I hiked up from my friend's house in town on the mtn. Bike trails, came down the fire road to CO Rd. 108, then the Little Rainbow Trail and another trail to the end, then back on 108 into town. Total time was 8 hrs and 18 min, 22 1/2 miles. 4759 feet of gain, 24.5 miles.
Adventurous walk from close to the valley floor all the way up, over old overgrown roads, regular USFS road, social trails, flagged deadfall swaths, and open country up top the summit plateau. Had I known about the 4wd forest road, would have driven half way up.
Summited during Galena Pass to Salida traverse
Plans for Kit Carson & Challenger went bust. So I spent the day in Salida doing Methodist and two other peaks UN10,580 & Cleveland Mountain. Oh, and beer. :)
Long day, the mileage is deceiving with all the switchbacks. Climbed up Methodist and bushwhacked the ridge over to PT 10580 C and then down to the Rainbow Trail and up Poncha Mtn then followed meandering Rainbow Trail back to the car. Ended up at almost 18 miles! Whew!
I think we all got out money's worth on this outing. With snow and wind, we were all good and tired by days end. I got the Jeep stuck up to the doors in snow (don't ask...) and therefore was kind enough to provide Kiefer and Mike with an opportunity to warm up before the hike by digging out the Jeep - sorry I only had two shovels, gentlemen heroes. :-D. The summit area - minus the towers - is a little more wild and open than I thought it would be! Views are spectacular from the top of this gem.
Sarah, Logan (dog), Mike and myself hiked up the road (partially) and bushwhacked up the northeast ridge to the summit. Nice day, some stiff winds atop but rather enjoyable.
Better than expected views on top!
Logan was a trooper!!