Peak(s):  Crestone Peak  -  14,294 feet
Date Posted:  09/08/2008
Date Climbed:   09/08/2008
Author:  ursidae

 Crestone Peak daytrip  

Biking from the 2wd trailhead to the 4wd gate is interesting. Not in a good way...

Having your bike at the 4wd parking gate to take you back down to your 2wd parked car is also interesting. In an absolutely fantastic way!

The trail across Broken Hand Pass (scrambling on loose stuff in the pass), down to Cottonwood Lake and to the base of the Red Gully is both in good condition and very scenic.


The Red Gully route is easy to follow, as long as it's red you're probably ok. There are plenty of options as to what side to use. Going up I pretty much centered and straight lined. Coming down I was doing more of a zig zag thing aiming for the easiest options. Even though Peak is rated easier then Needle don't let this fool you, Peak is a class 3 workout with some steep and some loose sections.


The last few yards to the summit stays on a series of relatively wide ledges, there are a couple of options but it all seemed pretty straight forward. (climber in pic descending from summit)


The views from the tiny but comfortable (the rocks on the summit seem to be most intelligently designed to provide optimal comfort for tired hiker behinds, go figure...) summit can easily make you giddy if you are up there on a blue bird day.


Take some of that giddiness though and put it in a bottle, you'll need it going back up to Broken Hand. ; )

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

09/12/2008 03:44
We were up there today but got a late start and decided not to summit (made to base of Red Coulier). Interesting that you went up the center of the coulier. I have heard that staying to the left or right is best given some melt water that flows down the center. How long did it take you from the cottonwood lake to the summit?


re: Congrats
09/12/2008 15:39
There are trail pieces on both sides that I used going down, they would probably make for a good ascent too. Going up I just looked for the most stable and fun scrambling/climbing rock available. There are plenty of good options though, waterflow was very low. Took about an hour to do the gully from the point where I crossed the water flow by the gully entrance at the bottom. I was pretty tired though from the biking start of the day (for a pace comparison the Manitou Incline from the Barr parkinglot, 1 mile 2k ft ascent, takes me about half an hour with no pack while pushing it pretty hard).

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