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By Ben Bruestle
From: Pueblo, CO
Aug 29, 2005
|Here is yet another approach to Jagged Peak. I think it is a good option if you are approaching from southeastern/southcentral Colorado. First we approached the Beartown trailhead from the northeast. Drive past Creede towards Lake City and take the Rio Grade Reservoir turnoff. Continue past the reservior to Stoney Pass cross the Rio Grande and continue to the Beartown trailhead. Hike over Hunchback Pass to the upper Vallecito Drainage. Cross to the westside of Vallecito across from the Guardian and [definitely] before you have to cross Rock Creek. There is an excellent unmarked outfitter trail along the west side of the creek from this point. Continue south to Sunlight Creek. Follow the unmarked [climber's] trail along the north side of Sunlight Creek to the basin between Jagged Mountain and Leviathan Peak. This approach can be done in a very big day.|
By Phil Lauffen
From: The Bubble
Aug 7, 2009
|We started at 4:10 in the afternoon at Vallecito Trailhead. Humped in along Vallecito Creek 9 miles till 8. Got up at 4, went another 2 miles along Vallecito then cut up along Sunlight Creek. The trail becomes a real bitch here. Then after a few miles you hike straight uphill to the bow-shaped lake. Beautiful hike. Unfortunately trying the mandatory day and a half approach in a night and a morning caused us to be too sketched to try the low 5th with stormclouds approaching. REAL BUMMER! Gorgeous area, though.|
By Mitch Musci
Nov 14, 2011
More beta on the approach:
To emphasize what Ben said...if you are coming from the north (via Hunchback Pass), your best bet is to cross over to the west side of Vallecito Creek at the Rock Creek junction. From the junction, go 30 meters north or so on the trail, then cut left (west) through a field to a marshy area. Stay north of the marsh and continue west up a small hillside into the woods. Soon after reaching the Vallecito, I was able to find a suitable crossing on some rock slabs. From here, continue west and soon you will encounter a faint trail heading SW that parallels the creek. It should be about 30 meters from the crossing. If you can't find the trail, just head SW staying about 100-200 meters west of the creek and you will eventually pick it up.
The trail itself is indeed intermittent, and will have you scratching your head at times. However, if you just continue SW staying 100-200 meters west of the creek, you will eventually cross Leviathan Creek and finally intersect the Sunlight Creek trail (which is on the north side of Sunlight Creek). This approach is plenty fast despite some routefinding and allows you to avoid a more involved crossing of the Vallecito further downstream.
The Sunlight Creek trail is initially prominent and easy going, but after a half mile or so, things quickly fall apart! You reach an overgrown hillside and the trail disappears into a sea of downed trees, bushes, boulders, and tall grasses. Prepare for battle and carefully make your way west across the hillside, aiming for the bottom edge of a large aspen grove. You will begin to approach Sunlight Creek, but stay on its north side and grunt up a steep ridge with a now intermittent trail. Eventually the trail becomes more prominent and crosses the creek several times before arriving at a pristine meadow with towering granite walls. At this point, the creek splits into 3 separate channels: one coming from the south, one coming down a steep boulder field to the west, and a smaller channel coming down a rock gully to the north. Cross the creek to its north side and climb up the north gully. This will deposit you into a long, narrow meadow. You could choose to camp here, but a better option is to continue west across the meadow and climb one final hillside to the north onto a broad bench. A campsite on this bench is primo for an attempt at Jagged Mountain.
By Matthias Holladay
From: Durango, Colorado
Nov 17, 2011
These approaches are all lovely in their own right, each with unique adventures. As evidenced by these photographs and my own fond memories, some have excellent little outcrops or other peaks for diversions on your way in and out, some have downed forest to negotiate with creek crossings, others further down require fording Vallecito. All, when down low are susceptible to bugs during the summer. Szszzzzzszsssszz!
So, my particular favorite involving snow in the early season, enables a quick\climber friendly crossing to Jagged. Later in the season, when an adze and pick are useful for one spot, there is the nice treat of contouring a lot of nice talus fields. -Seriously, the fine art of moving across the larger of these rocks in their myriad configurations with a full pack is thoroughly enjoyable.-
Anyway, once descending the switchbacks from Hunchback and crossing Nebo Creek, just past the confluence of Trinity Creek and Vallecito Creek, head up Stormy Gulch. Once at the tarns below Trinity Lake, contour southeast to gain the high traverse to Jagged. Go west over Peak Eight - Storm King pass, south between Peak Eight - Peak Seven. Countour to the bench below point 13064. (If you have time, a huge slot/chimney on the south side of this point is a good outing-bring big pro-descend to the northeast.) From here, let the north face of Leviathan tempt you, and cross the Point 13475\Leviathan Peak pass. See "Late Start" photo for the flat nook below Jagged's north side.
By Ray Hellinger
From: Flagstaff, az
Jul 13, 2012
|Did Jagged car-to-car from Vallecito via Leviathan Cr. 13.5hrs round trip. Long day. The trail up Leviathan is actually really good for about 2/3 of the way to the lake. Then it peeters out.|
Jul 19, 2012
|Anyone aware of a south side approach to the summit?|