7.25 Miles roundtrip
3,000' Elevation gain
5-1/2 hours total
Having spent the last two 14er trips in the Sawatch we were ready for a change of scenery. Lake City and the neighboring peaks did not disappoint! We landed in Montrose, got our Ford Explorer 4wd rental, stocked up on necessary supplies (junk food and beer), and made our way to Lake City. After getting settled in at the Backcountry Basecamp, we explored the town and settled on Packer Saloon for our first meal – good choice!
My biggest concern for the next morning was navigating the 4 miles of "high clearance" 4wd road to the trailhead. We certainly did not want to add 8 miles of hiking to our first day. A few encouraging posts from members on the forum assured me I would be okay if I exercised appropriate caution. My concerns turned out to be a non-issue as the 4x4 Explorer had no problem making the trailhead.
There is a very obvious and well marked trail all the way
Uncompahgre dominates the view
Looking over to Wetterhorn and Matterhorn
Our group taking a break and soaking in the view from the ridge
Nearly invisible sheep in the valley below – but you sure can hear them!
Near 13,900' you reach some minor difficulty. We ended up descending a different gully, but basically all trail segments end up in the same place.
Struggling up the gully – this is definitely the crux of the route – steep and somewhat loose, but over fairly quickly.
Group summit photo
Couldn’t resist the standard “look at the exposure” photo opportunity
Kelly celebrating her first ever 14er summit
View from the top
The horns from Uncompahgre summit
Plenty of 14er dogs were enjoying a weekend adventure
Watch where you step when following these guys
Vehicles at the trailhead
This was a great opening day hike. Back to Lake City for dinner at the Italian restaurant and adult beverages around the campfire. Next up - Handies.