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#211 / 13,566' UN 13566 Gudy Peak

Range › San Juan Range
Quadrangle › Redcloud Peak
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 37° 58' 31.36", W 107° 27' 40.74" (Not Field Checked)

Peak Summary

Combines well with three other 13ers for  four-summit day if you can set up a vehicle shuttle or a three-summit day if you don't have a shuttle. A relatively easy day hike peak with a mix of rocky rubble and tundra. Nice views of the central San Juans and a scenic lake.

Gudy Peak Ridges Route

Class 2+
Long Day // Back for Dinner
RT From Cooper Creek: 6.5 mi / 3,000'
  • Trailhead
    • Cooper Creek Trailhead

      From Lake City, proceed south on HWY 149 and take the turnoff to the right for Lake San Cristobal. Continue south around the lake and follow CR3 (BLM 3306) past the Williams Creek and Mill Creek campgrounds to the intersection at Sherman. (On Trails Illustrated, this is CR30) Road to here is drivable for standard passenger cars. Take the right fork and begin a steeper ascent into the upper valley. Higher clearance vehicles now advisable. It's a little over 3 miles to the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch trail heads used for accessing Sunshine, Redcloud and Handies. Continue just about one more mile to the trailhead for Cooper Creek. There is some parking on the west side just after crossing the creek or continue a little further to the coordinates provided for another parking spot and the beginning of an old roadbed that leads north, then east to gain a bench above Cooper Creek.


      There are designated, forest service campgrounds at Williams Creek and Mill Creek CG. There's also some primitive sites around Sherman. Once above Sherman, additional primitive sites may be found at the TH for Sunshine, Redcloud and Handies and again near the TH for Cooper Creek.

    Peak Icon Route Map

    Route Info Gudy Peak Ridges

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 1996

    If climbing Gudy Peak alone: From the trail head, follow an old roadbed that heads uphill to the north and then turns to the east over toward Cooper Creek before then heading north again on a bench level above the creek. You can also head directly up from the road crossing on the west side of the creek and intersect this trail/roadbed. The FS trail number is 3313. Follow the trail for about one mile to a creek crossing at 11,140 ft. More current maps show the designated trail as crossing the creek here and continuing another 1.25 mile to the junction for the trail to Cooper Lake. To reach the Cooper Lake trail, you'll need to cross back to the west side of the creek. Continue another 1.25 miles appx. to Cooper Lake, nestled below the summit of Gudy Peak.

    From Cooper Lake, there are two, Class 2+ choices. You can gain either the northeast running ridge or the southern, east running ridge. For either ridge, the initial gain to the ridge will be steep with combined tundra and talus. Once you gain the ridge, the going will be easier but expect talus, rocks & boulders along with tundra mixed in. Return by the same route or make a circuit back to Cooper Lake. 

    Total elevation gain will be 3,000 ft. and mileage to Gudy Peak will be appx. 3.25 and return mileage will either be another 3.25 if returning by the same ascent route or 2.5 if returning to Cooper Creek by way of Gudy's SSW ridge and couloir descent described below.

    If using our car-shuttle - Four Summit route description: Our actual "ascent" route was along the SW ridge coming from UN13,312 as part of the shuttle route that netted us four summits that day. From UN13,312, follow the connecting ridge NE. You'll encounter tedious, rocky rubble much of the way, but as you approach the summit, things will level out and turn to more tundra. No more than Class 2+. From UN13,312 the remaining distance to Gudy will be .75 mile and another 700 feet of elevation gain. Then you'll have a hike back down to your shuttle vehicle at Cooper Creek of another 3 miles. That will bring total mileage for the day to 8.5 and total elevation gain to 3,050 ft.

    To descend: Hike back down either of the two ridges to Cooper Lake and return by the trail or; a faster descent route, if you have the legs for it, can be made by descending from the summit back along the connecting ridge to UN13,312 for a short distance and heading left down one of several possible rubbly couloirs for over 1,200 feet and then exiting onto open tundra slopes that will lead back to some trees not far above Cooper Creek. Various sheep trails make it possible to continue downstream on the west side of the creek until you can re-connect with the main trail.

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