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LoJ: #597 (G & M: #596) UN 13069

Range › San Juan Range
Quadrangle › Howardsville
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 37° 49' 48.68", W 107° 31' 47.02" (Not Field Checked)

Peak Summary

UN 13,069 is a simple Class 2 summit located up the Animas River out of Silverton. 4WD can get you a good ways up Maggie Gulch to a starting point less than a mile from the summit, however, if you want to keep things more sporting, and/or you don't have a 4WD, you can hike up Maggie Gulch from CR2 NE of Silverton and still complete this summit easily in a day. 

UN 13,069 West Slope Route

Class 2
Short Day // A Wee Little Climb
RT From Maggie Gulch: 1.8 mi / 1,590'
  • Trailhead
    • Maggie Gulch Trailhead

      From the Town of Silverton, drive east on the main road through town to where the paved road splits one block past the courthouse and veer right onto blue-signed County Road 2 (set odometer here) for 4.2 miles of nicely graded dirt road to Howardsville. (On Trails Illustrated map #141, this road is labeled #110. Pavement ends after 2 miles.) From the Howardsville intersection, continue north another 2.1 miles to the intersection for Maggie Gulch at these coordinates: N 37° 51' 17.52"  W 107° 34' 21.72".  Elevation 9,780 ft. Passenger type vehicles will want to park on the east side of the main county Road 2. Head on up Maggie Gulch. On Google Earth, this is CR23. On Trails Illustrated this is #588. The road first heads north, then switchbacks and begins the generally SE climb into Maggie Gulch. At about 1.5 miles, there's a road that veers down to the right for the Ruby Mine. Do not take. Overall, from the beginning of the Maggie Gulch Road, drive about 3.4 miles to where a road turns off sharply to the right and goes up to the Little Maud Mine. A little past that turnoff, still on the main road, there's a place where an alternate track allows one to park off the main road and begin the hike. The trailhead coordinates provided are for that spot. 


      Camping

      On the west side of CR2 and across from the start of the Maggie Gulch Road, there is a large flat area that has become popular with trailer and pop-up type campers over the years. At times, it's almost a small town. There are no trees here and no facilities - just a place to park for the night. There's a similar area a couple more miles north at Eureka on the east side of the Animas before CR2 crosses over to the west. Overall, there are no designated campgrounds in the Animas Valley area above Silverton and numerous private claims. Be careful where you try to camp. Going up Maggie Gulch, there are really no useful sites. Best you can do is to drive well up into the tundra and see if there's a pull-off spot to vehicle camp. There are a few primitive sites up the Cunningham Gulch Road. These will usually be occupied on a weekend as well. 

    Peak Icon Route Map Photos

    Route Info UN 13,069 West Slope

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 2006

    From the suggested parking spot and coordinates provided in the trailhead description, head east to ESE up the tundra slope that will have plenty of wildflowers in mid-summer. The side of the mountain quickly steepens to a difficult angle as you head up through clumps of dense grass and a multitude of flowers. There are any number of ways up, so choose your own, but this is how we did it.

    "We crossed one shallow gully that shielded even more flowers and kept hiking up toward a saddle near what we thought might be the high point. We gained nearly 1,300 feet in about an hour and reached the saddle with what appeared to be a high point about 30 feet above us in either direction. We scrambled up both to ascertain which was highest and once upon the true summit, sat down for a break. As we rested upon the summit, we could hear the bleating of a large number of sheep in the distance, across the valley. After watching closely, we finally spotted the herd to the west on the high tundra slopes and moving over a low ridge. They were so small from our vantage point; they appeared to move in mass, like a creamy white substance slowly flowing across the green tundra. To the east of us and across the valley, we could see a shepherd’s camp at the end of a faint one-lane road, with at least two tent-like structures and to our surprise, several port-a-potties. Now here's some interesting government regulation for you. There are several hundred sheep, leaving their droppings littered all over creation, but the two (?) shepherds are required to have a port-a-potty?!"

    "One other thing that occupied our attention was whether or not we had reached the correct summit. We knew that we were higher than anything else immediately around us, but to the southeast, along the same ridge, we could see one other summit that appeared almost as high. ON the USGS, this is maked as Pt. 13,053. So we carefully studied our location and compared our height and came to the conclusion, this had to be the true summit. You may want to hit this other high point for good measure. 

    After your summit break, head back down following much the same route as you ascended. The descent will go quickly on the grass and tundra. On the way down, we passed by a small, level area with a little bit of snow left and some vivid clumps of paintbrush that we paused to take pictures of. On the remainder of the trip down, if you like to photograph wildflowers, you may find several more opportunities to stop. 


    Additional BETA

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