Peak(s):  Trinchera Pk  -  13,517 feet
Post Date:  07/20/2011
Modified:  10/08/2013
Date Climbed:   06/26/2011
Posted By:  BobbyFinn
Additional Members:   KatieFinn, Matt

 A Short Hike Down South  

Trinchera Peak
Sangre de Cristo Range
June 26, 2011

Trailhead: In my opinion, a stock SUV can get all the way to the saddle on the 436 Forest Road. However, the Yahoo map doesn't show this road. The link above is the approximate intersection of 422 and 436. I had no problem getting pretty high on this road in my stock '04 Explorer. You can see the road on the LOJ site for this peak - it ends just north of Trinchera Peak and it actually goes all the way to the saddle. There is parking for 1 or 2 cars at most of the switchbacks above treeline.
Route: The road to the saddle and then the north ridge.
Distance: About 2.25 miles, if I remember correctly.
Who: Bob, Kate "KatieFinn," and Matt ("Matt")

After hiking Culebra and Red Mountain on Saturday, we were looking for something a little easier to hike on Sunday. Matt suggested Trinchera Peak and it was a great suggestion.

We car camped at a parking area that allowed camping just after the start of the Forest Road 436. The road is 2WD to here. The road becomes 4WD maybe .2 miles further up the road. Camping is limited along the National Forest road 422 - only camping in campsites is allowed until you get to 436. Then it seems the camping options get better.

Here is a picture of the road above treeline - as you can see, it's not too rough. The view ahead is of the saddle.

At the saddle, still on the road, looking up toward the top. However, you can't see the top yet.
Looking up.

A closer view of the route ahead. You can see a trail in this pic. We weren't able to follow the trial too well on the way up. However, on the way down it was easier to follow.

More of the route ahead.
Looking up

Looking back. You can see the main road going right to left to the saddle. The road heading toward the bottom of this picture goes to a mine that we did not visit.
Looking down

The wind was really picking up, which made the hike a bit less enjoyable. In fact, I lost a hat on this hike. I'm sure some marmot is using it as a nest right now...

The hike to now was a steep hike on grass slopes. That was about to change. At this point, we had gained most of the elevation for the peak and we had some light scrambling ahead of us. I wouldn't put this past 2+, though there is some exposure for a short while.


You can go to the right or the left of the rock rib directly ahead. The route to the left is pretty clear when you're there - we went just to the left of the top of the rib.

A closer look at the left side of the rib. We went into the notch just left of center.

Looking back at the rocky scrambly area. We went one at a time through here because there was a bit of loose rock. Nothing major, we were just being careful.

A view on the little shelf where there's some exposure on the rocky section. This isn't too bad. Class 2. Kate is on her way down here.

Here are Kate and Matt waiting for me at the top of the rocky section.

Once past the rocky/scrambly area, the rest of the route is on easy grassy slopes or pretty solid talus. The top is only a few minutes away here.

The first of 4 (yes, 4) summit cairns comes into view.

Summit cairns. The furthest one had the register.

On top, the view to the south toward Leaning North and Leaning South Peaks.

On the way down - the notch to get back to the rocky section is left of the snow. It was easy to find.

Kate heading into the notch.

Matt and Kate heading down.

A friend on the way down. This sheep looked pretty old.

Views of the east ridge near our parking spot. This route would also get you to the top.

Most of the view of the north ridge.

Another fun hike in the Colorado mountains! Thanks to Matt for picking the peak.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

07/21/2011 20:56
Yet another one I have to add to my list. Thanks for the very complete report! It also looks to me like a person could make this a loop by going up the north ridge and coming down the east ridge - true?


Longer loop
07/21/2011 22:49
You could add to this by hitting UN 12955, which I went on to grab after Trinchera, despite the wind. It's an easy ridge walk with some fun optional scrambling.
Thanks for a good morning in the mountains and for writing this up, Bob.


07/22/2011 00:04
Jay - To reiterate what Matt wrote, yes you can make a nice loop of it by going up one ridge and down the other. Or as Matt said, going up the east ridge and down the north and over to 12955. We had thought about going to the ”Leanings,” but decided against it due to the wind.


07/22/2011 16:03
Any chance you have a map line of the road and approach in? Or gps tracks? Interested in this one. Thanks!


07/22/2011 16:39
Bill - I don't have a GPS track of our route, but the LOJ site/topo (linked in the TR) map of the road looks accurate from the turn off from 422 onto 436 from right around the Blue Lakes campground until the map shows the road turning sharply southwest after going almost due north a little below the saddle. At that point, the road does indeed follow what the map says and goes to the mine, but there is a continuation of the road that heads up to the low point of the saddle with Trinchera and 12955. I think we parked at the first switchback above where the stream begins and from there it was ~2.25 miles to the top and back. There was parking for 2 SUVs there and a 3rd maybe could have squeezed in. There is ample parking above and below that point. I'll ask Matt if he has a GPS track.


Thanks for the report!
07/31/2011 04:47
Easy, short day in the mountains.

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