Route DescriptionFrom the start of Forest Road 079 at about 8,500', start hiking southwest along the road as it heads up North Canyon. The road parallels North Creek. You will be hiking mostly through the trees, but you will manage to catch a glimpse of the Abajo Peak radio towers above you every now and then. The uneventful road gradually climbs up to North Creek Pass at 10,312'. However, you will not go to the pass. After about three miles, you will reach 10,200'. There are three sharp curves in the road here just below the pass. This is where you leave the road and start climbing southeast up towards Abajo Peak. I found a faint path that left the road at this point. I figured it must be a climbers path up to the peak, so I took it. Your goal is the 11,200' saddle just southwest of Abajo Peak. Once you reach the saddle, you will hit the road that leads to the peak.
Leave the road and start hiking up the path through the trees. The saddle is 1,000' above you, but only about 0.6 miles away. The route was steep. Since this was a north-facing slope, large snowdrifts blocked my way at times, and I quickly lost the path. But I just kept climbing straight up the steep slope - there's no other place to go. Just keep climbing up, and you will soon hit the road. I found the path again just below the road, and came out right at the saddle as planned. There is a Trail 001 marker where the path meets the road. Point 11,285' is off to the right, and Abajo Peak is off to the left. Turn left, and make the final 160' push up the steep road to the summit Abajo Peak, where you can enjoy the views.
Hiking Distance: About 8 miles round trip.
Elevation Gain: 2,900'.
If you want to drive to the top, take Forest Road 105 west of Monticello. About one mile west of town, turn left onto Forest Road 087. The road reaches Abajo Peak after about thirteen miles.
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