| South Mount Evans Wilderness 11er
Trailhead: Meridian Trailhead
Stats: 10 miles, 2,300'
I'm still trying to finish off the ranked Evans Wilderness peaks, so 11053 and Meridian Hill have been hot on the radar for a while. We started from a bone dry Meridian TH, and followed an also bone dry trail towards the Rosedale/11053 saddle. This trail is very nice, and appears that it could be quite busy at times. Snow began covering the trail around 10,400' (about .5 miles from the saddle) but nothing that warranted snowshoes. Once at the saddle, we headed east up the easy slopes to the summit of UN11053. From the saddle, the gain is very mellow. The snow was deep but solid, so the going was easy. The true summit didn't provide too great of views, but 50 yards to the south of the summit had some good sights to the south and west.
After a short stay, we headed straight down to Mud Lakes to attempt Meridian Hill. As we began to ascend Meridian Hill, we realized we were going to run out of time as two members of the party had to be back to Denver in time for a planned event. Being the navigator for the day, I decided I would return with them at LEAST to the trail. (I had driven separate.) The trek back to the trail was tough. The previously firm snow on the north slopes of 11053 turned to trap door, but with much frustration and sweat we managed to return back to the Rosedale/11053 saddle. Now in no mood to return back to Meridian Hill, I pushed it off to another day and enjoyed a relaxing descent back to the Meridian TH. Nice half day hike that is not too far from Denver.
Mount Logan from the drive into Meridian Trailhead.
Taking a pause along the Meridian Trail.
Lots of beautiful aspens along the trail. May have to revisit this spot during the fall to see the colors.
...and more aspens.
Snow getting deeper near the saddle.
UN11053 summit benchmark.
Summit view from UN11053.
Group talk on the Mad Lake flats with Meridian Hill in the background.
Mud Lakes, with Rosalie and Epaulie covered in white in the far background.
Snow deeper as we work our way back to the Meridian Trail from Mud Lakes.
Final track of the day.