Greenhorn Mountain P2K
North Peak
Saint Charles Peak P1K
Deer Peak P750

Jul 30, 2020

With: Tom Becht
Eric Smith

Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profile


North Peak - Greenhorn Mtn

Another rest day. We were doing so well with our schedule, not yet missing a day of hiking/climbing despite some rough weather, that we had an extra day before Tom would have to leave our happy little group. I was interested in Greenhorn Mtn, a lowly 12er, because it was a P2K and the highpoint of Pueblo County. It also happens to be the highpoint of the Wet Mtns, a minor range on the edge of the Colorado Plains, and the highpoint of the Greenhorn Mtn Wilderness. Tom discovered there was a nearby P1K we could add, but to me the other three were all bonus peaks. We drove my jeep from our campsite on the crest of the Wet Mtns about 10mi to the edge of the Wilderness where a parking area and TH are found. We used Beth Lakin's GPX track from PB, essentially recreating her outing from two years earlier. There are two trail that start from this TH, one going up and over the crest of the range at one of two saddle between the two peaks, the other the continuation of the road as it traverses southeast along the west side of the crest, but no longer open to vehicle traffic. We would start out on the former, visiting North Peak first, then traverse to Greenhorn Mtn along the crest before descending to the old road and following that back to the start. We didn't get started until after 7:30a because there was little concern for inclement weather today and we would hardly need all the available daylight. It took less than half an hour to follow the trail as it switchbacks up to the crest, then a short 10min hike up easy slopes to the open, grassy summit of North Peak. The most enjoyable part of the day was the hike southeast along the crest between the two summits, an hour-long effort that we made at a casual pace. From the summit of Greenhorn Mtn, the Colorado Plains stretch out to the east, haze limiting views to about 30mi or so. Spanish Peaks can be seen 20mi to the south with the Sangre de Cristo Range to the west. The most unpleasant part of the day was the decent off Greenhorn's summit, a long talus slope comprised of loose dinner plates that went on far longer than any of us would have liked. The road/trail was reached after about 20min, followed by an easy 30min hike back to the trailhead where we arrived by 10:20a.

St. Charles Peak

An hour's driving got us to the St. Charles Peak Trailhead on the south side of the mountain, less than a quarter mile from the summit. The trail is hardly direct and doesn't actually go to the summit, but we used it anyway, taking 20min for the effort. The summit is wide and flat but open to views. There is a nice view of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range to the west. On the way back we skipped the trail and made a beeline cross-country through the forest, taking only 10min - a much faster way between trailhead and summit.

Deer Peak

This is a drive-up about four mile northwest of St. Charles Peak. A small collection of telecom towers have been installed at the summit, trees blocking much of the views. Not a terribly interesting summit overall.

On our way back out of the mountains we stopped at Bishops Castle along SR165. This is a fascinating structure of truly monumental proportions built by Jim Bishop over the course of some 60yrs, and still building. Vistors are welcome free of charge, and the castle is always open. Definitely worth a visit!


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More of Bob's Trip Reports

For more information see these SummitPost pages: Greenhorn Mountain - Saint Charles Peak - Deer Peak

This page last updated: Tue Sep 8 17:01:17 2020
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