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From Mc Nasser Gulch

 
From Mc Nasser Gulch

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 39.05427°N / 106.5651°W

Object Title: From Mc Nasser Gulch

Route Type: Mountaineering

Season: Summer

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Hike

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes
 

 

Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Sep 26, 2009 / Jan 17, 2014

Object ID: 557472

Hits: 1132 

Page Score: 75.81%  - 6 Votes 

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Overview

This is a loop hike that allows you to climb the west summit, follow the short ridge-top to the east summit and then descend from the east summit.

As mentioned in the main page, the trail that supposedly goes from Mc Nasser Gulch Trail to the ridge-top near Ouray, does not seem to exist. The route mentioned here will take you up steep slopes. Obviously, when snow is present, danger of avalanche on these slopes will be high.

Getting There

Directions to Mc Nasser Gulch Trailhead:

From Independence Pass on Route 82, drive 9.3 miles east (or 14.5 miles west from junction of Routes 82 and 24) to the “South Fork of Lake Creek Road” (FR 391) (the parking area for La Plata Peak Trail is in the same area). This is a dirt road that is rough with many pot holes but is technically a 2WD road.

Turn south onto the South Fork of Lake Creek Road. At 2.8 miles go straight (right). After 3.3 miles you will reach the junction of “Mc Nasser Gulch Road” (FR 394). This is your trailhead (10760 ft)

4WD can continue another 1.1 miles to road closure at 11360 ft.

Route Description

All distances are per my GPS


Place…..……….Elevation (ft).…Distance (miles)


Trailhead……….10760………….zero

Rd Closure……...11360…………1.1

Shack…………...11650……….....0.6

Rocky Area……..12620…………0.35

West Summit……………………..0.15

East Summit…….12957………….0.17

Saddle…………..12420…………0.55

Rd Closure……...11360…………0.72

Trailhead………..10760………….1.1


Total Loop……………………….4.74 Miles


From the trailhead, hike up the Mc Nasser Gulch road through a forest of Pine and Aspen trees.

Mc Nasser Gulch Road
Mc Nasser Gulch Rd
On Mc Nasser Gulch Road
Mc Nasser Gulch Rd


After 1.1 miles, you will reach a gate (GPS Coordinates 39:02.823 North, 106:33.364 West). Motor vehicles are not allowed beyond the gate. Ouray and the steep grassy slopes that come down from the 12420 ft saddle will be seen to the north. (The route described here will bring you down from the east summit over these slopes. For now ignore the slopes and continue on the road)
Southern Face
Ouray

Hike another 0.6 miles beyond the gate until you see a metal shack on the right side of the trail. Leave the trail and head up the slopes through the forest. The forest is quite patchy here and you will basically be hiking up grassy slopes among the patches of woods.

Patchy Forest
Patchy Forest
On the way to west summit
Patchy Forest


The forest ends at an elevation of 12000 ft. The east summit of Ouray comes to view.

Above Tree-line
Above trees, east summit in view
Grassy Slopes
Above trees


Continue up the steep grassy slopes until at around 12620 ft, you reach a rocky area. The area does not present any technical challenges.



Rocky Slopes Below West Summit
Rocky Area Below West Summit
Rocky Slopes Below West Summit
Rocky Area Below West Summit
Rocky Slopes Below West Summit
Rocky Area Below West Summit

You will soon reach the west summit. Turn east and follow the ridge-top to the east summit.

West Summit, Southern Slopes
West Summit
East Summit from the West Summit
East Summit from West Summit


From the east summit, hike east down the grassy slopes and traverse Point 12620 ft on its north side until you reach the 12420 ft saddle.
East (true) Summit East Face
East Summit from the Grassy Slopes to the East of it

A big bowl can be seen below you. Hike down the steep grassy slopes into the big bowl.

Grassy Slopes/Bowl
Bowl
Grassy Slopes/Bowl/12420 ft Saddle
Bowl


At the end of the bowl, trees appear again and the Mc Nasser Gulch Rd at the road closure can bee seen at the bottom of the slopes. Hike down the patchy forest to reach the road.



Grassy Slopes
Grassy Slopes
View from Grassy Slopes
View from Grassy Slopes
Grassy Slopes
Grassy Slopes


You will then follow the road back to trailhead.

Essential Gear

In summer, only hiking equipment.

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