Peak(s):  Uncompahgre Peak  -  14,309 feet
Date Posted:  06/20/2010
Modified:  06/21/2010
Date Climbed:   06/20/2010
Author:  dpwellington

 Uncompahgre Peak from Nellie Crk TH  

On Saturday June 19th I climbed Uncompahgre Peak under perfect conditions. I left Lake City at 7 am on a mountain bike and rode the 6 miles to the Nellie Creek (Lower TH). I hiked up the 4x4 road and then connected to the official trail and didn't stop until I hit the summit (7.5 miles and 5000' of gain) several hours later. There were just a few small snow patches before the Matterhorn junction that were easy to cross with trail shoes. There is a very short 75' section of scrambling to thread through the cliff band 300' from the summit, otherwise the rest of this trail is a class 1. Saw a coyote at 13,000'. Apparently they are quite fond of Marmots.

After a few minutes on the summit, I boogied on down to the trailhead. Water sources are plentiful on this climb. I should have brought a filter as it's easy to run out of carried water on the long climbs, 15 miles of continuous hiking from the lower trailhead. The mtn bike ride back was scenic along CO-20 several interesting mines. I arrived back at the RV park just after 1 pm or just in time to wait an hour for a calzone at Poker Alice's. The food was great (ate 2 meals there) but be warned that the service is slow .......

The panoramic views on the Uncomphagre climb are truly incredible. It's easy to understand what the San Juan fuss is all about. It was my first 14er in the San Juans and I'm already planning on returning to climb Handies, Sunshine and Redcloud later this summer.


 Comments or Questions

Good beta, thanks!
06/21/2010 16:12
Could you tell if the Nellie Creek road is drivable up to the 4wd trailhead? Looking at an evening ascent sometime this week, and I would need to drive as far as possible to make that feasible


Nellie Creek
06/21/2010 16:58
Drove up Nellie Creek Road to the 4WD trailhead on Saturday in a stock Tundra. Creek crossings were not especially high or anything, very passable.


Nellie Creek
06/21/2010 19:06
Yes totally driveable in 4x4 as SkiBum indicated. There were three trucks up at the 4WD trailhead when I arrived, one may have been SkiBum. I had an RV in Lake City, so the longer hike was my option.


Good FYI
06/21/2010 19:58
I‘m hiking Unc on July 3rd from the lower TH. Maybe I‘ll get a filter. Sounds like it could be well worth it. Thanks for the tip.

Ramsey Boys

07/16/2010 02:16
We will drive up the 4x4 trail in the morning for the climb. Thanks for the info. Had the calzone tonight - amazing with the thin crust!

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