Peak(s):  Uncompahgre Peak  -  14,309 feet
Date Posted:  07/29/2009
Date Climbed:   07/23/2009
Author:  Wish I lived in CO
 Uncompahgrely Beautiful  






After some dissappointments earlier in the week, I was ready to get back to just doing a good ole' fun hike; MtnHub was ready to complete our two day adventure in the San Juans. We were pleasantly surprised by the touristy but yet very laid back town of Lake City that's 50 miles from nowhere. The day before I enjoyed just sitting in the park while MtnHub was in the library. Later opting for some Italian food, we were serenaded with Iron Maiden unplugged from a Pueblo teenager that worked in the kitchen.

Anyway, the Nellie Creek road is almost a destination in itself, people travelling up and down it in rented ATV's and jeeps. Very scenic.

An old mine and dam lies half way along the way that I would have loved to explore, but I guess it was private property so I just gawked from the road for a few minutes.

Regarding once turning up off the Nellie Creek road up toward the peak, high clearance, short wheel base would be recommended, more so than even than 4WD though that's important too. There are numerous erosion control mounds to go over - basically they are 3 feet high giant speed bumps. Some decent size rocks to go over, but nothing too impossible for said vehicle. Much of the road is slow going, so allow some time. Most definately not passenger car road. There are two river crossings, the second is shown on the way down. The first is longer, but both are fairly shallow, not too bad:

First view at alpine glow:

At the trailhead, a beat up early 80's vintage pickup marked U.S. Forest Service parked 100 yds up from us and three younger people stepped out and headed up. We couldn't decide if they were working or taking the day off. They had some strange gear. MtnHub thought maybe they had some fishing nets, my guess was some tennis on the summit. Halfway up we caught up with them. Turns out they are investigating rare butterflies and moths:

Whetterhorn viewed from the shoulder:

What am I hearing? We could actually hear these sheep from what, 2,000 feet up? They look like little lice moving around down there.

MtnHub above the shoulder just before the short gulley crux. I don't have any gulley pictures, but it wasn't too bad, even I could handle it.

On the summit:

I thought we were first on the summit that day, but apparently the marmot beat us:

My mug:


Parting shots of Uncompahgre Peak looking tall and proud:

 Comments or Questions
Brian C

08/23/2010 14:48
Nice to meet you guys up there.
Gotta love those sheep, definitely was strange to hear them from way above.

Good report!


07/29/2009 23:26
I had the pleasure of climbing Uncompahgre Mon 7/27. My favorite to date. I heard the sheep, too - but I didn‘t have binocs so I didn‘t know for sure what it was! Thanks for filling in that detail - and nice detail on the road.
Great pics!


great area...
07/30/2009 03:32
I haven‘t attempted any San Juan peaks but I‘ve driven that Engineer Pass Road a few times. The buildings and dam on Henson Creek are at the old Ute-Ulay mine site. That collapsed roof makes an interesting form. Your pics are a good reminder that I have to get down there and climb that mountain soon. Good pics!

Wish I lived in CO

Thank you.
07/30/2009 12:23
Yes, this was a particularly scenic hike, very nice summit. Saxmotor: Did you and your partner make it up Whetterhorn also that day?

Brian C

08/23/2010 14:48
Not quite. Made it up to the base of the scrambling and weren‘t too sure about the weather. It looked a bit questionable when we up there and once we got to Lake City it looked great. Big surprise.
Oh well! Going back to get it tomorrow!!


Great pics
07/30/2009 17:20
Looks like you had a good time. I love the San Juans its a very beautiful area.

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