| San Juan Centennial Peaks
PT 13832 ranked 90th
PT 13811 ranked 99th
Silver-Grizzly Gulch Trailhead
12.8 mile roundtrip
4,727 vertical feet
When I saw the trailhead update, it showed the road to the trailhead was clear. I was ready to go. I had wanted to get to these peaks last fall before the snow hit, but never made it. The Williams Creek Trailhead can be accessed in winter but that is a long hike.
The trailhead is also the start of the trail to Redcloud Peak, Sunshine Peak and several 13er's. Across the road is the trail to Handies. The road was in good shape and dry (a few puddles here and there). Cinnamon Pass is open also, which goes over to Silverton. A good description getting to the trailhead can be found on this site.
I had looked at the weather for the area before leaving. It was to be warm with wind at 45 mph, gusting to 65 mph. I was hoping that the winds would not be that bad, but the forecast was correct. It was windy and sometimes brutal. The temperatures were warm and I started out in a light capilene, no hat or gloves.
I did not have to fight for a parking spot. I figured someone would be there but other than the guy on his bike there was no one else leaving or returning.
Truck and trailhead.
Amenities at the popular trailhead. Taken on the way back out.
The dog getting fired up for the hike.
I decided that I would camp up the trail. I had plenty of time and it would give me a good start in the morning. It worked out well as the winds really took some of the energy out of me the next day. The hike out was good.
Clear blue skies.
Hiking up I noticed that the water in the creek was running a funny brown color. I figured there would be other sources for water but this did not look good. The side drainage was the source of the brown water. Once past, it was clear. The next day on the way out the side drainage had cleared.
Looking ahead from my camp spot at 12,100 along the creek. Can't say there was any really great camping spots. You get out of the trees fairly quickly and there are not any level spots. Went up 2+ miles and found this spot.
Left at 5:30 a.m. and made it to the ridge,13,020 at a few minutes past 6.
Rocks, snow and the basin leading up to the ridge.
Redcloud Peak in the early morning light.
Looking towards PT 13,561.
Just below the ridge.
A closer look at PT 13,561. The wind sounded like a jet engine once I got closer. The wind was blasting up from the south at least 65 mph. We crossed underneath and to the right of this point. Some snow to cross. Let me say that snowshoes, crampons, microspikes or axe was not needed on this hike. A few snow fields to cross along the way but all were good snow.
This is a picture I took on the way back down of PT 13,561 and the trail to there and below the point.
Looking ahead and past PT 13,561 a small cairn.
PT 13,832 ahead. There was a good trail up to and past PT 13,832. The trail was less defined the closer you got to PT 13,811.
Reached the summit at 7:05, stayed about 10 minutes to get this picture. The wife insisted I get one with the dog. North, the dog, is 11 years old and pretty spry for his age. I had to set the timer and the camera, not get blown over, then grab the dog who didn't seem to care if he got his picture taken or not. I had several dog butt pictures (literally) before I got this one. First to sign the register for 2010, although someone may have been up there with the register buried under snow.
Pt 13,832 looking across at PT 13,811 which is about 2.5 or 2.6 miles and 1300 feet roundtrip from here.
Half way across and looking at PT 13,811.
PT 13,811 summit. Summit time 8:15 a.m. One hardy soul from Lake City had signed the register on the 12th of January.
Looking back towards PT 13,832 and Redcloud Peak. It took a little longer getting back to PT 13,832 because of the headwinds.
Looking down at camp site on the way out. Back to camp at 10:45 a.m.
These peaks are in good shape for getting out there now and picking up a couple of gentle centennial peaks. The wind was the only downside, but the weather and blue skies were great. There was a lot of dust in the air around and driving home. It was fine on the two mountain peaks I was on though.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):