With the snow-free 14er climbing season coming to a close, I recruited my son, Jason to climb Uncompahgre before access to the trailhead became difficult. We made the long drive from Boulder to Lake City to spend the night in a comfortable but inexpensive cabin at ElkhornRV.
The next morning, careful driving got my Subaru Forrester to the Nellie Trailhead. I thought the rough 4WD road was comparable to the road to Huron, but longer with a couple of creek crossings thrown in.
I took a quick trailhead photo, and then we set off.
Jason and Dave at the trailhead
Jason needs no encouragement after you say "let's go".
Jason speeds up the trail
A very short hike took us above treeline and Uncompahgre rose into view.
First siting of our goal
The trail wound through some cool sculpted boulders.
As we climbed higher above treeline, we got a wider perspective of our goal including the snow-lined switchbacks up the South ridge.
Full view of Uncompahgre
The San Juans began spreading out to the horizon after we gained the South ridge.
South ridge view
We wound around to the West face to find the steeper talus had a light snow coating. I made a mental note to wear microspikes on the way down to improve traction.
West face talus
View from the West face
Finally, we got to enjoy a light snack on the summit and survey the beautiful day.
More summit views
Wetterhorn and Matterhorn looked dramatic outlined with a bit of snow.
Wetterhorn and Matterhorn
On our easy hike down, we got a delightful treat when we encountered a beautiful coyote hunting rabbits in the alpine meadows.
Back to Lake City for some big burgers at the Packer Saloon, and then the long drive back to Boulder!