14ers.com Shirts!
Your purchase of a synthetic or cotton shirt helps support 14ers.com. Thank you!

Other ways to help...
Peak(s):  San Luis Peak  -  14,014 feet
Post Date:  07/09/2007
Date Climbed:   07/08/2007
Posted By:  Yikes

 Flowers on San Luis Pk - Stewart Cr trail   

After flipping a coin to choose between a Sunday hike of Columbia or San Luis, we ended up deciding on the Stewart Creek trail. After looking at all of the photos on the route description pages, I wasn't expecting much ("a long boring slog up a talus pile?"); just another checkmark on the 14er list. But we ended up being pleasantly surprised by the hike.

The trail is in great shape. There is one small snow patch you need to cross (maybe 10 steps). It never gets very steep (maybe one short section near the saddle) so the miles go by pretty quickly. There must be several hundred beaver ponds; not sure where all of the beavers were. Kept an eye out for moose also, but they must have been hiding with the beavers in the lodges.

The wildflowers and butterflies are outstanding. If you are looking for a wildflower hike, this would be one to hurry out to see. Here is a hint of the flowers along the trail.

I didn't take very many "mtn photos" because other ones on this site are much better.

We ran into Scanner and Meteor as they were descending from the saddle. They were able to start from the trailhead an hour earlier (took us a lot longer to pack up camp than I was expecting).

Misc notes
3:45 up and 2:45 down. Not sure why Dawson says this hike should take 12-13 hours (I usually complete hikes in about 2/3 - 3/4 of the Dawson estimates). We stopped a LOT on the way up to take photos of flowers. We didn't stop much on the way down.

Driving to Stewart Cr thru Saguache is 10 minutes faster than driving over Monarch pass towards Gunnison (2:15 from Poncha Springs vs 2:25). That route crosses Poncha Pass and N Cochetopa Pass, which are a lot smaller (and easier to cross over) than Monarch Pass.

The first 20 miles on 114 near Gunnison were paved (I was expecting dirt). We still couldn't drive excessively fast because there is a very windy canyon half way down that road. The dirt road (27 miles) was in really good shape; maybe could average 30 mph on that section. Washboards seemed moderate on the way in, but I didn't notice them at all on the way out (maybe the rain at night smoothed them out?? or maybe I was just too tired to notice them).

There is a nice camping site in the trees about 1/3 mile (?) before the TH (right after the last switchback). 2 very large, level tent spots. The camping spots down at TH looked slopy (to me).

All in all, a great day of hiking.


  • Comments or Questions

Beautiful Pics!     02/05/2011 00:22
Nice pictures! I was on San Luis Sunday too. It was a great day for hiking!!!


Gorgeous!     07/15/2007 16:38
Very nice pictures! Thanks for the report.


Nice!     11/30/2010 17:28
I'm working on my flower power pics as well, nicely done!


Congrats     07/15/2007 21:26
on a much faster time than we managed in early June!


Distance     07/23/2007 15:48
Can you give any information about the Road from Saguache, CO to the Stewart Creek TH? Distance & Directions?

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2015 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.