Treasure Mountain P1K
Alberta Peak P500
Peak 11,500ft P300
Lobo Overlook
Peak 11,820ft P500

Oct 11, 2023

With: Eric Smith

Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profiles: 1 2


Wolf Creek Pass lies on the Continental Divide, at the apex of US160 between Pagosa Springs and South Fork. We were in the area to visit Treasure Mtn, a P1K, having camped at the base of it along Forest Rd 725. We added a collection of other summits in the area to round out our short day before continuing our drive towards Albuqueque for the eclipse in three days' time. The weather today had decidedly turned, temporarily bringing cold temperatures (below 32F most of the day), overcast conditions and some light snow that was more like winter than fall.

Treasure Mountain - Alberta Peak

This was essentially a re-creation of an outing John Kirk had done in 2017. After breakfasting, we left Eric's car where we'd camped and drove the Jeep up to the end of Route 725, at a saddle between the two summits. Treasure Mtn lies to the west of the Continental Divide while Alberta Peak lies directly on it. The two summits together would take us about 5.5mi with 1,600ft of gain. Much of the area had burned in the 2013 Windy Pass Fire, but new trees are evident among the many tall snags still standing from the fire. We went first to Treasure Mtn, the less interesting of the two, primarily because the hike is mostly through fire-damaged forest without views. The summit does offer views, but these were limited by the overcast conditions. We found a 2011 register left by Mike Garratt with plenty of entries.

Returning back down to the Jeep via a better variation (that more closely matched John's route), we then picked up the Treasure Mtn Trail that would take us up to the Continental Divide (oddly, not to Treasure Mtn). At Treasure Pass (which is oddly on the divide, and not at a saddle), we picked up the CDT which we then followed SE along the divide. This was the most scenic part of the day with blustery conditions and views off one side or the other. The Wolf Creek Pass Ski Area occupies the NE side of the divide as far south as Alberta Peak. We passed by a chairlift and the Continental Espresso Bar (sadly, not open for the season yet). The final climb to Alberta Peak is a short boulder and talus scramble. I took a poor line, Eric easily beating me to the summit. It was so cold at the top that he didn't wait for me to arrive. As he passed me on the way down, he said he couldn't find a register in the summit cairn. I didn't bother to look myself, not wanting to take off my down mittens. Back the same way we'd come, we arrived at the Jeep by 10:40a, about three hours for the two summits.

Peak 11,500ft

After driving back down to US160, we headed east over Wolf Creek Pass and then quickly turned north onto Forest Rd 402 for these last three summits. Peak 11,500ft isn't terribly interesting, but it's a short hike from the north following a route described by Alyson Kirk in 2014. It follows an old road now closed to traffic that used to go over the summit. It can be followed through forest with some downfall to the more open views near the summit. We found a Mike Garratt register 2021 with much of the first page missing. We spent just over 30min on the easy effort.

Lobo Lookout

This one is even easier than the previous one. Essentially a drive-up with a short walk to the overlook. Why this is considered a summit is a bit puzzling. Nice view overlooking the Wolf Creek Pass area, anyway.

Peak 11,820ft

This would be a little more work than the last two. The summit lies along the Continental Divide about a mile northwest of Lobo Overlook. We reparked the Jeep to the west at a TH near some telecom towers. We then followed this spur trail to a junction with the CDT, and followed that to the south side of the peak. The CDT bypasses the summit, but there is a good use trail heading up to a saddle on the SW side of the peak. Eric was interested in the PB-only Pt. 11,810ft on the other side of the saddle and went off to visit it while I went up to Peak 11,820ft. I found no register at the top, but nice views. Eric was still working his way back from the other point when I left Peak 11,820ft to follow the ridgeline east to another point that was as insignificant as the one Eric had visited. To give him a hard time, I named it Pt. LoboSmith, left a register and later added it to the PB database. He would not discover my joke until a week or so later. I beat him back to the Jeep by 5-10min, finishing up after 1:30p.

We had some hours of driving to reach Santa Fe, so we called a halt to the peakbagging, and headed off to New Mexico. We would dine at a mexican restaurant in Santa Fe that Eric recommended, and afterwards drove up into the Sangre de Cristo Mtns east of town. We found an excellent place to camp in the Santa Fe National Forest off Hyde Park Rd, only 15min from town. The freezing temperatures we expected didn't materialize and we slept quite comfortably that night...


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