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Sugarloaf Mountain

 
Sugarloaf Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 37.52521°N / 107.0919°W

Object Title: Sugarloaf Mountain

GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map

Activities: Mountaineering

Season: Summer

Elevation: 12593 ft / 3838 m

 

Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Jul 30, 2016 / Oct 20, 2017

Object ID: 978405

Hits: 580 

Page Score: 80.49%  - 12 Votes 

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Overview


(R) Sugarloaf and (L) Toner Mountains. From the summit of Pagosa Peak






Sugarloaf and the nearby Toner Mountain are a couple of mid 12ers that rise in the Weminuche Wilderness of the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. A trail starts at Middle Fork Trailhead near the town of Pagosa Springs and goes deep into the wilderness. This trail can be followed to an elevation of 11700 ft or so to reach the base of the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain where you can leave trail and hike to the top.

Getting There

See map below. From the junction of Route 160 and Piedra Road (a few miles west of the springs in Pagosa Springs) turn north onto Piedra Road (Road 600) and follow it through the subdivisions. Pavement end after 6 miles and the road becomes Road 631. This was a well graded dirt road where I could drive 30-40 MPH. At Sportsman’s Campground and Cabins, turn right onto Road 636 and drive to the end of it at Middle Fork Trailhead. The last 1.5 miles became somewhat rough but I did not need 4 wheel drive. Total distance from Route 160 was 23 miles (took a good 50 minutes to drive).




Route

All distances are per my GPS
Place
Elevation
Distance
Middle Fork Trailhead
8420 ft
zero miles
Summit
12593 ft
6.25 miles


Roundtrip
4173 ft net vertical gain
12.50 miles





Dramatic view to the north at trailhead.

Dramatic view at Middle Fork Trailhead
Cliffs at Trailhead


Head east on the trail and cross the Middle Fork of Piedra River. This log served as a perfect bridge. Without the log, crossing will likely require you to get wet.

Crossing the creek over the log
Log over creek


On the east side of the river, the trail heads north going flat for half a mile or so until it reaches a series of switchbacks going up quickly.

Above the first few switchbacks
 
On the lower parts of the trail
 

On the lower parts of the trail
 


Continue up the trail through switchbacks followed by less steep areas. At the time of my hike, much of the pine trees appeared dead.

On the trail
 


Waterfall by the trail.

On the trail
 


Many fallen logs created obstacles on the trail slowing me down. Flowers in the dead forest and the meadows were beautiful.

On the trail
 
On the trail
 
On the trail
 
On the trail
 


Toner Mountain could then be seen.

Toner Mountain
Toner Mountain


And then Sugarloaf itself. Farther up, Sugarloaf went out of view again.

Summit of Sugarloaf Mountain
Sugarloaf Mountain


On the way up, I wanted to stay on the trail as much as I could to gain elevation but this caused me to get a little far from Sugarloaf. I left trail at around 11800 ft and ended up walking through the forest doing some downhill to reach the base of the peak. The best place to leave trail is probably at around 11650 ft. Sugarloaf may not always be in view so you must know where you are.

Summit of Sugarloaf Mountain
Summit of Sugarloaf Mountain


I then went up first the grassy and then the boulder covered slope which became increasingly more steep.

Steep boulder/rock field
 


Looking down the steep boulder covered slope.

Looking down the steep boulder field
Looking down the steep slope I climbed


Summit turned out to be a long and narrow area. Views from the summit.

Pagosa Peak
Pagosa Peak
Toner Mountain
Toner Mountain
Peak 11985 ft
Peak 11985 ft
South River Peak
South River Peak
Red Mountain
Red Mountain
(L) Peak 12848 ft, (R) Peak 12660 ft (the sharp peak)
Peak 12848 ft & Peak 12660 ft
Pagosa & Cherry Cairn Peaks
Pagosa & Cherry Cairn Peaks
Looking northwest
Looking northwest


Red Tape

No fees or permits required.

Images

Dramatic view at Middle Fork TrailheadSummit of Sugarloaf MountainOn the trailOn the trail(R) Sugarloaf & (L) Toner MountainsToner MountainSouth River Peak
(L) Peak 12848 ft, (R) Peak 12660 ft (the sharp peak)Pagosa & Cherry Cairn PeaksOn the lower parts of the trailLooking northwestCrossing the creek over the logLooking down the steep boulder fieldSteep boulder/rock field
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