Conejos County Highpoint Trip Report

Conejos Peak (13,172 ft)

Date: July 1, 2005
Author: Layne Bracy

The three county highpoints for Conejos, Archuleta, and Rio Grande each require easy to moderate hikes but are fairly remote, requiring lots of driving on unpaved roads. I decided to try to get all three with a loop from South Fork.

The total time, round trip, from South Fork was 15 hours.

I left South Fork at 3:30 am, heading west on Highway 160. Turned on Park Creek Road (FR 380), taking that to FR 250 through Platoro to FR 105. FR 105 is signed "Lake Fork Ranch". As I neared the TH, I passed a sign that said "Trail Closed" so I kept driving until the road got too sketchy. By this time, I had already seen many elk, including a calf or two. I would see 40 or so this day, on all three hikes and along much of the drive.

I started hiking up the road at 5:52 am, shortly reaching the road's end and realizing the closed trail was probably what I had wanted. Not wanting to turn around, I just headed towards the western portion of the slopes ahead. The bushwhacking was easy and I was soon strolling along the rolling tundra slopes towards Conejos. My route was along the ridge above Tobacco Lake. Summitted at 7:21 am. A new register was placed in May 2005 with just a few entries. Had a nice view of my next target, Summit Peak.

Returned to the car at 8:48 am.