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South Slopes

South Slopes

South Slopes

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 37.93650°N / 106.8667°W

Object Title: South Slopes

Route Type: hike, partly off-trail

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: class 2; 11.5 miles/4100' gain round-trip

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes


Page By: Layne Bracy

Created/Edited: Jul 9, 2005 / Sep 21, 2005

Object ID: 165778

Hits: 2720 

Page Score: 72.08%  - 2 Votes 

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The south slopes route is the easiest and most commonly used route on Phoenix Peak. Start from the East Willow Creek TH. Use directions given on the main page for Phoenix Peak.

Route Description

Topo by John Kirk

From the trailhead, start hiking north along the unmarked Phoenix Park Trail. The trail meets up with the 4WD road to Phoenix Park. Continue north along the 4WD road, using a somewhat flimsy footbridge to cross Whited Creek. In just under 2 miles, the road brings you to the expansive fields of Phoenix Park.

As you enter Phoenix Park, look east(right) to find FT 787, the Center Stock Driveway. A thin metal trail sign with cairn marks this turnoff. The turnoff is easy to miss, as there is no trail from the 4WD road down to the creek. Across the creek, note a 4WD road bending to the south. Walk down to East Willow Creek, cross, and follow the 4WD road.

Follow the 4WD road/trail south then east, crossing a branch of East Willow Creek to its south side in about half a mile. Continue east along the south side of the creek for almost 1.5 miles. Spectacular terrace ponds and many felled trees can be seen here, the work of industrious beavers. Initially, the trail is distinct and cairned, becoming faint as you approach treeline. When in doubt, just make sure you are following the creek along its south side.

As you approach treeline, almost 2 miles from Phoenix Park, look north for the rocky west-facing cliffs of the conglomerate ridge. Cross to the north side of the creek and head north up easy slopes to the east side of this small ridge. A trail follows this gentle ridge, and you will enjoy close-up views of exotic hoodoos.

Pass the ridge and head north up gentle slopes to the saddle between Phoenix Peak and point 13780. Continue northwest to the summit.

Essential Gear

In snow conditions, snowshoes, ice axe, and crampons may be needed for this route.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and Corrections

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Larry V

Hasn't voted

The FT 787 trail part of this route is now closed, per signage at the trail junction. The East Willow Creek Falls route is a good, scenic, and shorter alternative.
Posted Jul 10, 2013 8:52 pm

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The gentle south slopes of...John Kirk makes the descent...Conglomerate hoodoo. Erosion...The turnoff at Phoenix Park...