It was really beautiful. (I'll try to post some pictures, but I'm new to this forum. It might take me a little bit to figure it out).
Trail (before getting to the mountain) was in good shape. A few places were pretty muddy, but no snow. (There is a patch of snow but it is not on the trail).
The climb was fantastic. We used poles, but we saw a number of people later in the day going up without them. Personally, I'm glad I had them, but I'm still new to this.
We both wore jackets for the climb. It was pretty windy once we got to the false summit, and we noticed that the temp was starting to drop.
The top was absolutely stunning. The cold air was a welcomed break from the heat.
We were not familiar with the route and weren't sure how to get back down. We had taken our time getting to the top (taking pictures and goofing off), and we didn't really want to mess around with trying to figure out if we could go around the backside of the lake. We asked another hiker if they knew another way down, but he said "No, just go the way you came up". Rather than risk getting lost. We decided to do just that.
The descent was steep and we got off track at one point. (I had a garmin with me, so I was able to get us back on track. That's when I thought "What a dork! I could have used this to get us down a different way!")
Anyway, the entire trip took us just over 8 hours, but like I said we stopped to talk, take pictures, etc. My Garmin had us down as a distance of 7.70 miles. (We did take the extra time to hike the ridge and hit the high point of 13,815 ft).
I hope that's a decent trip report. Let me know if I should include more detail. I'm still a little tired from yesterday.
Now, I'll try to upload pictures. (I posted more on my personal blog if you are interested in seeing them). Click Here
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):