Carbonate & Cyclone Mountains Additions and Corrections

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JohnGolob - Aug 8, 2016 6:23 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Finding Help

I was up there on July 26, 2016 and want to offer some notes on finding the route.

First, the National Geographic "Trails Illustrated" map is mistaken regarding the trailhead. When driving up the road the trailhead is before the old townsite, not after. And, the trail is on the east side of the creek, not the west as shown on the map. Once you know where to look the trail is easy to spot, a gash through the woods headed by a signpost that says No Motor Vehicles.

The Cyclone Creek trail is easy to follow at first, but gets a little sketchier as you go further upstream. When you leave this trail to head up toward the saddle between Carbonate and Cyclone, it helps a lot if you can find a climbers trail that allows you to avoid loose talus. I want to help you find this trail.

You want to leave the Cyclone Creek trail soon after it crosses to the west side of the creek, about a mile from the TH. It crosses to the west side of the creek where a large boulder field appears as an obstacle to continuing on the east side of the creek. You want to leave the main trail after passing this boulder field. You have two ways to get by this obstacle, either boulder hopping on the east side of the creek, or following the trail on the west side of the creek. I went up on the west side of the creek and came back over the boulder field. Pick your poison. Two creek crossing vs. a little boulder hopping. The boulders have lots of lichen on them, which would be slippery when wet.

After going by the boulder field, leave the main trail and head up toward the saddle. I couldn't find a trail in this area, but stayed near the trees as long as I could because the grass and dirt provided secure footing. When you get beyond the trees look to the north for a trail along the hillside that avoids the talus. Finding this trail will make your day much more relaxing. I wasn't aware of this trail, and my instinct to stay in the middle of the gully kept me a little south of the trail. But if you angle a little north of the center of the gully and keep your eyes open, you should be able to spot it. Good luck. An easy way to bag to bicentennials.

CO14erBagger - Aug 24, 2016 9:59 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Route Finding Help

Subtitle: Don't sell Gerry Roach short!

John, don't know if you're aware of this but Gerry Roach describes in detail the route up Cyclone/Carbonate from Cyclone Creek in his "Colorado's Thirteeners" book. (Under the section "North Carbonate" ["old" name for Cronin Peak]).

I hiked Cyclone today (Aug 24, 2016) and tried your route up and Roach's down....I think your route is easier to find and perhaps hike providing you stay low in the trees.

Specific thoughts:
1. I think the "sketchy" part of the trail you are referring to is soon after you start from the trailhead and encounter a number of downed trees crossing the trail. At this point the trail (old road) moves to the right (north) away from the creek. The downed trees can confuse one into thinking you need to stay close to the Creek. Bottom Line: Good trail until you cross Cyclone Creek.
2. It is unclear where the "Standard" (Viz Roach) trail goes after crossing to the west side of Cyclone Creek. We stayed close to the Creek and got soaked from the high-standing underbrush. (Storm in area, rained heavily the previous night). After crossing the Creek to the west side, the answer is to go up maybe 100-200 feet and you will find a high-quality trail paralleling the Creek and avoiding the willows and other undergrowth, far below.
3. The hiker's trail you found at treeline is the "Standard-Roach" that you take if following the west side of the Creek for about a mile after the crossing and then head NE towards the gully leading to the saddle between Cyclone & Carbonate. I put in a large cairn at about 12000 today, just below the highest tree clump to help guide hikers coming up your route or down the gully. My intention is that this cairn is at the junction of your route and Roach's.

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