Peak(s):  Hesperus Mtn  -  13,232 feet
Date Posted:  09/19/2011
Date Climbed:   09/18/2011
Author:  justify429
 Hesperus Mountain fun  

Hesperus Mountain 13,232ft

Well I decided to take my brother and try Hesperus mountain. He is trying to better his life and we are trying to help him. So I figured this would help. So he says he loved it but anyhow back to the trip report.

We started off driving from Durango. Leave Durango on hwy 160 and head towards Mancos/Cortez. Once you reach Mancos take a right at the light and another right about a 1/4 mile down the road. There will be a forest sign for jackson lake. The road to the Trailhead is clearly marked and road numbers are marked as well. It is 17 miles from the winter turn around. You will want to stay on the roads marked for Sharktooth trailhead (this is not the trail you take but same parking area.)
Well marked signs.

Once you reach the parking area you will take the trail that goes straight towards the great eye appealing Hesperus Mountain. The trail is Mancos Trail 621
Looking back at the parking area.
Hesperus Mountain 13,232ft.

Follow this trail down you will lose some elevation. After you cross the small wooden log bridge go about a halfmile down the trail and choose your way straight up through the brush to the mountain.Image
The wooden bridge.
My Brother standing as we walk thru the brush.
Cool tree that fell over and the stump made a little shelter.

From this point its pretty much pick and choose on your route up the mountain. You want to try to get up to the west ridge we took a steep gully which at the time had very icy rocks and a couple inches of snow on the ground. Image
Looking up at the route we are about to take.
Looking down.

Once we reached the mid way flat area my brother decided to hangout there as he didnt feel confident going higher or coming down. So I gave him some extra warmth and food as I trecked off for the summit. Image
My brother with the Wilsons group in the Back.
Looking strait up twords the summit.

As you go from the flat area and get up to the west ridge you climb up this little bit of rock. When I climbed it was very icy so I had to take it slow and watch my footing. Image
Climbing up the west ridge on the icy rocks.

Up close on the icy rock.

After this I dropped down from the ridge and traversed around gradually climbing up the snow paths for more sure footing. Image
Part of the ridge and going up.
The traverse around
Image Image
As I started getting closer to the summit I walked up on the back side of the summit as it was less steep. Image
Looking at the Summit. (Hoof prints in the snow)
My poles that saved me due to lack of correct gear.

On the way down I looked over the far side of the mountain and scoped out another route down due to my brother not wanting to return the way we came. So I had him climb up to the saddle and we decided to climb down the back side and walk around the mountain as best we could to a non snowy and easier route. Image
The way off the backside we took.

So after we walked a bit extra we came around to the ridge line of the mountain on the far west side and decided to do a fun Scree ski down the hill (possibly the best part of the trip) Image
The scree ski hill.
We ended up on the far right side of this ridge.

After this and the long walk through a rock field we ventured back through the brush straight down until we reached the Mancos trail again and climbed our way out. For a side note the Mancos trail runs along the river all the way down so you can just hike straight down and run into it sooner or later.
And here is just some extra pretty pictures. Image
Image Image Image

Side note, I learned my lesson on having correct gear. We hiked up and I gave him my Sweater, Neckwarmer/beanie, and the poles for the hike up. I had tennis shoes and my climbing pants waterproof pants and synthetic longsleeve shirt on. I realize this was an easier climb but also could have gone bad not having correct gear for shoes and warmth. My bad and wont happen again.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

09/20/2011 12:03
That's got to be one of my favorite peaks in Colorado - just beautiful, isn't it? And a lot harder than it looks, especially as you get near the summit! Glad you got up and down safely, and looked out for your bro, too - maybe after he gets a little more experience you both can head back up on a nice, dry day!


07/29/2013 18:29
is one cool looking mountain. I can see why it's one of the Navajo's sacred mountains. Had hoped to do this over Labor Day week, but weather kind of messed with that plan. Great report, thanks!


Good work!
09/20/2011 18:59
I hiked up Hesperus on 9/11/11, and boy was it loose! Quite a bit of bushwacking and route finding as well. You should check out Lavender Peak sometime, one of my favorite summits!


09/20/2011 19:43
Yea I really enjoyed this hike. I was going to do the ridge to lavender then moss but with my brother sitting back down close to the saddle I didn't want to leave him to go back by himself. It is on my to do list with it only being 45 minutes from home. Thanks for feedback gl on future climbs.

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