Summit Peak is the highest peak in the beautiful, eastern San Juan Mountains of Colorado. It is the monarch of the South San Juan Range. It ranks 29th among Colorado's Most Prominent Peaks. Summit Peak is also the high point of Archuleta County, which accounts for a few of its visitors each year.
Summit Peak is situated along the Continental Divide, within the Rio Grande National Forest, not within the boundaries of any Wilderness Area.
The Forest lays claim to be the headwaters of the Rio Grande River. The yellow-colored Alamosa River drains the Summit Peak area to the east, while the clear, blue Conejos River drains the slopes to the south.
Although the eastern San Juans are not as rugged as some of the other San Juans, the forests look healthier than others in Colorado. Sometimes described as one of the true undiscovered jewels of Colorado, this area is bustling with visitors, especially from Texas, during the summer and fall. There are numerous opportunities for fishing, camping, hunting, and escaping the summer heat. Summit Peak itself is still seldom climbed and will satisfy any true outdoorsman's craving for an isolated mountaineering adventure.
Summit Peak's rugged north face contrasts with its smooth south slope, carpeted as it is in the summer with wildflowers. View Images to get an appreciation of both sides of this mountain.
Summit Peak is generally accessed from the east, along Treasure Creek, and there are several ways to get into that area. From Antonito, drive 22 miles west on Highway 17 to Horca. Turn off there onto Forest Road 250, a bumpy gravel road which takes you northwest toward Platoro (another 20 miles). Along the way you will be enjoying the majestic scenery of the Conejos River.
From Platoro, continue 6 miles up and over Stunner Pass to the junction with Road 380. Turn west onto 380. Pass Stunner Campground on your left and continue 4 more miles to a Y at some privately owned lakes. Take the low road (left) another 3 miles to its end. This is the Treasure Creek trailhead and it is only 1.6 miles straight line distance (2.3 mile hike) to Summit Peak from here.
The most convenient campground for Summit Peak is the Stunner Campground (Rio Grande National Forest). Not reservable, but your chances are very good, especially during the week. Visit the link above for directions. Stunner Campground is only about a 7-mile drive from the Treasure Creek Trailhead.
There are numerous other Forest Service campgrounds in the area, within 20 miles, under the jurisdiction of Rio Grande National Forest. Just on the other side of Stunner Pass along Road 250, is Mix Lake Campground and cabins for rent in Platoro.