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From Weston Pass

 
From Weston Pass

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Object Title: From Weston Pass

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Less than two hours

Route Quality: 
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Page By: Sarah Simon

Created/Edited: Dec 10, 2012 / Dec 10, 2012

Object ID: 829321

Hits: 1103 

Page Score: 79.04%  - 10 Votes 

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Overview

 
Ascending the slopes of South Peak
Ascending the slopes of South Peak

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
Views across Weston Pass
 
Views across the pass
 

Getting There

 
Approaching the summit
Approaching the summit


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.

From Fairplay
  • Leaving Fairplay southbound on Hwy 285, follow Hwy 285 for less than 5 miles.

  • Look for signs to County Road 5 / Weston Pass Road and follow this road to the west.

  • The road changes numbers/markings a few times, but continue to follow signs towards Weston Pass.

  • A sign will mark your arrival at the summit of Weston Pass.

When dry, this route is suitable for all passenger cars.
From Leadville
  • Leaving Leadville southbound on Hwy 24, follow Hwy 24 for approximately 8 miles and look for signs to County Road 7 or Weston Pass Road.

  • Follow Weston Pass road east and then southeast toward the summit of Weston Pass.

  • This route gets narrow, moderately rocky and steep in sections.

  • A sign will mark your arrival at the summit of Weston Pass.

This route is best suited to high-clearance vehicles only. 4x4 strongly recommended.


Route Description

 
South Peak from Weston Pass
Route Map


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.

Looking down-valley
Down the Union Creek Valley
Bundled up
Bundled up

Essential Gear

 
Frolicking pups
Heading down-slope
 
Frolicking pups
Frolicking pups


• 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

Images

Ascending the slopes of South PeakApproaching the summitViews across Weston PassFrolicking pupsViews across the passBundled upFrolicking pups
South Peak from Weston PassLate autumn slopesLooking down-valley