A good winter peak. Good views on the route, but not so much on top where you’ll find lots of trees and rocks. The actual summit is a bit hard to pick out, we were unable to find a summit jar or a USGS marker. Overall, UN 11580 provides a nice hike, good exercise and definitely worth the time.
Views near summit
UN 11580 is roughly 35 miles west of Pueblo, Colorado, near the town of San Isabel and Lake Isabel. The summit sits not far off of the Snowslide Trail #1318. The Snowslide Trail can be accessed from two points:
• Eight miles Northwest of Rye on State Highway 165 at Lake Isabel Recreation area on Forest Service Road # 376 Approximately 5 miles round trip and 2600 feet of gain, this is a great hike.
• Off of Forest Service Road # 360, Forest Service Road # 352.
There is little red tape in this part of the San Isabel National Forest. There are no fees to park or recreate in this area.
CampingNational Forest Campgrounds
|Campground Name||Elevation||Sites||Nightly Rate||Season||Notes
|St. Charles||8,800 ft.||15||$15||May through October||Near Lake Isabel Recreation Area|
|Ophir||8,900 ft.||30||$15||Late May to early September||Very close to Bishop's Castle|
|Davenport||8,500 ft.||12||$13||Late May to early September||Close to Ophir CG|
|Oak Creek||7,600 ft.||16||Free||Year-Round||Lowest elevation; Closest to Cañon City; No water|
|La Vista||8,600 ft.||27||$15-$19 (RV)||Mid-April through Mid-October||Only CG in San Isabel NF with electric hookups|
Courtesy of my wife Sarah Simon - Thanks
Weather and SeasonsThe Wet Mountains generally tend to be warmer and drier than most mountain ranges in Colorado. (They are considered "wet" compared to the arid Pueblo and Cañon City areas, however.) The trail system on Saint Charles Peak is popular with dirt bike riders. If you desire to climb this peak without the whine of engines, I suggest snowshoeing or skiing during snow season.
Expect summers to be relatively hot compared to other mountainous areas of Colorado.
The autumn leaf display in the Wet Mountains is simply spectacular. In addition the ubiquitous golden-hued Aspen, these mountains also boast thick stands of orange-to-crimson Gamble Oak.
Nowhere near as high or steep as the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to their west, many of the Wet Mountain summits sit below timberline providing nice cover from winter winds. Combined with a generally smaller snow-pack, much (though not all!) of the Wet Mountains can be enjoyed in snow season without that tingling fear of avalanche experienced in much of the Colorado high country.
The snows will typically melt earlier in the Spring in the Wet Mountains than in other, higher ranges and mountains to the north.