Uncompahgre Peak  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-06, By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: bosnian2014 discussed almost everything relevant already, but I wanted to add: in order to stay on/in the direction of the trail when you reach the first steep snow field that swallows it, you'll want to look for the sign up high to the left on the ridge and aim for that. Going straight up under the peak and then cutting to the left to rejoin the trail at the switchbacks is also an option that another group took, but it'd be a steep one. Following the trail is way friendlier to the legs and lungs! If you're willing to put up with some postholing, though, the scenery is incredible right now...snow and blossoming wildflowers galore! 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-05, By: bosnian2014
Info: The road (CR23) was closed due to Creek Run-outs (I will post TH report). We did the hike from 2wd TH. We carried spikes, poles. We used poles a lot for balance, did not use spikes. There are still many snow fields that have to be crossed so it helps to start early to minimize post-holing. Long hike from 2WD. 
 
Route: Combo: Uncompahgre & Wetterhorn
Posted On: 2019-07-05, By: Tacocat Climbing
Info: Camped at the 4x4 trailhead for Wetterhorn Peak (Matterhorn TH). Started walking at 330am headed for Uncompahgre first. My plan was to get over and back again across the valley between the two peaks before the snow got too soft. Made noise while moving incase of bears. I packed super light, only bringing my trail-runners, micro-spikes, extra layers, and food. Saw one of the most amazing sunrises ever as I was right in the valley. Made it up Uncompahgre in 4 hours. Going back across the valley there was a little bit of post-holing, but not too bad. Most of Uncompahgre is clear of snow. Wetterhorn still has a decent amount of snow, but for the most part I stayed on top of it. Feet got wet and had some post-holing before reaching the ridge, (snow-gaiters and goretex boots would have been nice, but not necessary) The class 3 section of Wetterhorn is mostly free of snow. No issues there. Had a little difficulty finding the proper route as there are some misleading cairns. It was a long day, but one of the best ones I've had so far Video of the hike: https://youtu.be/5e3dzdtC8OQ 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-03, By: bquinta
Info: Snow wasn't too crazy no spikes or snowshoes required, but gaiters are nice as there will be postholing in some spots. I had lots of trouble locating the trail on the way up and down since it's so covered in snow. ALSO NOTE: the first river crossing on the 4WD road is partially washed out and can be sketchy even with a high clearance 4WD Vehicle 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-06-28, By: tpk7500
Info: Snow starts 2 miles up with an avalanche debris field. Fairly small so easy to get around. Trail is 75% covered past that but easy to find. No traction needed on the way up but did snowshoe out to keep the post holing to a minimum. West side and top are free of snow. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-06-17, By: salleybthomas
Info: Snow starts at 12k, the trail peaks through in a few spots but mostly hidden. Made it to around 12,7 and turned around. Lots of post holing on the way down 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-05-04, By: gunnison_garrett14
Info: There was continuous snow starting around 2 miles after the winter trailhead until the bench around 13,800'. Gully to the summit on the west side is mostly dry (image #1). Summit ski is not in but lots of good snow right now. Image #3 shows some of the avalanche debris on Engineer Pass. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-04-21, By: Will_E
Info: S26Miler and I have been waiting for a good weather day (and the road from Lake City to open) to hit up Uncompaghre before all the snow melts. County Rd. 20 from Lake City was finally opened recently to just past the Nellie Creek road. Its still necessary to start at the 2wd area, as Nellie Creek Rd. is in rough shape, a lot of snow and avalanche damage. In the morning, the snow up the road was very stiff, no traction needed at all. We made great time up the road to the 4wd trailhead. We put spikes on from there, the only dry area was near the summit, I left mine on for the short dry section (I'm lazy), S26miler took hers off. Coming back down, the snow slowly softened up, and by the time we were halfway down the 4wd road we were postholing enough that we put snowshoes on for the last 2 miles. Nice day up there. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-02-03, By: Corey17
Info: Beautiful and solitary day on Uncompahgre today! We had fresh untouched snow from bottom to top, with the upper mountain being wind blown. We wore snowshoes from the TH to 13,500, and used micro spikes to the summit. The Nellie creek road was long and draining. We left the summer route just above treeline to avoid some nasty looking cornices. Smooth sailing from there to the notch on the South Ridge. The SE slope that often has a cornice did not, and we found safe passage on the rocks to the climbers left. We left our snowshoes there, and the route to the summit was simple, wind blown, and fun. All day, the snow showed no signs of instability. We put in a killer trench if anyone wants it! Pic 1: Summit, looking towards Wetterhorn Pic 2: Close up of the often problematic SE slope Pic 3: View from treeline Pic 4: Upper trailhead Pic 5: Nellie Creek road 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-09-24, By: kayleenann8
Info: Totally dry still. It's cold before sunrise but great temps during the day in the alpine right now. Fall colors are beautiful! 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-09-09, By: ma1919
Info: Snow on the mountain above about 13000 feet this morning, but just a dusting and not enough to affect climbing. Most of it was melted out by 10 AM. The class 2 portion around 13800 was slick and held snow longer than anywhere else on the route. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-08-12, By: Jon1702
Info: Beautiful day on Uncompahgre! Dry summer conditions and ripe for hiking. Nellie Creek road was a gnarly drive in-- see trailhead report for details. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-08-08, By: wildweeks
Info: Wife, both twenty-something daughters, and I started a bit late, 7:30am, at top of Nellie Creek 4WD trail. Beautiful summer weather, light wind, mostly clear skies. 6 1/2 hrs later we checked this off our bucket list! We have never climbed before...it was truly incredible! I've been reading 14ers.com for several months, chose Uncompahgre. Thanks for great info! 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-08-02, By: Lucas Pattie
Info: It was a terrific day to climb this mtn. - sunny, warm, and pretty much wind-free. I started from the beginning of the Nellie creek road at 5:40 am, and saw no vehicles going up the 4-mile stretch up to the trailhead. There were like 6 vehicles when I got to the trailhead at 7:20 am though. On my way up the trail I passed by 4 parties of 2 on their way up. I arrived at the top at 9:25 am. There were 2 other people up there. The view was a bit hazy, but mtns. as far as I could see in all directions. Coming down the trail I passed about 8 parties on their way up. 2 of them had loud music blaring from their phones. (Does this annoy the heck out of anyone else?). It actually rained briefly in Lake City around 4 pm, so some of these later parties may have gotten some of this. Returning on the road there were some Jeeps and ATVs going up. I got back to the car at 1:00 pm - shorter day than anticipated. I would do this one again. 
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Route: Via Matterhorn Creek
Posted On: 2018-07-27, By: CoHi591
Info: Climbed Handies on the 25th and Wetterhorn & Uncompahgre on the 26th. Not much to report, they are all of course in full beautiful summer conditions with low stream crossings. Doing Wetterhorn & Uncompahgre this way was beautiful but certainly a long day, as forewarned. It took me exactly 9 hours car to car (from the lower 2wd TH) including about 15-20 minutes per summit. Had Wetterhorn to myself just after sunrise, but the crowds were in full force on Uncompaghre by 930 am when I got there. While I am happy to have gotten to experience both peaks on a short weekend, I would probably have enjoyed my trip a little more had I climbed Wett/Unc separately, if for no other reason than I could have been on Unc much earlier. It was certainly not a big deal, but I did see my first ever mountain lion hanging out under the face of Uncompahgre on my way over from Wetterhorn. It was comfortably far away and utterly uninterested in me, but there was no mistaking it. I also saw a few deer(?) bones just off the trail, but they had obviously been there a very long time and I didn't feel like it was a kill cache or anything. Just something to note. Anyway, first time in the San Juans in the summer, and it was absolutely incredible. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-06-24, By: Craig Jones
Info: Trail all clear save a small, mildly annoying, soon to vanish snow patch just past last crossing of Nellie Creek. Flowers everywhere from trailhead to summit. Overall trail condition good, but appears a small flood of first creek you cross near trailhead made for a sandy mess. Erosion control on the ridgeline ascent from 13,000'-13,200' would be welcome (steps or tight switchbacks). Going up to scramble section near 13,800', trails seem to lead more to the right (south, steeper) ascent, which has a lot more clean rock than the left (north) less steep ascent which is where the trail coming down tends to direct you. Toilet at the trailhead was unlocked and being used. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-06-11, By: hilo21
Info: Trail is 95% dry, a few small patches of snow still remain. Traction not required. Wild flowers are starting to bloom. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-06-02, By: MatthewWatson
Info: Brought traction but didn't use it. Postholed once or twice in short snow fields around 13,000'. The summit and the talus leading up to it are all dry and clear. 
 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-05-26, By: merrion13
Info: Early summer conditions on Uncompahgre, several snowfields to cross but none require flotation or traction. Some ice on the trail as you get near the switchbacks on the ridge but overall it was hiking more like mid to late June. 
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Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-04-01, By: annamigl
Info: Still a bit of snow on route right now- would definitely need snowshoes if hiking anytime soon. Not enough snow for (good) skiing, way too much for normal hiking conditions. The class 2 scramble up to the top is fairly free of snow, but requires some climbing up snow to reach it. The summit is completely bare of snow though. It's going to be in good hiking condition here quickly when everything starts melting! 
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