Peak:  Crestone Peak (14er)
 Route:  South Face
 Range:  Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  krojanen
 Date of Info:  06/27/2020
 Date Posted:  06/29/2020

Hiked from Cottonwood Creek...LONG day. First 3-4 miles pretty manageable (no issues via headlamp), and then as others have stated the last ~500 or so feet gets pretty tedious route finding and bushwhacking through willows. Very scenic though with some beautiful waterfalls en route.

Had no issues up the red gully, snow is 99% avoidable. Crossed over the second higher snow patch to climber's right, maybe 8-10 steps with good boot pack and felt no need for traction or axe there. The remaining route to the summit was completely dry.

We left the TH at 4:45am and returned at 4pm, had maybe a 30 minute break on the summit. GPS tracked just over 16 miles RT and almost 6,200 in vert. There didn't appear to be much in the way of good dispersed camping spots at the TH, there was one decent-ish spot just around the bend on the left past the parking area that we pitched our tent in. Flat but at a smidge of an incline, though I actually slept better than I expected. Mosquitos did not disappoint so bring bug dope. Lastly make sure you have directions to the TH, from the town of Crestone it's pretty straight forward, basically 5.3 miles past the Baca Grande Chalet entrance (just don't search "Cottonwood Creek Trailhead" in your GPS or you will end up on a residential street of the same name). All in all an exhausting but pretty bad ass day and a post hike burger and beer at Crestone Brewing was icing on the cake.

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