Peak(s):  Argentine Pk  -  13,738 feet
Date Posted:  08/13/2017
Modified:  08/14/2017
Date Climbed:   08/12/2017
Author:  Trailrunner
 Argentine via Silver Dollar Lake Trailhead  

Going solo this trip, I started from the Silver Dollar Lake Trailhead, accessed via Guanella Pass. Parked in the lot immediately to the right, although plenty of people go up the quarter mile or so to the trail.

Start: 6:30 a.m.
Summit: 9:25 a.m.
Back to car: 11:30 a.m.


~7.5-8mi., round trip (estimated based on my imperfect GPS track.) Track you see below was hand drawn, which I used to guide me up the peak, even though the way there was obvious/intuitive.

Last year, I summited Square Top and Wilcox on separate trips, so it was time to come back and tackle Argentine. There are a variety of ways to get there, but I really enjoy the Silver Dollar Lakes area, and opted to find my way up through there.

The route I took was quite straightforward: Follow the Silver Dollar Lake trail all the way up to the top lake, Murray Lake. The trail is well-defined up to here, as you might image, with these lakes being quite popular Front Range destinations.

Image
Naylor Lake

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Silver Dollar Lake

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Murray Lake


Upon reaching Murray Lake, the trail peters out, as for the traditional user, final destination has been reached! I still have awhile and aways to go yet, though.

I took some time here to survey my planned route, and to scout out potential deviations from my plans. I understand quite a few people tackle Argentine from Square Top, and looking at the landscape, I could reasonably have worked towards the Square Top saddle from Murray Lake. My initial plan was to go from the Wilcox side, so even though mileage ultimately might have been more, I decided to stick with the original plan. Looking north from my vantage, I spied the familiar Wilcox, and forged on in that direction.

Image
Wilcox


I headed towards the gully just right of center in this image. At the top of the gully, I started going just about due west. In the valley here there is an abundance of willows, and farther on past the willows is a trickling mountain stream. This stream pointed me in exactly the direction I wanted to go.

Image
Follow the stream


Views started to open up, and I was again treated to a visual of my target. I opted to stay a little lower than the ridge for most of my remaining ascent up Argentine.
At the top of the ridge, I turned due north for the remaining tenth of a mile or so to the summit proper.

Image
Looking towards Argentine


Great views: Grays/Torreys, Wilcox, Square Top in the immediate vicinity.
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Grays/Torreys


I didn't spend too long at the summit, so started to meander down, enjoying expansive views and colorful wildflowers.
Image
Wilcox

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Wilcox/Square Top

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Square Top


I think this is a great alternative route for those not intending to get all 3 in the area in one go (like me, who summited Square Top and Wilcox at other times). Straightforward, fun, and scenic.

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


 Comments or Questions
rpdawes

RT distance
08/14/2017 10:17
Congrats!

I am planning on hiking where you have done. You said that the RT distance was 7.0 miles. Did you record it from your car to Argentine Peak summit?


rpdawes

GPX file
08/14/2017 11:10
Did you use a GPS device to record your tracks? Or did you just draw up lines on a map and save it in GPX format? The reason for asking such questions is because I noticed that your tracks did look very straight from point to point.


Trailrunner

Good questions!
08/14/2017 13:14
rpdawes, I think the RT was actually closer to 7.5-8 (edited my report to reflect that). Looking at my post-hike GPS track, it actually looks like it was closer to 3.9 one way, but I was meandering a bit, so definitely was somewhat inefficient with my route to start!
The GPS included here was hand-drawn pre-hike so I had something to follow on the way up. I used the maps.me app to keep me somewhat on track, although because it is quite intuitive once you get to Murray Lake, I didn't really refer to it much.

Hope that helps! Enjoy!


Jay521

One of my fav loops.
08/14/2017 13:21
Thanks for bringing back some fond memories.


JosephG
Good day for a hike.
08/14/2017 21:07
I think we ran into you and said a brief hello on the summit! Pleasant day, and much less windy than on Squaretop. Your route directly up Argentine looked like a very serene one.



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