Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 38.57840°N / 107.3152°W
Additional Information County: Gunnison
Activities Activities: Hiking, Trad Climbing, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 9380 ft / 2859 m
Sign the Climber's Log


9380 as seen from Cow Creek9380 as seen from Cow Creek
Start of the climbStart of the climb
Peak 9380 is a technical peak located in the West Elk Wilderness. (see below this paragraph, Colorado has several unnamed summits of the elevation 9380, but this one is the most interesting one!). The summit is very spectacular and looks like nearly an impossible tower to climb. The route is rated at 5.4, but rating was hard to establish since the route is loose. It is an adventurous peak and very beautiful, climbing is scary though due to loose nature of its rock. Tripple check every hold. The peak can be spotted from US highway 50 when one looks north around the western end of Blue Mesa Reservoir. 

There are not many trip reports for this peak/climb. List of John was the only source of information for us. We changed the approach and used Cow Creek trail, mostly because the trail is scenic and we wanted to avoid crossing Soap Creek higher up (June 2019 had an extremely high water run off from melting snow and crossing appeared dangerous). 

1st documented ascent: 2016, read TR here

Peak 9380 is part of the Little Soap Park Quad for those who like to complete quadrangles.

Parent Lineage: Line Parent: Bonfisk Peak Proximate Parent: Soap Mesa

Colorado Rank: 2686

Do not confuse with another unnamed peak of the same height located near Kenosha Pass - UN 9380 (this one is just a walk up), and UN 9380 "Microwave Relay Tower Peak" in Front Range. 

Getting There

The goal is to reach Soap Creek Campground (there is a parking lot just at the entry to the campground for trail users). From US highway 50, turn onto Colorado Highway 92, and cross the Blue Mesa Reservoir dam. Travel 1 mile to County Road 721and drive 8 miles to well marked turn off for Soap Creek Campground. 

If road 721 is open, you can skip the campground and continue up the road for another 2 miles. I have not explored this approach since the road was closed. 


Route up 9380Route up 9380

Gear: 2 yellow #2 camalots, 2 blue #3 camalots, and 1 #4 grey Camelot. Long runners. One 60 meter rope barely made it on rappel, consider 70 meters. Personal climbing gear. A helmet is a must on this one. Bring replacing material for slings. 

The climb is only one pitch, technically not that hard, but very loose. We chose a slightly different route than described in first TR. Although the route is very loose and the rock is rotten, there is protection! There was a summit register on the summit. 

The top looks like 2 separate summits with a boulder in between these two summits. The boulder has slings around and rappel ring. Slings should be replaced (one looked like a utility cord). Pay attention on rappel since you will use all your rope with 60 meter rope and down climb the loose 4th class gully from there. 

Red Tape

Peak is located in the West Elk Wilderness Area, so wilderness area rules apply. West Elk Wilderness is the fifth largest in Colorado. This wilderness is a large untamed area with little visitation. Past volcanic activity has produced long lava flows in the area. Ridges have been crumbled and carved by wind and water into fantastic turrets, pinnacles and castle like formations. 

Group size is limited to no more than 15 people. 

Camping is prohibited within 300 feet of Sheep Lake and within 100 feet of any lake, stream, or trail. 

Campfires are prohibited at the following locations: 1. within 100 feet of any lake, stream, or trail

2. above treelike

3. within 300 feet of Sheep Lake

Dogs must be under direct verbal control or leashed at all times. 

Do not cut switchbacks. 

When to Climb

The best time is spring, but watch out for high waters. Soap Creek is pretty large, if you use Cow's creek trail, there is a bridge across. If you use the road, find logs to cross over. 

Summer can be hot. Fall would be a great time for climbing this peak too. 


There is a nice campground at the start of the Cow Creek Trail - Soap Creek Campground. The charge is 12$ per night and you get a campsite with tables and fire pit. For more information about this campground, click here.

Another close by established campground would be Ponderosa Campground located at the northwest end of the Soap Creek arm of Blue Mesa Reservoir. Information here

There are also a few spots along the road with primitive camping and no fees. 

External Links