Welcome to SP!  -
Razor Creek Dome
Mountain/Rock

Razor Creek Dome

 
Razor Creek Dome

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.31600°N / 106.7169°W

Object Title: Razor Creek Dome

County: Saguache

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 11530 ft / 3514 m

 

Page By: Sarah Simon

Created/Edited: Nov 29, 2013 / Nov 29, 2013

Object ID: 877923

Hits: 416 

Page Score: 79.45%  - 11 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

Overview

Views to the Southwest
Views to the Southwest

Rising high and isolated with over above its surroundings 19 miles as the crow flies southeast of Gunnison, Colorado sits a noble little semi-arid dome in the Cochetopa Hills. Razor Creek Dome has over 1,300 feet of prominence and is the namesake feature of its USGS quad; not bad for a “dome” in the “hills”! The peak is more readily accessible than many other hills, domes and mountains in the immediate area thanks to a network of dirt roads surrounding it as well as service paths to its summit to install and maintain a communications tower at its summit.

The Cochetopa Hills are an interesting area considered an odd sub-range of the San Juan Mountains. Sitting west of the Sawatch and south of the Elks, much of the Cochetopas are different in character than neighboring ranges. The lower reaches of Razor Creek Dome area covered in dust and defragrant sagebrush; higher up are dense stands of aspen and tall, slender douglas fir. While views from the summit proper are limited, views from open glades en route to the top are expansive.

Rank: 1,539th highest peak in Colorado
Prominence: 1,310 feet
USGS Quad: Razor Creek Dome
Planning Map: Trails Illustrated #139 La Garita | Cochetopa Hills

Getting There

Heading toward Razor Creek Dome
Hiking northwest
Looking down the broad path
Looking southeast

Surrounded by BLM and Forest Service land, Razor Creek Dome can be approached from multiple vantage points. I describe on this page what could be called the “standard route,” which leverages the radio tower maintenance “path” to the summit.

•From US 50, travel 21.8 miles on CO 114
•Turn north/left on Route #3121 (BLM land) – from, here, you may park and walk or continue to drive, depending on road conditions, vehicle and personal preference.

Route

 
Dense aspen stand
Dense aspen
 
South summit ridge
South summit ridge
 
Cochetopa Hills background
Cochetopa Hills background
 
Old path remnant
Old path remnant
 
Grassy slopes
Grassy slopes
 
Looking up from plateau
Looking up from plateau


The route stats below are from CO 114. Distance and elevation will decrease if you drive further on the BLM and Forest Service roads, weather and vehicle dependent.

Roundtrip Distance: 10 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,500 feet
YDS: 2

•The cattle guard / gate marks the transition from BLM land management to Forest Service and the road number changes to FSR 579 and the road will become rougher; continue on the main artery when the road turns sharply to the north.
•Using the map, take your pick of spur roads marked 580.# to reach the road highpoint immediately southeast of the peak.
•The “580 spurs” rejoin around 10,400 feet elevation southeast of Razor Creek Dome; a broad trail continues toward the peak through the grass.
•And old road bed switches back and forth across the first series of tighter topo lines – either follow the road or cut directly up the grassy hill into the trees.
•Upon reaching the plateau at about 11,000 feet elevation, the trail becomes less distinct. Head northwest across a meadow reach another band of trees and steeper terrain.
•Keeping toward the southern summit ridge you may find more trail remnants.
•Continue north to the summit, marked by a cairn and a communications tower.

Razor Creek Dome Route Map
Simple route map adapted from Trails Illustrated #139 La Garitaa | Cochetopa Hills

Red Tape | Land Management

On the south ridge
On the south ridge
Summit of Razor Creek Dome
The summit of Razor Creek Dome
Sign on the summit radio tower
Radio tower sign

The route described above (from the southeast) crosses both BLM and Forest Service lands. There are few regulations in this area, and no fees to access this land. Please confine your vehicle to established roads and adhere to Leave No Trace ethics.  Please respect the communications tower at the top of the peak.

Weather and Seasons

 
Summit structure
Summit structure
 
Looking down the south ridge
Down the south ridge
 
Summit register
Summit register


Find more about Weather in Gunnison, CO
Click for weather forecast

Expect warm, dusty, sunny summers in this area. Autumn brings dry days that are either warm and sunny or cool and crisp. The Gunnison area is known for relatively cold, windy, brutal winters, so while this part of the Cochetopa Hills may be more welcoming than the high country of the nearby Sawatch or the main body of the San Juans, don’t come here in winter or spring expecting tropical conditions.
Find more about Weather in Gunnison, CO
Click for weather forecast


Camping, Lodging and Nearby Services

Cochetopa Dome
Cochetopa Dome (11,132 feet)
San Juan Highcountry
The San Juan highcountry
Nearby scenery
Nearby high peaks

There is almost limitless dry camping on the BLM and Forest Service roads surrounding Razor Creek Dome. Hotels and guest ranches can be found to the north and northwest closer to Gunnison, CO.

External Links

Elk Hoof
Elk hoof

Please bring to my attention any external resources / information I should link to this page, including trip reports. Thanks!

Images