Square Top (Front Range)

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Nov 14, 2010
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Fall

Square Top Mountain

Got to Guanella Pass at 12,200 feet elevation and parked. There wasn't much snow around but enough to make things pretty.
The sun was out and we started on the short trail to Square Top Lakes. I even had to undress since it was so warm.
Here is a photo of the peaks east of Guanella Pass. Mt. Bierstadt and the Sawtooth Ridge are easily seen on this beautiful day.
Mt. Bierstadt and the SawtoothMt. Bierstadt from Guanella Pass

The plan for the day was to climb Square Top Peak (elevation 13, 600). We left the trail when we got to the lakes and started the easy climb.
Here's a photo looking back towards Guanella Pass as we ascended.
Bierstadt PanoMt. Bierstadt from the slopes of Square Top

When we got our first views to the west we saw something bad. A fast approaching blizzard was already hitting the mountains only a few miles to the west and we saw the snow falling.
We got about 75 percent up and turned around. Right when we got back to the lakes the clouds rolled over us and I shot this photo of Square Top Peak reflecting in the lake minutes before it started blizzarding.
Square  TopSquare Top Lakes a few seconds before the blizzard and white out

Too bad we didn't quite make it but at least I got a good photo of it.
We hiked back to the car as the snow and wind pounded us and the temperature dropped 40 degrees in a matter of minutes and believe it or not, when we got back to the car, the sun came back out and we were HOT again.
Boy the weather changes fast here!!!
Here's another panorama taken at Guanella Pass after it cleared up again
Mt. BierstadtMt. Bierstadt Panorama

All in all a beautiful day hike and complete solitude at an otherwise popular place in the summer.


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