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blue San Luis Peak - North Summit Route

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Trail

12.6 mile 20.3 kilometer loop
Singletrack
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 3,563' 1,086 m
Descent: -3,563' -1,086 m
High: 13,969' 4,258 m
Low: 10,478' 3,194 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 58% (30°)

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Trail shared by Tyler Prince

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One of the most remote and easiest Colorado 14ers.

Tyler Prince

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

San Luis Peak is over 30 miles by dirt road off CO Hwy 50 near Gunnison. While an easy hike, simply getting to the trailhead is a bit of a challenge. This is an excellent choice for those who want an easier 14er to hike but don't want to deal with the crowds typical of the Front Range. Even on a summer weekend, you're unlikely to see more than ten other people!

Need to Know

While an easy 14er, San Luis Peak is still an alpine environment, and a long way from civilization! Bring good footwear and clothing, along with plenty of water, and expect 8 hrs round trip for the average hiker. Oh, and your cell phone won't do you any good out here.

Description

From Gunnison, drive east on US Hwy 50 for a short period of time. Head south on CO 114...and brace yourself for 47 miles of mostly dirt road driving. Drive 20 miles and turn right on the NN-14 road. Drive 6.8 miles and turn right onto the 15-GG road. This road wraps around a lake; stay left. From the start of 15-GG, drive 15.7 miles until you reach a junction. Continue straight on Forest Service Rd 794, following signs for the Stewart Creek Trailhead. Drive 4.3 miles to a signed trailhead. The small parking lot was closed in 2014; now you must park along the road. Don't worry - you're in the middle of nowhere and there should be plenty of room. As an alternative, the Eddiesville Trailhead is a quarter mile down the road and has a brand new latrine, if that's your thing. Just make sure you start up the right trail!

Head west on a clear trail along Stewart Creek. The grade remains low and there are very few rocks or roots for about 4 miles. After 4 miles, the trees begin to thin as you enter a clearing at 12,000 ft. There are multiple drainages in this area, some of which you may have to traverse depending on the condition of the trail. At 12,300 ft turn left (SW) and head through some willows, coming to a wider creek.

From here, the grade begins to increase. Cross the creek and continue up a steeper slope, still on good trail, until you reach a small saddle. From here, bear west, leaving the Stewart Creek Trail and heading up the San Luis Peak Trail at around 12,800 ft. At 13,000 ft the trail becomes a talus field, still wide and with consistent fist-sized rocks. Continue on the left side of a rocky ridge, cresting around 13,700 ft. From here, follow a clear trail up some switchbacks to an obvious summit with a USGS marker. Depending on the time of year, you may be the only person within a 30 mile radius.

Flora & Fauna

From wildflowers, aspens, and conifers down low, to willows, pikas, and marmots up high, there's plenty to see here.

History & Background

Unsurprisingly, this remote summit has little history and is but a blip on the radar for all but ardent 14er summit collectors. With the Colorado Trail just a little over a mile south of the summit, the peak is likely passed by dozens of through-hikers and mountain bikers who give it little thought.

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Check-Ins

Aug 11, 2018
Edward Ryder
reached the peak , no more up! 7.5mi
Jun 21, 2017
Ashton Leinen
Mostly clear. A few downed trees. The two creek crossing had several ways to cross. Only 4 snow fields to cross, would be wasted effort to avoid. 13.6mi — 7h 45m
Jul 5, 2014
Jodi CO

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 4 votes

#3402

Overall
  3.5 from 4 votes
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Rankings

#421

in Colorado

#3,402

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