Shavano and Tabeguache
ElevationAscent: 5,007' 1,526 m
Descent: -5,006' -1,526 m
High: 14,179' 4,322 m
Low: 9,753' 2,973 m
GradeAvg Grade: 18% (10°)
Max Grade: 71% (35°)
Current trail conditions
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“A classic Sawatch hike summiting two Colorado 14ers.”— Tyler Prince
From the trailhead, find the path behind the bathroom. Hike about 150 yards through a clearing. Come to a junction with the Colorado Trail, turning right. Pass some cattle guards, and in about 0.25 miles, turn left onto the Mt. Shavano trail.
Follow an excellent trail through the forest. To start, grades are minimal, and any large steps are cut in by trail crews and generally supported with logs. For about a mile, the trail remains easy to follow. At about 10,600 ft, pass a large rock on your right. A stream trickles through this area, which is saturated until early summer. From here, the trail becomes rocky and rooty. Cross a stream on your left at about 10,800 ft.
Continue on mediocre trail, switching back here and there before the trees begin to thin around 11,600. Before this point, there are a few clearings providing an excellent view of downtown Salida. At 11,800, put on your sunscreen and continue up an increasingly rocky and steep path. Hike up some steep switchbacks for about 1.5-2 miles before reaching the saddle at 13,400 ft. Mt. Shavano is to your right.
From here, it's an easy class 2 scramble on rocky, grassy ledges to the summit. The terrain is solid a`nd no helmet is necessary. Continue up on the ridge, heading north for about 700 vertical ft. The trail here is often vague, but the summit is obvious. The trail should get clearer just below the summit, and jogs just to the left of the high point. Leave it briefly to summit.
From the top of Mt. Shavano, it's under a mile to Tabeguache Peak. Leave the summit, hiking down clear, rocky trail toward yet another clear summit. Lose about 600 vertical, reaching a saddle at 13,500 ft. Angle left up 500 ft of rocky, unclear, class 2 trail to reach the top of Tabeguache Peak. From here, the only realistic escape is the path from whence you came, so make sure the weather is decent before heading to this peak.
From the Tabeguache summit, turn around and do it all backwards. There's a lot of gain on this hike, so expect the return up Shavano to be a bit brutal.