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 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
womanhiker


Beautiful Pics!     2011-02-04 17:22:13
Nice pictures! I was on San Luis Sunday too. It was a great day for hiking!!!


She-Brett


Gorgeous!     2007-07-15 10:38:01
Very nice pictures! Thanks for the report.


Yog


Nice!     2010-11-30 10:28:37
I'm working on my flower power pics as well, nicely done!


cftbq


Congrats     2007-07-15 15:26:08
on a much faster time than we managed in early June!


Chelton67

Distance     2007-07-23 09:48:32
Can you give any information about the Road from Saguache, CO to the Stewart Creek TH? Distance & Directions?
Thanks



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