Uncompahgre Peak  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-21, By: turdy1991
Info: Incredibly windy, but clear and the smoke wasn't too bad. There's a fork at you reach a scramble. RIght is straight up, and left is less steak but very unstable. I read online ahead of time to go right but a guy i ran into coming down mansplained to me without invitation to go left and for some reason I listened to him. GO RIGHT. I'm someone who likes to push where my forester can go, but I'm so glad I decided to take my friends lifted jeep. That road is not playing. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-16, By: sagepf
Info: Hardest part of the trip was getting up Nellie Creek Road (stock F-150 4x4). Trail was great all the way to the summit, completely dry. Very windy day but can't beat being above 14,000'. Approx. 4.5 hr round trip. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-14, By: Hiker Mike
Info: Trail is in very good shape. Very windy day. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-30, By: Marshall
Info: Beautiful day! Did Wetterhorn first then Uncompahgre. Drove to 10,300 for the Matterhorn TH where the road splits for the last time and parked. Easy enough to get there. No snow on the trail all day. Staying on solid rock every chance you get is excellent. There is some fun scrambling near the top. Trail over to Uncompahgre is easy to follow and kinda nice. Minimal water along the way, though. There is one black hill with some slippery scree you'll have to go up (and down) right before joining the main Unc trail. The trail going up and down Unc is pretty straightforward and in fine condition from the junction up. Times: 2.5 hr to Wetterhorn summit (solid pace with some pictures), 1 hr chill, 3.5 hr to Uncompahgre summit (good pace, few pictures), 1hr chill, 2:15 back to the car (going fast, limited stops). Total: 10:15 with 2 hrs at the summits. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-27, By: jubbuh
Info: Did Wetterhorn and Uncompagre in 1 day from Matterhorn Creek TH. Long day, clocked in 19 miles at 8:30h, hauling it. Perfect conditions on both peaks, awesome day! 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-17, By: Msbaker
Info: We made it to the first river crossing in my 4WD Mazda CX-5 and decided to park there and hike up the remaining 2.2 miles to the trailhead. If you are able to cross this river and get back up onto the road, you should be able to make it all the way to the trailhead. We decided to not risk it and just hike the extra distance. This was without question, one of my favorite 14ers to date. The trail is perfection and the summit views were absolutely spectacular (especially with the recent snow storm). Most of the snow had already melted along this route as of 9/14/2020 so no traction/flotation/microspikes was needed as any snow was easily avoided. The short rock scramble is not difficult at all as the rock is solid and exposure is minimal. We ended up hiking over 12 miles from the car but this hike was one of the easiest 14ers I have done because of the incredible trail and views the entire time. I will definitely be back to do it again! 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-13, By: BlondeMtnBeard
Info: Full summer conditions below 12,800'. Some snow on the ascent of the ridge between 12,800' and 13,500', but most of this was already melting on my descent. Clear above 13,500', including the crux Class 2 portion, which was a pleasant surprise. Did not find anything deeper than a few inches. Any snow was avoidable or traversable without traction. I brought microspikes, gaiters, and an ice axe not knowing what to expect and didn't use any of them. Ive attached a few photos showing the conditions on 09/13/2020. I fully expect the entirety of the trail to be melted out in the next few days. Mud will be a nuisance until enough time passes for everything to dry out. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-09, By: sky_high
Info: Full summer conditions, no impediments on the route. CFI just installed steps to the ridgeline, making it a solid climb. No water above the treeline so make sure you fill up if needed. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-04, By: joyfulwriter
Info: Backpacked from 4WD turnoff to Nellie Creek TH (don't think my RAV4 would have handled the drive well). Beautiful day on the mountain - a few minor snow patches that were easy to cross with no traction; full summer conditions. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-01, By: s mckinney10
Info: Made it to the upper Nellie Creek trailhead without scraping anything in a 4runner. There's a good size rock to get around/over getting out of the first creek...if you can make it past this point, you'll be able to make to the upper trailhead. If you're camping, bring bug spray as the mosquitoes were on a rampage (there were almost none just down the road at the Matterhorn trailhead the night before...strange). The trail was in summer conditions with a few small snowfields to cross in the basin. No traction was needed for the ascent or descent. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-27, By: DrSluice
Info: Several small snow crossings on the approach, no need for traction or axe. Zero snow on the "climb" part of the climb. Damn that road in is something. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-19, By: 14er-er
Info: Summited from Matterhorn Creek TH. Crux and summit area completely free of snow. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-15, By: RyGuy
Info: Uncompahgre trail is nearly in full summer conditions! Just a few snowfields to cross. Microspikes not needed, but certainly can be helpful crossing the snowfields in the morning after a good freeze. Photo 1: The rest of the route from the trees Photo 2: Upper route Photo 3: Snowfield crossing Photo 4: High zoom as seen from above Lake City for overall perspective 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-19, By: heathcliff
Info: Trail is 95% dry, there are 3-4 snowfields I had to cross, each 100-200ft across, and was firm enough at 12pm to cross without traction/flotation. You can go around some of these too. The crux/scramble section up top was mostly dry except for a few patches that could be avoided, and only took a few minutes to climb. I turned right at 13800 and took the slightly steeper line because it was dry. Overall a very nice trail that is easily navigable. • The last 2 photos are looking at Wetterhorn/Matterhorn, as of 6/11 when these were taken there was still a good bit of snow remaining. • I managed to get my standard Silverado up to the upper TH, although that wheel base length without a raise pushes the limits on this road and I bumped the baseplate a couple times. The creek crossings were around a foot deep. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-22, By: Ohyeahaubzyeah
Info: Great day! Made it all the way to the 4WD Nellie Creek Trailhead in a VW Tiguan. First creek crossing was the roughest part of the road, but other than that a pretty manageable & straightforward 4WD road. Started our climb at 4:25 am to perfect weather and a rising moon. Crossed first snowfield around 5 am and snow was firm and easily crossable without traction. Not icy either. Wind heading up the first ridge after crossing sign/split for Matterhorn Creek was gnarly. Felt that we might blow off at times. At the crest/crux of the route we stayed to the right of the tower pictured and found that route was stable (but steep) with plenty of good foot and hand holds. Very straightforward from there once you regain the ridge. Summitted at 7:21 (just under 3 hours to top), left the summit just after 8, and were back at the car at 9:40. Had traction with us but didn't use at all. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-08, By: jmfb3
Info: The view of Uncompahgre from the basin is incredible. It is such a unique-looking peak. We started at 4:15AM and were in the basin for sunrise, which reflected off the ridges and walls of Uncompahgre in the most beautiful way - I am always humbled by the beauty of the San Juans. We ended up sitting in the basin for 20 minutes just to watch the sunrise. The trail was mostly clear of snow. Some patches made route-finding slightly difficult for a moment or two and we did end up off trail once toward the end of the basin. But if you're smarter than me (not hard ) you won't have much trouble. Windiest conditions I've ever experienced! Once we got to the ridge, the winds became so powerful that they were nearly blowing me over from time to time. It persisted on-and-off (but mostly on) the remainder of the hike. At first it was really cool, then it made things really difficult, then it was downright unpleasant when the wind burn mixed with the cold and the high altitude sun began to set in. Really incredible though. Absolutely loved this peak! 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-05, By: CaptCO
Info: Few snowfields to cross, supportive until 9am or so. Boot packed all the way through, brought crampons but didn't use them. Wetterhorn still looks caked, will come back another day for that one. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-05, By: NotAGoodClimber
Info: Easy going for the most part. Still had about 5 snowfields to cross, and it was posthole-central in the afternoon, but was better early mornings and evenings of course. No snow at all for the last 700 feet. Didn't need snowshoes or crampons, but gaiters were nice for the afternoon. Camped about a half-mile up the trail for 4 days and the snow was definitely melting fast. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-02, By: mtnmaneric
Info: Photo of current Uncompahgre valley / approach conditions from a climb of the three neighboring 13ers. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-04-27, By: Eagle Eye
Info: Yesterday I got an early start 1.8 miles from the TH. The road is in the process of being plowed. See Nellie Creek TH status and I'll update that too. There is deep snow on the road, I put on snowshoes right from the start and kept them on the whole day with a couple of exceptions. Drifts make it a featureless place, I followed the road up and it had almost no sign of recent visitors. Even the road was barely distinguishable. The visitor sign-in box (on a post) near the TH is slightly below the snow. Higher up I followed along the drainage, eventually leaving it in the direction of the south ridge. At the steep slope around 13,300 I put on crampons. and went up climbers left side. In the 13,800 ft 'crux' area, I went up kicking steps through a passage before the rock tower. The road in particular had softened up a lot during the day and I broke through it repeatedly in the last couple of miles, even with snow shoes on. The attached picture of the upper summit block is probably the only one I took along the way that would be helpful. The snow coverage looked very much like the last 6 pictures in the Route Description! 
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