This easy-going loop route combines off-trail hiking through grass with leveraging dirt roads (both active and decommissioned). It’s a gentle hike that requires nothing more than a descent fitness level plus solid navigation skills and tools. Thought this would likely make a fine snowshoe, in the summer the wildflowers are fabulous! This nice loop route provides the benefit of new scenery coming and going.
Roundtrip Distance: 7 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,300 feet
YDS Rating: Class 1+
A special shout-out is due to Isabelle, the Queen of the Wet Mountains, for sharing this route with me. Isabelle, you are like a human GPS in these hills, and your love of southern Colorado shines through every time I'm in the mountains with you. Thank you for sharing your passion!
From Pueblo, Colorado
Take CO 78 west toward Buelah, Colorado for roughly 26 miles
Continue on CO 78 to the junction of CO 165.
Head north on CO 165 to the big hairpin turn at Fairview.
Head west on Ophir Creek Road (#360) (graded dirt).
Follow Ohpir Creek Road for about 9 miles to a sharp hairpin turn where the road wraps back sharply upon itself to the southeast.
Park in a small pullout where Treasure Gulch meets the road.
Leave parking and head up Treasure Gulch (now blocked to vehicular traffic).
Ascend the gulch to the northwest, following the old roadbed / streambed, for about .4 mile.
Here you will encounter switchbacks up the southeast aspect of Deer Peak. Head off-trail or attempt to follow the roadbed if preferred.
Continue trending northeast to the summit plateau, then search for the highest rock pile among the towers.
To descend, depart the summit and descend from the summit plateau almost due south to gain FS 401.
Follow FS 41 to the high saddle road junction where Ophir Gulch Road, Gardner Road, FS 401 and FS 308 all converge.
Follow Ophir Gulch Road (#360) back to your vehicle.
Alternate descent: Roughly midway down your descent of FS 401 from the summit, bushwhack through dense timber directly to your vehicle to reduce mileage (but increase the difficulty of your footing and your navigation).
Outerwear appropriate to the season
Map, compass & GPS
Colorado Gazetteer for road navigation