Uncompahgre Peak  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-21, By: CJHubbard
Info: Great day on Uncompahgre yesterday. The road is plowed to the winter trailhead. From there it was a nice easy skin up mostly hard packed snow to the upper trailhead. The last conditions report was accurate to say there is a lot of snow along the route. There is a solid trench above the Nellie Creek Trailhead for about a mile but became difficult to follow after that. Most of the snow along the route is wind blown and crusty with occasional deep pockets of snow. The forecast called for mostly sunny skies but I was snowed on for most of the day. The winds were manageable though. I stashed my skis around 13,000ft and booted the rest of the way to the summit. I was too stubborn to take the time to put on any traction. Traction wasn't necessary but might be helpful. From 13,000 to the rock tower it is mostly exposed rocks with occasional knee deep pockets of snow. Above the rock tower is all exposed rocks and no snow. I spent about 90 seconds on the summit before heading back down. I skied down from 13,000 ft. The snow was crap but still fun and made the decent quick. Flotation is necessary along the route. Very happy to have skis. 
8 4
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-18, By: morgansperry
Info: Parked at the winter TH. There was a lot of snow going up to close to the end of treeline, but thankfully there was a really good path already. We took out skis off about 1200' from the summit. After that, it was easy to avoid snow and the trail was pretty obvious. While it was very windy when we were traveling through the valley around 10, by 11:30ish, there wasn't a lot of wind. We started at 6:10 am, summited around 1 pm, and were back to the car by 5 pm. 
1
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-11-23, By: didjapelli
Info: blowdowns at 9500 feet on the 4WD road for Nellie Creek, left the truck at 9300 feet and hiked from there. starting at 10500 feet, the snow on the road gets a foot deep but I poached a snowshoer's trail and never needed my snowshoes on the road. The only time today I used traction was on the first creek crossing since the rocks were iced over and I was able with my microspikes to walk across safely. At 11900 feet I put on snowshoes and kept them on until 13600 feet, below the ridge crest. From here it was largely scoured free of snow. Bluebird day. Storm didn't roll in until I was almost back to my truck. 
10 1
 
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. 
1 2
 
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. 
5 3
 
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 
4 2
 
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. 
7
 
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. 
7
 
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! 
2
 
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. 
7

Return to the main Peak Conditions page



© 2021 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.