Pueblo County High Point Trip Report

Greenhorn Mountain (12,347 ft)

Date: November 7, 2003
Author: Kevin Baker

I decided to bag another county highpoint before the weather got worse. The snow line on Pike's Peak looked to be above 11,500 feet so I thought Greenhorn would probably have little or no snow. I left Colorado Springs at 6 AM and did not arrive at the trailhead until 9 AM. The first dirt road (FR360) you turn on off of CO165 has been re-routed since the Mitcher/Covill Colorado county HP 1st edition that I have. It is now 3 miles southeast of Bigelow Divide, which I am sure they have notated in the new edition.

The 25 miles of dirt roads were fun as they were snow-packed in the shaded areas above 10,500 feet. Once arriving at the trailhead, the slopes of Greenhorn were nearly snow free. I left at 9:20 AM, with hopes to bag this easy hike quickly. The early switchbacks through the trees are hard to follow and I got off-route for a couple minutes but it was easy to see the 12,050-foot saddle after a while. Once topping out on this saddle, I started heading for the wrong peak which was too far east. I crested a ridge which blocked my view of the real Greenhorn and got back on route after going about 0.3 mile lout of the way. The ridge has a few false summits, but the terrain is very easy with smooth tundra.

I made good time and topped out at 10:30, with awesome views of the Sangres and Spanish Peaks. I was amazed at how warm it was on the summit in early November. The register had 36 names in it since late August and none since October 20th, so Greenhorn is not climbed too often.

I made my way down the southeast slopes, after 30 minutes on the summit, and got down to the road described in the highpointer book in 10 minutes. This slope is easy descending with some fun, stable scree. The road is joined at around 11,700 feet. From there, it is about 2 miles of easy walking back to the trailhead. I made it back in 53 minutes enjoying the snow-capped views of the Sangres. It looks like the snow line is down between 10,000 and 11,000 feet on them.

Trip statistics: 5.1 miles round-trip with 1,850 feet of gain; 1 hour, 10 minutes up and 53 minutes down.