(G & M: #526)
UN 13,147 is a rocky Class 2 summit located above the North Fork of the South Arkansas River. This summit could be accessed from the North Fork Reservoir TH or might also be accessed from St. Elmo to the old townsite of Hancock and following the jeep trail toward Chalk Pass. If you begin hiking at Hancock, then 4WD would not be required. The North Fork Reservoir access does require 4WD. UN 13,147 is actually the high point south of the unranked Sewanee Peak.
UN 13,147 SE Ridge Route
Medium Day // Take a Lunch
RT From North Fork Reservoir:
4.2 mi /
From Poncha Springs and the intersection of US285 and US50, head west approximately 6.6 miles on US 50 to the little town of Maysville and turn north onto County Road 240 which will become FR240. It's easy driving to the Angel of Shavano Campground and the crossing of the Colorado Trail on pavement. Beyond there, the road begins to degrade and ultimately becomes a slow, rocky affair. For the next 1.3 miles, maps show it as passable for passenger vehicles, but don't count on it. Best to just bring the 4WD with better clearance that can handle the rocky surface. It's 4.7 miles from the campground to the old townsite of Shavano and a trail that heads up Cyclone Creek. This could become an exit point for a climb of Grizzly or an alternate route. The USGS map amd FS2016 show an old roadbed/trail that heads up Cyclone Creek here, but the Trails Illustrated and San Isabel NF map do not show it. It has been in disuse long enough that iot's difficult to spot any of it on Google Earth. From the old townsite area of Shavano, it's another 2.25 miles to the North Fork Reservoir Campground, on the east side of the reservoir. This is a very limited facility with only about 8 sites. We are using it for the "trailhead," though the actual start to Grizzly is farther up the road if continuing on to Billings Lake. 4WD can be driven all the way to there. The start for Grizzly we suggest is about 2/3rds of the way up to Billings Lake. Drive or hike from the campground north on the road and begin the climb after crossing an intermittent stream at these coordinates: N 38° 37' 11.27" W 106° 19' 26.82".
There are two national forest campgrounds: The Angel of Shavano and the North Fork Reservoir. Expect both to be full on weekends. Both are fairly small and the Angel of Shavano CG is a favorite launch point for those climbing the 14ers. Between the two campgrounds there are a number of primitive sites just off the road that can be used.
North Fork Reservoir CG ›
N 38° 36' 41.91", W 106° 19' 09.24"
Click thumbnail to view full-size photo + caption
Year Climbed: 2005
Begin your hike from the North Fork Campground by walking up to the Reservoir, going west across the dam and following the creek that drains down into the lake directly from the south. An informal trail leads up this drainage and into a nice meadow at 11,700 ft. At the head of the meadow, hike more steeply through the remaining forest and gain a bench to the southwest that will lead across the stream and onto a tundra slope that can be easily followed into the upper basin. Pass the small lake at 12,080 ft., and continue hiking WSW to the saddle 12,620 ft. This section is steep and rocky, but is over soon and not too difficult. Once at the saddle, it is a fairly slow walk northwest to the summit along the ridge crest over a great deal of boulders and assorted other rocks. The summit too is a rocky place that does not provide any comfortable place to sit and enjoy the view. You'll have a good view of the remaining rugged ridge over to the unranked Sewanee summit. Since it bears a name, some may find themselves motivated to climb it, but we felt no such compulsion. The nicest part of this hike is the meadow at 11,700 ft. and the small lake at 12,080 ft. A few conifers around the lake make for some nice photos with the rugged peaks as a backdrop. For the return, head back as you came. The round-trip hike can be easily completed before lunch.
Links to other information, routes & trip reports for this peak that may be helpful.
Mountain Handbook ›
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