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Mount Shavano

 East Slopes
Difficulty Class 2 
Ski/Board: Intermediate, D3 / R2 / III  
Risk FactorsExposure: Moderate
Rockfall Potential: Moderate  
Route-Finding: Low  
Commitment: Moderate  
 
Start9,750 feet
Summit14,230 feet
Total Gain4,500 feet
RT Length9.5 miles
AuthorBillMiddlebrook
Last UpdatedAug 2023
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Trailhead

On U.S. 285, one mile north of the U.S. 50 junction near Poncha Springs, turn west onto County Road (CR) 140. This turn is about 21 miles south of Buena Vista, and across the highway from the Salida airport. Measure from here. On CR 140, drive 1.7 miles and then turn right on CR 250. Continue to 2.6 miles where the road turns to dirt. Once you enter BLM land the road becomes rough and rocky. At 5.9 miles, stay left at a junction and continue on FR 252. At 9.0 miles, stay left at another junction and continue a bit farther to reach the trailhead at 9.2 miles. If the lot is full, there is overflow parking if you continue 0.1 mile beyond the trailhead.

Route

1 shows much of the route. From the Shavano/Tabeguache trailhead, follow the trail approximately 0.1 mile to a trail junction - 2. Turn right onto the Colorado Trail and hike 1/4 mile to another junction and turn left onto the Mt. Shavano trail - 3. Follow a wide, rocky trail for a short distance and turn right to follow the well-defined Shavano trail north, then west - 4 and 5. Zig zag through the forest and pass a couple of boulders ( 6) to reach a flat area near 10,700'. Continue to a stream and follow it up a hill before crossing it at 10,800'. Continue to a corner near 11,200' - 8. Turn right and swing east to the north side of the ridge and eventually turn left, near 11,800', as you approach tree line - 9.

Leave the trees and traverse west across Shavano's southeast slopes - 10 and 11. When you reach the west end of the basin, follow the trail toward the saddle - 12 and 13. Reach the saddle at 13,350', where you can see the final pitch to Shavano's summit - 14 and 15. Cross the large saddle and ascend the final 700 feet by starting on the left side of the ridge. You will see several trail segments so try to stay on the most established one - 16 and 17. Near 13,800', swing right ( 18) and weave through more-stable rocks to reach the top - 19 and 20.

Notes

When the road is dry, most passenger cars can drive all the way to the trailhead.
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20

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