LoJ: #326 (Pre-LiDAR #346) / 13,391' De Anza Peak De Anza Peak A

Quadrangle › Electric Peak
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 38° 10' 01.27", W 105° 41' 12.34" (Not Field Checked)

Peak Summary

De Anza Peak A is climbed in conjunction with Electric Peak, Gibbs Peak and Mount Marcy in our accounts. Use Electric Peak A as the approach for De Anza. Access is from either the Gibson Creek Trailhead or the Ducket Creek TH via the Rainbow Trail to the South Brush Creek Trail. The Ducket Creek appears to be a little shorter with less elevation gain & loss, however we have never used that access ourselves. We did these peaks as part of a backpack trip with a timberline camp up S. Brush Creek. From Electric Peak, De Anza is an easy Class 1 to barely Class 2 ridge walk or a Class 2 from the timberline campsite via the north face and NE ridge. Lidar measurements increased the elevation by 29 feet.

De Anza A NW Ridge Route

Class 2
Long Day // Back for Dinner
Climbed with Gibbs Peak + Mount Marcy
RT From Gibson Creek TH: 23.5 mi / 5,500'
RT From : 4 mi / 1,000'
From : 2.00 mi / 1,000' (One-Way)
  • Trailhead
    • Gibson Creek TH

      From the Town of Westcliffe: Alternate A: Drive north on HWY 69 and in about a mile, turn west onto CR170 (Hemenway Road) which will first head NW, then west. CR170 will take a brief jog to the north and then back to the west at CR175. Continue west and make another jog to the north at Pines Rd. then back to the west again. At a "Y" intersection, turn left onto CR171, (Ute Mesa Trail, but the Forest Service map seems to identify this as FR173. There should also be a Forest Service sign here for the Gibson TH.) driving through open fields and homes to CR172 (N. Taylor Road) where you will turn right (west), then head SW to the trailhead. The road officially ends in a short circle. A road continues on to private property. A trail heads north from this trailhead location to intersect the Rainbow trail (N38° 08' 28.87" W105° 36' 04.92"). There is private property all along this access. Please be respectful. At the bottom of all this description is a link to the San Isabel NF trailhead description for Lake of the Woods Trail and the Gibson Creek TH.

      Alternate B: From the main intersection of Highways 69 and 96 in Westcliffe, drive south on 69 .3 mile and turn west (right) onto Hermit Road (CR160). Drive 5.9 miles west and then the road will turn north to intersect CR172. Hermit Road becomes Sampson Ridge Road as it switchbacks to make the connection, passing residences and ranches and working around "The Hogback." At CR172, turn left to finish the short drive to the TH. It's another 1.5 mile to the trailhead from the turn off Hermit Road. The last .2 mile on 172 may be rough and rutted according to one more recent source. Passenger cars may have some difficulty. If you're unable to park at the trailhead parking, park back along the road but be respectful of private property.

      For another trailhead access to either South or North Brush Creeks, see the Ducket Creek TH, which is about 5 miles north on the Rainbow Trail of the S. Brush Creek trail and probably has less unnecessary elevation gain and loss. Look under our trailhead listing.

      For an alternate access to the west side of the Sangre de Cristo Range and peaks in the same areas as Lake of the Clouds, try the "Cotton Creek" trailhead. Look for that name under the Trailhead listings. We have never used this trail, but it does show on the Rio Grande National Forest map and the Trails Illustrated Map # 138. The link below goes to the Rio Grande National Forest description of the trail:


      Forest Service description of Lake of the Woods Trail and Gibson Creek TH: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/psicc/recreation/recarea/?recid=12756&actid=104


      Since there is so much private property along the access to the Gibson trailhead, we do not advise camping. Even at the TH, there is private property close by. You may be able to camp right at the TH but probably nowhere else on the way in.

    Approach Map Photos
    • From Gibson Creek TH via

      This approach description begins at the Gibson Creek Trailhead (which makes it longer than the Ducket TH) because we have actually been to and used the Gibson TH. The approach goes north on the Rainbow Trail for 6.2 miles before turning west up the South Brush Creek Trail for another 3.5 miles to a possible campsite. Because the Rainbow Trail crosses so many drainages, there is a lot of cumulative elevation gain and loss over that 6.2 miles resulting in an estimated 2,200 feet of unnecessary gain before reaching the S. Brush Creek Trail. If coming from the Ducket TH, we estimate 1,200 feet of unnecessary elevation gain and about 5 miles to the S. Brush Creek turnoff. Pick you poison.

      From the Gibson Creek TH, head NNW on a lesser trail to gain the Rainbow Trail and continue north on the Rainbow through the numerous and tiring ups and downs. Turn west up the signed South Brush Creek trail (6.2 miles and up to 3 hours with packs) which works its way steadily up the valley. The trail intersection is signed and has a register. Hike through forest to the Goat Creek crossing (usually a trickle) and then climb more steeply a half mile up to a ridge, then drop down to South Brush Creek. You may have to search for a place to cross the creek, especially in higher runoff season. Regain the trail on the north side and head west up the valley. The trail will from this point on stay on the north side of the creek and usually a good distance from it. Our 1996 visit found the trail in good shape - not too rocky or worn. The middle section of this trail was the steepest and slowest. Hike/backpack to the last trees around timberline and look for a campsite as described in the Camping section.


      At some of the last trees near timberline, at about 11,600 - 11,700 feet, we found a good campsite about 100 yards north of the creek, in a little "hollow" protected on 3 sides by trees and on the fourth side by the mountain slope. If it's windy, this is a somewhat protected location. Sorry - don't have GPS coordinates of the exact location. The location provided on the Google Earth photo is only a guess.

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    Peak Icon Route Map Photos

    Route Info De Anza A NW Ridge

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 1996

    From Electric Peak A, just head SE following the central ridge crest and always staying on the ridge. If there are any drop-offs to be concerned about, they will always be on the east side. The terrain is mostly tundra with embedded rock and some minor areas of boulder talus, scree, etc. For the most part it is very easy walking and mostly only Class 1 to low Class 2.

    Alternate Route: From the suggested timberline campsite in the last trees, find a route across S. Brush Creek, then ascend the north flank of De Anza on mostly grassy slopes that will give way to more rock higher up. Once you gain the NE Ridge, walk SW to the summit on an easy tundra and rock mix.

    For a return, go back as you came or continue on south along the central ridge to Gibbs Peak.

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