Peak(s):  Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
Post Date:  06/12/2012
Date Climbed:   06/10/2012
Posted By:  BirdMan

 San Juan Suffer-Fest / Day 3: Handies from Silver Creek   

Road and camping conditions: The road to the Silver Creek TH for the most part offers no trouble for 2 WD vehicles. There were some more difficult sections that were easily passable for cars with average or better clearance. Sections of the "shelf road" were very narrow, but there was never any oncoming traffic when I was there. The Silver Creek TH was an excellent place to camp - a good deal of parking space, tent space and bathrooms.

Having hiked Uncompahgre the day before (and San Luis the day before that) I was happy to stumble on the newly opened hostel in Lake City the night before. $25 for a bed and hot shower - and not have to set-up camp in the dark - certainly seemed like a deal to me!

Anyway, the previous days had caught-up to me and I was getting a late start for Handies Peak. I got started at the Silver Creek trailhead after a leisurely breakfast at Nana's in Lake City at 10:30 am.

The route up Silver Creek is shaded in some parts and leads in to a beautiful basin. I wasn't sure if I was feeling the past two day's activities or if the trail was really that steep at the onset. Later on the trip down, I realized as my toes were being shoved into the front of my boots that the trail really was steep to begin with.

A first look at Handies.

Flowers along the way at one of the many little creeks to cross.

Getting closer I ran into a couple that were nice enough to take my photo (pointing to the destination) - again the only people I saw all day.

Having the summit to yourself is a wonderful thing, but doesn't lend itself to great photos (below). On Handies at roughly 1:30 pm.

Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn in the distance.

A look back down off the summit and some of the snowfields below. Coming from the Silver Creek trailhead, this norhteast route had the most snow I'd seen in this long weekend. With the lack of snow this winter and the warm spring, the snow in the mountains has really melted out early this year.

Handies from Silver Creek requires no route finding making this great for solo hikers. In retrospect I wish I'd taken more photos. This was a great little hike and while short has become one of my new favorites.

San Juan Suffer-Fest
Day 1: San Luis Peak -
Day 2: Uncompahgre (and almost Wetterhorn) Peak -
Day 3: Handies Peak
Day 4: Redcloud and Sunshine Peaks -

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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