Up Hematite Gulch, on to Macomber, round to Tower, and then the traverse to Dome, involving a drop down into Cataract Basin. N ridge of Dome not as bad as it looks. Down via NE ridge of Dome and out via S Fork Animas trail.
Nice hike into Hematite Gulch, lake, ascended Macomber Peak and continued onto Tower Mountain. Great views. Completed the horseshoe shaped ridge and descended the northern side (great vies into Cataract Gulch and Dome Mountain). Peaceful solitude.
Camped in Eureka Gulch, followed the south fork of the Animas to Dome Mtn's north ridge, then over to Tower, East Storm, Proposal, Emery and Bonita before following the Eureka road and some bushwhacking back to our camp. Long loop, but a rewarding day!
Nasty spring day, but at least the winds were down. Climbed tower from Macomber and then over to Dome. Visibility was about 100 feet on the summit. Don't descend Cataract Gulch! If you do, stay high on the west side of the drainage.
Hiked up the steep and efficient trail to Hematite Lake and then gained the east ridge of Macomber Peak. From there it was an easy hike to the summit of Tower Mountain. Nasty weather - rain & snow.
Thoroughly enjoyable hike with fantastic views and nary another human (in dramatic contrast to the “highway” down below). There was a decent amount of snow in the area just below the Hematite Lake basin, so route finding was slow and at times difficult (off route), but above the frozen lake, much easier hiking on snow-packed scree. As it was getting late, we turned around high up on the south slope on a long, faint switchback (approx. 12,620'). Look forward to making it back some day.
A lot of vertical but the trail made it much easier. Some of the best views of the Red Mountains. Not a single person all day long.