Table Mountain

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
Colorado, United States, North America
Activities:
Mountaineering
Season:
Summer
Elevation:
12688 ft / 3867 m
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Page By:
Table Mountain
Created On: Jul 26, 2016
Last Edited On: Oct 20, 2017

Overview

Table Mountain rises in the Wminuche Wilderness of the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. Its summit is made of a large grassy hump with 468 ft of prominence making Table Mountain Colorado’s 869th highest ranked peak. A rocky area to the east of the summit, may be confused with the true summit.

Maps show a trail called Kitty Creek starting at Shaw Lake near Route 160 going up to join Highline Trail very near the summit of Table Mountain. When I climbed Table Mountain in July of 2016, it appeared that a fire had ravaged the area a few years prior to my visit. At the trailhead on Shaw Lake, I found no sign of the trail. Farther up, remnants of a trail could be seen here and there. With no other landmarks visible, I found myself dependent on my GPS. Unless the trail is built again(check with forest service), you should consider it non-existent.




South face of the broad summit of Table Mountain from Mount Hope

Getting There

From Wolf Creek Pass on Route 160, drive a few miles east and turn left onto Route 410 to Big Meadows Reservoir. Under ordinary conditions, this is a well graded dirt road passable by any car. After a few miles you will see a split on the road with left going to Big Meadows Campground. Go right (on Road 430) and shortly after take right and continue less than 5 miles I suppose to reach Shaw Lake parking area (see map below).



Route

All distances are per my GPS
Place
Elevation
Distance
Shaw Lake Trailhead
9880 ft
zero miles
Abandoned Jeep Road
11150 ft
2.30 miles
Summit
12688 ft
2.60 miles
Total One Way
-
4.90 miles


Kitty Creek Trailhead was supposed to be on the left side of the road on the southwestern edge of Shaw Lake. As mentioned above, when I visited the area, a fire had ravaged the slopes. Where the trail was supposed to start, I only saw burnt trees with a dense growth of small aspen trees which required much bushwhacking. My GPS showed where the trail used to go. After a while, bushwhacking became easier.

Burnt ForestBurnt forest
Burnt forestBurnt forest


I then crossed an abandoned Jeep road and continued up the slopes going where the GPS told me to go. Fallen trees created many obstacles slowing me down.

Burnt forestBurnt forest
Burnt forestBurnt forest


In the burnt forest


At around 11800 ft the forest of big burnt trees ended and a nice grassy slope appeared making the going much easier.

Above the dense burnt forestGrassy slopes


Farther up, dead dwarfed trees appeared creating a nice foreground for the spectacular view of the distant peaks.

Montezuma, Long Trek & Summit Peaks
Burnt dwarfed trees
Burnt dwarfed trees
Montezuma, Long Trek & Summit Peaks


Going higher, the false rocky summit appeared. I began hiking toward the false summit thinking it was the true summit.

True & False Summits(L) True summit, (R) False summit


Closer up, had to find my way up the rocky slopes.

False summitFalse summit
Hiking to the false summitFalse summit


Once I reached the top of the rocky area, I realized that the true summit was a grassy area a few minutes west. Views from the summit.

Montezuma, Long trek & Summit PeaksMontezuma, Long Trek & Summit Peaks
Mount HopeMount Hope
South River Peak on the far rightSouth River Peak
Rio Grande Pyramid in the distant right?The distant Rio Grande Pyramid
Looking northwestLooking northwest
Beautiful Mountain (the name of the mountain is Beautiful)Beautiful Mountain


From the summit of Table Mountain

Zoomed view of elks to the west of the summit.

Zoomed viewElk near the summit

Red Tape

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When to Climb

Summer.

External Links

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