"Phoenix Peak"  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: West ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-18, By: blazintoes
Info: Via East Willow Creek to the waterfall now WI3. Phoenix west ridge is very steep with unconsolidated snow and wicked winds that whipped me knocking me down many times. Snowshoes up, micro spikes down the south ridge to avoid the wind. La Garita trail back to Phoenix Park took much longer than anticipated d/t terrible thigh deep sugary snow. 18.8 miles r/t and 6700 vert. Pretty hard solo effort IMO and I'm no MadDadMike. It took me 14 hours to complete. 
15 2
 
Route: 502-1a/787 trail
Posted On: 2020-12-06, By: VeraUndertow
Info: Was able to my 4x4 Tacoma right to the split of 502-1A off of 502, the road has some serious icy patches and a high center with two tracks. I think a high clearance subie or cuv could make it up no problem right now tho. There is a very nice trench up to 11.5k thanks to CaptCo/Carl yesterday. I used my snowshoes and would recommend floatation. Above 11.5k was a mix of solid supportive snow, punch crust, sugar snow (knee high in a few places) and exposed talus. No need for an ice axe but microspikes might be nice, although I didn't use mine. Followed the ridge over to unranked La Garita Peak after summiting Phoenix and the conditions were the same as noted above. Don't think Phoenix will get any easier till the spring. Thanks again CaptCo & Carl for trenching 
9 1
 
Route: Southwest Ridge from Phoenix Park
Posted On: 2020-12-05, By: Carl_Healy
Info: Parked at least a mile below "2WD Trailhead" for Phoenix Park, right at turn off for "Outlet Mine," thanks to ice. Though 4WD vehicles could have likely made it further. The 4WD road seems to hardly be a 4WD road... Need some serious equipment to get up there (and a couple of downed trees were in the way.) My partner and I trenched with snowshoes from basically the start of the 4WD road, though they perhaps weren't seriously needed until we cut South across the creek at Phoenix Park. From that point on snow ranged from knee deep to waist deep until just above treeline. Unfortunately this route appears to have a significant portion of it follow North-ish facing slopes on the side of a gully, which had all the deep and soft snow which was pretty tough to trench through. The other side is the gully (south-ish facing) was almost dry, and had me and my partner really wondering if there was a route there that would have worked better. Above treeline the snow was soft in places and hard and easily climbable in others. Approaching the final ridge to the summit almost all the snow was very hard and very easily climbable. There were also patches of dry talus above treeline here there. 
9 2
 
Route: West Ridge from Phoenix Park
Posted On: 2020-10-18, By: supranihilest
Info: The road to Phoenix Park's upper trailhead is extremely rough. 4WD and high clearance both absolutely required. From the upper trailhead we went straight up "Phoenix"'s west ridge, which starts almost immediately from the parking lot. At first it's steep aspen, then gives way to blocky, solid rock in the trees, and eventually, above treeline, just talus. Several thousand feet worth. This was a very simple and efficient hike given its direct nature but it was about a 0/10 on the fun scale. 
 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-18, By: angry
Info: From 502-1A, trail is in good shape. It doesn't take much route finding to navigate any downed trees or creek crossings. 
4
 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-04, By: Danger_D
Info: We followed the route as described by Roach. First off, the 4WD road is in TERRIBLE shape, and it seems it hasn't been maintained for several years. We had a slightly tricked out 4Runner and even with a spotter it was tough. Its doable, but its very slow and we thought it wasn't worth it and recommend you start at the 2WD trailhead. As for the route its in summer conditions. Once you enter Center Stock Driveway and head up the side valley there are some beaver damns which are causing some ponds which make routefinding slightly difficult. There are good logs and cairns guiding you, but don't cross the stream too soon. After this the route is very straight forward 
 
Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2019-11-09, By: supranihilest
Info: The road to Phoenix Park is icy but there are several places to pull off prior to that. The trail from the road across the creek isn't super obvious but there is an unsigned marker. Snow begins shortly after the creek crossing. Follow the trail on the north side of the creek past beaver dams until it forces you to cross on some willows. From this point until treeline the trail is entirely covered in snow. We did it in trail runners and the snow is loose and sugary so it's terrible for walking on. There's about 2-3 inches worth. From treeline things generally dry out snow-wise but without perfect route finding you'll be marching through marshy willows - arrive early enough and the entire thing will be frozen and you can just walk right through it. From there just walk up the steepening west slopes to the summit. The upper slopes are rather loose dirt but route finding is pretty easy since the slopes are so wide open. 
 
Route: Combo w/ La Garita
Posted On: 2019-10-28, By: Randy1983
Info: Made it up Phoenix and La Garita on Saturday with badgerhiker. Wasn't sure if there would be snow so we took microspikes but never needed them. The entire route up both peaks was nearly completely free of snow and ice. The morning was pretty cold though, so we started a bit late. Since we knew we had a good weather day, we took our time trekking up La Garita. The ridge between LG and Phoenix looks pretty long but goes fast as it's very gentle. Followed some nice cairns on the way down and linked up with the trail around 11,800'. Was so thankful that the avalanche debris and downed trees around 10,500' had been cleaned up since my trek here in August. 
6
 
Route: From 502-1A
Posted On: 2019-09-21, By: WildWanderer
Info: Last report still valid, I'm just adding pictures. 503 is still closed, take 502. The only downside is this is a "shelf road" and there are very few places to pass vehicles. Otherwise it's easy 4WD. I parked at the start of 502-1A. There's room for two vehicles to park here if you park nicely (so if you're first please back in to allow another vehicle to fit). My tracker says this adds 1.4 miles from where I parked at the crossing of the 502 and 502-1A to the start of the 787 trail (so less than 3 miles total). You lose some elevation in the beginning but your vehicle will thank you and the hike out was easier than I'd expected. I'd never drive this in my 4WD Tundra, but I did see two other trucks make it to Phoenix Park (not sure how they came in. Both belonged to groups of hunters and were pretty beat up to begin with). Trail well cairned until treeline, which is great because it doesn't look like this trail is used often. There's a path to avoid the avalanche area that's not yet dirt but you can see it as trampled grass to the left of the creek. All of the stream crossings are doable without getting your feet wet (if you don't mind jumping a bit). Lots of frost in the morning, so wear waterproof pants. Otherwise, summer conditions (with fall colors), and very, very windy and cold at the summit. 
5
 
Route: South Slopes from Phoenix Park
Posted On: 2019-09-13, By: 9patrickmurphy
Info: Trail is pretty straightforward, decently well-defined below treeline, typical 13er trail. The 502 road is closed due to a washout, and it sounds like fixing it is rather low on the Forest Service's priority list. You can still get to the start of the Phoenix Park 4WD road by taking 503 to a forest service road that goes north, then switchbacks down the other side of a hill. This road is really good, any AWD car will have no issue, potentially possible with 2WD and good clearance. Don't drive the Phoenix Park road unless you have a lot of clearance. I mean a lot. I take my stock 2004 4Runner up a lot of stuff, and I believe myself to be a rather experienced offroader at this point, and this road was very difficult. I got out with minimal body damage (but non-zero). If you have a lifted 4Runner, Jeep, or the like, you should be fine with good line selection, but line selection is vital as the rocks on this road are very large. This road would probably be a "5" on Middlebrook's trailhead rating scale. For some reason I thought the road got better after the first section, but it stays the same and then gets a lot worse. There are hardly any areas to turn around. Walking the road only adds 3 miles at most, and it would be an easy stroll. 
 
Route: W ridge from Midwest mine
Posted On: 2018-11-10, By: CarpeDM
Info: Not much snow. Bare to 2 to 4 inches along the La Garita stock driveway. Was surprised to come across a Wrangler (stock, I think) and an ATV in Phoenix park. One maybe 100 yd section of knee-deep postholing at a flat-ish spot along the W ridge at about 12,500. Wore gaiters. Needed no other winter gear. I was quite warm until the bit of icy wind near the summit ridge. Pic1: Phoenix and Phoenix Park (with soft focus effect from the phone being in my sweaty pants, ha!) Pic2: About as deep as you'll find except for the one spot on the ridge Pic3: San Luis group 
3
 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2018-05-28, By: HikerGuy
Info: Summer conditions, no snow to cross anywhere, very dry. Just under 12 miles round trip. Parked in pull out about 100 yards downhill from East Willow Creek TH, which is not signed as a trailhead, just where the 4wd portion of the road begins. Some beavers have made a mess of the second creek crossing, find what works. I went up one way and down another. The views from this peak are incredible, 360 degrees, nothing but snow capped mountain ranges (except for the poor Sangres). 
 
Route: Mostly the summer route
Posted On: 2018-01-08, By: bmcqueen
Info: I climbed Phoenix today from the Phoenix Mill Site Just outside of Creede. Didn't even carry my snowshoes and never put on my spikes. Certainly some snow here and there, but not enough to have any impact at all. 
2
 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2017-08-28, By: dwoodward13
Info: Road up to Phoenix Park is good for any car. Trail leaves from some info signs across a restored meadow. I made the mistake of crossing the creek too soon as Roach mentions. You will pass an old trailhead sign then shortly see a log bridge across the creek with what appears to be a trail up on the other side. Don't take this! Continue up the north side of the creek through thick downfall and once you are totally above the beaver ponds there will be good places to cross and the trail will continue. The stock driveway trail after the creek is thin but noticeable with a small path and cairns. Route above tree line is obvious with small segments of trails and a few cairns. Saw no people of a beautiful Saturday! I believe I used a gps track from a TR by USAKeller that was spot on and helpful to make sure I was on route minus the creek blunder. 
 
Route: West Ridge/slopes
Posted On: 2017-03-15, By: d_baker
Info: Day 1: approach up E Willow Creek (CR 502, N side of Creede). ~4 mi's ~1750' gain Camped just before the Whited Creek crossing. Day 2: hiked up through Phoenix Park to access W Ridge/slopes to summit. ~3mi's (one way) ~3700' gain Conditions Day 1: Road is packed from snowmobile & foot traffic for first several miles, and there was a track going into Phoenix Park. I also knew there would be a "trench" from previous weekend. I intentionally poached it. I set it up that way. Travel to camp was on supportable snow while wearing snowshoes for most of approach. I wouldn't recommend this approach with a winter snowpack after a heavy snow fall. However, it's very spring like down there right now. Day 2: Snow froze overnight, which made for good travel leaving camp and ascending up the W side of Phoenix. Upper mountain (above treeline) is mostly windswept. Coming down was horrific though. Spring slop mashed potato trap door variety of fun. Pack out from camp wasn't a joy either. Treed slopes up to treeline on W side of Phoenix is a workout! But is safe in higher avalanche conditions. 
8 7
 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2016-10-10, By: RyGuy
Info: The South Slopes route to Phoenix Peak is nearly all dry. A few snow patches near 11,400 in the forest, but that's it. The beavers in the Aspen grove just above Phoenix Park have been busy, which makes the trail a bit of a mess to navigate but nothing crazy difficult. 
 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2016-09-28, By: desertdog
Info: No snow at all. The trails were easy to follow with plenty of cairns; however, right after the TH sign mentioned by in Roach's description beavers have downed a bunch of trees flooding the trail. Just keep to the left side of the creek for 50 or so yards and you will pick the trail back up. This is good one if you like solitude and big open views! 
 
Route: S. Slope
Posted On: 2015-06-18, By: illusion7il
Info: ALL CLEAR !!! Stream crossing is knee deep 
 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2013-07-22, By: Nathan Hale
Info: Absolutely no snow, and the creek crossings were all easy to manage without getting your feet wet. This is a really pretty route, too. 
 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2012-09-03, By: TravelingMatt
Info: The directions in Roach‘s 13ers book are spot on. The "crux" is knowing where to make the second stream crossing, which is the first crossing after the signboard. I counted ~400 paces from the signboard to the crossing, which entailed going over several blowdowns. From this crossing it was another ~400 paces to the third crossing, which is the easiest of the three. From there the La Garita Stock Driveway was easy to follow. It is possible to make the second crossing another ~200 paces beyond where Roach says to, but this requires a bit of bushwhacking. 

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