This is a straightforward, relatively easy and direct route and it’s beauty lies in its simplicity. Entirely above timberline from start to finish, the views are constant and the navigation is easy. Unless you are combining this peak with others, I recommend saving this one for late fall – sometime before the road to the pass is snowed closed at lower reaches but late enough that the weather conditions perhaps provide a bit of a challenge. As a solo objective in the summer, however, this peak could make a nice, easy introduction to elevation for the newbie or a good, brisk jaunt for folks short on time.
Roundtrip Distance: 4.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet
YDS Class: 1+
Time Required: A couple hours from Weston Pass
|Views across Weston Pass|
South Peak is in Lake County just north of the Park County line, about one mile as the crow flies from the summit of Weston Pass. The peak is accessible from the east via Highway 285 (passenger car accessible) and from the west via Highway 24 (high clearance recommended). This mountain is readily accessible via Weston Pass Road out of Weston Pass.
When dry, this route is suitable for all passenger cars.
This route is best suited to high-clearance vehicles only. 4x4 strongly recommended.
This route is remarkably straightforward from Weston Pass, as the entire route is above timberline and the mountain can be seen from the parking area.
• Leave the parking area trending southwest on an old mining road.
• Follow the mining road as long as you wish, but eventually you will leave the mining road to head more directly toward the mountain.
• The route gentle ascends across tundra until reaching a small slough and wet meadow. Depending on conditions, you may need to skirt the marsh to the south. (During our visit, the marsh was frozen solid and our mapped footpath reflects this.)
• Exit the marshy area and battle the willows, continuing to trend to the southwest.
• The willows ease and the slope increases.
• Change course to head first northwest, then turn sharply north along the broad, gentle ridgeline.
• The mellow summit cone rises obviously to your north-northwest.
• Map & compass
• Comfortable hiking boots or shoes
• Outerwear appropriate to the season
• Snowshoes or skis after a heavy snowfall
• Water and snacks
• A camera to save memories of the high country views
• First aid kit
• Other standard backcountry essentials