Uncompaghre Peak - San Juan 14er Trip

Page Type
Trip Report
Colorado, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Aug 1, 2010
Hiking, Scrambling
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73.06% Score
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Uncompaghre Peak  - San Juan 14er Trip
Created On: Aug 17, 2010
Last Edited On: Aug 17, 2010

Uncompahgre Peak...

I have been hiking and peak bagging in Southern New Mexico, Arizona and West Texas for a long time, but just recently was bitten by the 14er bug. I decided to take a week and do a few in the San Juan Range because I was hoping to avoid the crowds - and I did. I ended up bagging 6 14ers...

This is a TR for Uncompahgre Peak...

I drove into Lake City, CO on evening of July 31. I setup camp at Elkhorn Campground in Lake City. I was initially going to camp at trailheads during this trip, but I convinced my family to join me for the last half of the week by staying at a campground with hot showers, BBQ grills and free WI-FI... ;-) In hindsight, I really enjoyed this campground, and the facilities were nice, the camp was clean, and the owners (Floyd and Janet) are VERY nice! I would recommend Elkhorn Campground to anyone who was going to camp in the Lake City area and wanted some creature comforts... Great place for RVs and camper trailers, but also a pretty cool place for tent camping.

August 1, 2010 - Uncompahgre Peak:

Uncompahgre Trailhead

Got up at about 0500 and drove to the Uncompahgre Nellie Creek trailhead. This was my first time in the area, so I tried to do my research and understand where I was going before heading out. I have 4x4 Dodge Ram with a 6-inch lift and BFG AT tires, which do well in the desert mountains, and I was pretty confident I would be able to get to the upper trailheads on the climbs I had planned. I made it up to the Uncompaghre trailhead in short order, over a couple streams and found a couple 4x4s trucks already there. If I recall correctly, I started hiking about 0630 or so. It was a cool morning with light rain/mist. I ate breakfast and checked my gear, etc. before I took off...

In hindsight, this was one of my favorite hikes. I saw more wildlife on this climb than any other... Mother and two baby foxes were out and about...

Mama Fox

Baby Fox

This was my first experience with marmots and I had a good laugh observing them. At one point two of them came running right at me on the trail. Glad I had my camera ready...


Having climbed a lot of class 3 and some 4 in New Mexico and Arizona I was anxious to see how those climbs ranked compared to Colorado. Uncompahgre is rated as a class 2 and it was a nice hike for me... No issues with terrain or difficulty EXCEPT I had only been at altitude for about 10 hours and I could really feel the difference. I ski yearly in Colorado, but this seemed much harder on my system... As a side note here - I had no problems with altitude sickness during my trip, and felt stronger every climb... The trail was well marked and easy to follow. Very little to no route finding skills needed here...

Met some cool folks on the summit who clicked this victory shot of me on my first 14er!

Uncompahgre Summit



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