LoJ: #501 (G & M: #498) / 13,180' Santa Fe Peak

Range › Front Range
Quadrangle › Montezuma
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 39° 34' 07.48", W 105° 50' 13.11" (Not Field Checked)
Neighboring Peaks › Peak Icon Geneva Peak

Peak Summary

Santa Fe Peak is sequenced with Geneva Peak and is connected by a high, mostly tundra-covered, Class 2 ridge. The descent off the peak is straightforward with little route-finding required. The trailhead we propose is accessed by vehicles with better-than-average clearance, but a lower trailhead can be accessed by most any passenger vehicle. Both summits are located in the Front Range group and can be easily accessed by Front Range day-hikers.  

Santa Fe Pk SE Ridge Route

Class 2
Peak Icon Peak Icon
Medium Day // Take a Lunch
Climbed with Geneva Peak
RT From Webster Pass: 4.95 mi / 3,005'
From Geneva Peak: 1.50 mi / 755' (One-Way)
  • Trailhead
    • Webster Pass Trailhead

      From the exit on I-70 for Silverthorne, (#205) head south on US HWY 6 (aka: Blue River Parkway). The highway north of the interstate becomes State Highway 9, but south of the interstate it's US 6. Drive south and east along US 6 to Keystone, passing several arms or bays of Lake Dillon. As you come to the Keystone Ski area, watch for a right hand turn onto Montezuma Road. The road goes briefly south, passing by some of the parking for the ski area, then heads east and follows along the Snake River. At about 4.6 miles from the turn off US 6, watch for the road to make a sharper left, then right turn. At that right hand turn, FR 260 turns off for Peru Creek. Stay on the Montezuma Road and reach the town after 7 miles from US 6. 

      From the center of town, continue south another 1.2 mile. Turn LEFT onto the Webster Pass Road. (This may also be identified at least on Google Earth as "Bullion Mine Road." Also, several internet sources have repeated the same error saying the turn off is to the right.) Coordinates for this intersection are: N 39° 34' 04.43"  W 105° 51' 37.28". The first .7 mile takes you SE through forest with still several homes/cabins. Be careful not to take any turns into private drives or to double back direction at any point. At .7 mile, there will be a seasonal gate. You may find this closed and locked in the earlier part of the summer. Beyond the gate, the road gets rougher, soon passing through the bottom end of a large rock-talus area. Beyond there, the road continues in mostly open terrain past potholes, mudholes, etc. to a place where it crosses to the west side of the Snake River (now just a creek.) There is parking at a spot just before the creek crossing and possible at-large camping nearby as well. Attempts to drive beyond here will take you onto the more rugged 4WD section of the Webster Pass Road. 

      If not equipped with a higher clearance vehicle, then from the center of Montezuma, continue driving south  for 1.5 mile to a road fork where the main road heads right to cross Deer Creek. There is a large parking area before the creek crossing. From here you can begin walking up to the Webster Pass Road which is uphill to the NE. A lesser road/trail leads up to make the connection. At all points, there is an abundance of private property all around Montezuma. Please respect postings and do not attempt to camp near those properties. Starting from this point will add 1.6 miles one-way or 3.2 miles RT to the overall hike and another 475 ft. in elevation gain if doing the Geneva-Santa Fe route. 


      Camping

      Weekend camping anywhere around Lake Dillon can be problematic. Too many Front Range visitors and too few campsites. In the general Dillon area, try this website for some help: http://www.townofdillon.com/visit/camping-info

      There are some primitive campsites up along Peru Creek. There appears to be room for some primitive camping at our trailhead coordinates. There also appear to be several primitive sites located up the Deer Creek Road (still CR 5) after crossing Deer Creek and driving south up the road (if you can get up it). Please be aware of and respect all private property postings. 


      Campsite Locations

      Snake River Crossing › N 39° 33' 18.80", W 105° 50' 39.34"
      11,040
    Approach Map Photos
    • From Geneva Peak


      From the vehicle park, on the east side of the Snake River, (now just a creek), Geneva Peak is located almost directly east and a little south. Hike east toward a group of trees with a tundra slope above. Head into the trees and hopefully locate an old mining road that does not appear on any maps. Follow the road up as it switchbacks a few times to gain elevation, then comes to an end at the edge of the main trees. More open trees continue above but you'll have to work up a very steep rubble slope for a while to gain these higher trees, sometimes fighting for some footing. Avoid a difficult scree slope more to the north on this flank. Once you gain the higher trees, the slope angle lessens some. Continue up the slope that becomes more of a broad ridge on tundra - scree mix. If you followed this ridge all the way up, you would come out a little south of Sullivan Mountain. To avoid Sullivan, at about 12,400 feet, start angling right toward the Sullivan-Geneva saddle. Once you reach the saddle, it's fairly easy strolling to the summit of Geneva Peak. Of the ridge that connects Geneva, Sullivan and Santa Fe, the only "rough" section will be the NW ridge just below the Geneva summit. 

      Landslide Peak is not even close to being a ranked summit, but if you want to head over and tag it, it's a simple .4 mile one-way and adds 140 feet of elevation gain or 280 if you return back to Geneva. The terrain is mostly all tundra with some scree/rubble and will go quickly. Once you return to Geneva Peak, either descend as you came or continue on to Santa Fe Peak. 

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    Peak Icon Route Map Photos

    Route Info Santa Fe Pk SE Ridge

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 2008

    Santa Fe Peak is sequenced with Geneva Peak which lies 1.5 mile to the SE. Distance and elevation gain to Santa Fe Peak is measured from the summit of Geneva Peak. Geneva becomes the "approach" for Santa Fe. 

    Distance wise, Santa Fe is a good mile and a half away, so it requires a fair amount of time to get over to it. Head NNW from the summit of Geneva, back down the more rugged section of ridge to the Geneva-Sullivan saddle.  You should find some usable trail along here. Walk up and over the summit of Sullivan and continue NNW on mostly tundra to Santa Fe, after crossing another saddle. Past that saddle, there's an old mining road that works up toward the Santa Fe summit, but contours below the summit on the west side. Utilize the road if you like, but to reach the somewhat rockier Santa Fe summit, you'll need to depart the road at a place of your choosing. The mostly tundra terrain all along this ridge traverse will have embedded rocks at times. For us, it took longer to cover this distance than the ascent up Geneva, but not by much. 

    To descend back to your vehicle, head back SSE to the Santa Fe – Sullivan saddle and then contour downward to a fairly sharp SW running ridge that you may descend on for quite some distance. It is for the most part, a nice, tundra covered ridge and kind of spectacular for the way in which the terrain drops off on both sides and for the view down into the Snake River valley below. (Along the way, we spotted three bucks that we managed to get a couple photos of.) You may also run into a little snow in a gully on the south side of the ridge that you can utilize to expedite your descent. Before reaching the trees, cross the gully south onto another ridge and keep dropping until you cross a scree slope and rejoin the old mining road you utilized earlier to ascend Geneva Pk. Follow the road back down to your vehicle parked by the Snake River or somewhere nearby. 

    If you utilize the lower trailhead parking at Deer Creek and begin hiking from there, it's 1.6 miles (or 3.2 miles RT) to the upper trailhead with an additional 475 feet of elevation gain. 


    Additional BETA

    Links to other information, routes & trip reports for this peak that may be helpful.
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