|Lat/Lon:||37.98400°N / 106.9653°W|
|Season:||Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter|
|Elevation:||12580 ft / 3834 m|
San Luis Peak. There is sort of a trail all the way to its summit, the infamous San Juan scree terrain is minimal here. Access is along Colorado Trail and in this section also Scenic Continental Divide Trail. If 12580 is your only objective, the outing is short (very kids friendly). I chose to combine it with 13020 (unranked), Baldy Lejos and 13111 for a pretty easy loop.
Why unnamed 12er? There are many unnamed peaks in Colorado, there are simply just too many peaks. Colorado has 676 ranked 12ers = peaks > 12,000 feet (=3657 meters), 584 13ers = peaks over 13,000 feet (= 3962 meters), and 54 14ers = peaks over 14,000 feet (= 4267 meters).
La Garita Wilderness spans 129,626 acres within Gunnison and Rio Grande National Forests. La Garita means "the overlook" in Spanish. It has only one fourteener San Luis Peak 14,014 feet. Many trailheads open approximately 175 miles of trails. About 27 miles of the Colorado Trail and Continental Divide National Scenic Trail follow the divide through La Garita Wilderness.
Colorado Rank: 946 (Peak baggers in Colorado usually start with 14ers, then 13ers and as an obscession continues they move onto highest 1000 peaks in Coolorado).
Class: easy class 2
Parent Lineage: Line Parent 13300 Proximeate Parent 13111
Wilderness: La Garita
West Willow Creek Trailhead: located only about 9 miles north of historical town of Creede. Drive to Creede via CO 149. turn right onto Main Street and drive north through the town to join Loma Ave/Road 503. This section of the road is well maintained 2 WD dirt road. At 4.8 miles continue straight on 503 at a large intersection with Bachelor Road. Just past the intersection there should be a sign for Equity Mine. At 7.1 miles turn left on 503, signed for West Willow Creek Trailhead, and the from here you need 4WD vehicle. At 8.2 miles the road switchbacks down and crosses a creek. And at 8.7 miles you reach the trailhead. There are few campsites, and a small stream, no toilet facilities. The trail is starts here, and provides connection to Colorado Trail.
Hiking, climbing, camping are all free. Wilderness rules do apply. Leave No Trace have seven standards:
Summer and early autumn are the easiest. Winter means a longer approach and avalanche danger. Early spring still has a lot of snow and no access to the 4WD West Willow Creek TH.
Wilderness camping is available just below the peak and along Colorado Trail. I camped at the West Willow Creek Trailhead. Basically, you can camp anywhere in the National Forest.