Peak(s):  Taylor Mtn A  -  13,651 feet
Aetna, Mt  -  13,745 feet
Date Posted:  06/08/2020
Date Climbed:   06/05/2020
Author:  Mtnman200
Additional Members:   RandyMack
 Coming Soon To A Theater Near You  

Taylor Mountain (13,651') and Mt. Aetna (13,745') stand guard at the head of a large south-facing amphitheater between Poncha Springs and Monarch Pass and are quite visible from US 50. Taylor and Aetna combine nicely for a two-bicentennial day.

Thursday, June 4, 2020. Randy and I left home about 3:45 PM and drove east of Poncha Springs to the blink-and-you'll-miss-it town of Garfield. At the western edge of Garfield, we turned onto Forest Road 230 and followed it 1.5 miles west to the intersection with Forest Road 230C at 10,542'. We were pleasantly surprised to find we could drive north on FR 230C about 1/2 mile to 11,140', where we set up camp.

Ducking under a fallen tree on FR 230; sometimes it's better not to have a 3" lift (Photo taken on the drive out the next day)

A very rustic cabin at our campsite

Friday, June 5, 2020. It wasn't long before the road was blocked by snow, so it's a good thing we hadn't tried to drive farther yesterday.

Today's objectives are beginning to come into view

From the road's end at about 11,600', we climbed east and northeast toward Taylor Mountain's southwest ridge.

Heading toward Taylor's SW ridge

As we ascended Taylor Mtn., we were treated to a nice view of Mt. Aetna...

...and found ourselves on a well-constructed old mine trail

Once on Taylor Mountain's SW ridge, it was an easy climb toward the summit.

Looking down Taylor's broad SW ridge

Looking up Taylor's SW ridge from the same location as the previous photo

As we got closer to Taylor's summit, the ridge became rockier

Randy is standing on Taylor Mountain's summit

Signing the Taylor Mtn. summit register, with Mt. Aetna in the background

A closer look at Mt. Aetna from the summit of Taylor Mtn.

Looking NW from Taylor's summit, with Mt. Aetna at far left

The view looking SW from Taylor's summit

Looking west from Taylor's summit, with Mt. Aetna to the right

After trading messages with fellow member TakeMeToYourSummit (Brad), we headed west along the ridge toward Mt. Aetna (partially visible at far left)

Looking back (east) at the summit of Taylor Mtn. from the Taylor - Aetna ridge

Looking west toward Mt. Aetna

The amphitheater south of Taylor and Aetna, with Boss Lake visible just above the center of the photo

Taylor Mtn. from the same location as the previous two photos

It didn't take long to reach the 13,020' Taylor-Aetna saddle and the only snow we would cross all day.

Snow on Mt. Aetna, just above the Taylor-Aetna saddle

Randy is crossing the snow. It won't be long before the snow's melted

Looking west at the summit block of Mt. Aetna from the Taylor - Aetna ridge

The traverse to Mt. Aetna was straightforward, and soon we were on its summit. Unlike Taylor Mtn., there was no summit register on Mt. Aetna.

Looking north from Mt. Aetna's summit

The view NW from the summit of Mt. Aetna

Looking south from Mt. Aetna's summit; Boss Lake is in the center of the photo

After enjoying the views, we headed down Mt. Aetna's SSE ridge. The initial part of the descent was on broken rock, but the footing got better as we descended.

Looking north toward Mt. Aetna's summit from our route down its SSE ridge

Looking west at Taylor Mtn. from the same location as the previous photo

Once we'd descended to about 12,000', we headed SE toward the road we'd taken earlier today.

Our descent route from Mt. Aetna's SSE ridge is just left of center, with Mt. Aetna's summit visible at right (Taken from where we returned to the road)

Looking north toward Mt. Aetna and Taylor Mtn. from the same location as the previous photo

Looking south at avalanche debris on Forest Road 230C from the same location as the previous two photos

A short hike down the road brought us back to our campsite and the end of an enjoyable climb. The loop we took to climb Taylor and Aetna can be done either direction, but it's easier to start with Taylor as we did today and do a counter-clockwise loop. (In 1993, my dad and I started with Aetna and descended today's ascent route.) Both peaks would also make good snow climbs.

Blue = ascent route; red = descent route

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions

06/08/2020 10:29
Looks like you two had a great day!


06/10/2020 14:20
Question - can an old subaru outback reach the intersection with Forest Road 230C at 10,542'?


06/10/2020 14:37
Jay: Thanks. It was a fun day.
swadmin: I think an Outback should be fine on FR 230 to the intersection with FR 230C at 10,542â. FR 230C is rougher, however, so Iâd park the Outback at that intersection.


Thanks for the info!
06/11/2020 14:18

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