Rio Grande County High Point Trip Report

Date: May 27, 2001
Author: Dave Covill

We rose early and headed to the eastern approach to Bennett Pk (13,203 ft). The rangers in Del Norte to the North had told us that approach was snowed in miles away from Blowout Pass, ~11,700', so we opted for a southern approach, via a 4WD road on Spring Creek, from the Platoro-Alamosa road. Rangers in La Jara, responsible for the south side of the eastern San Juans, told me we probably wouldn't even make it to the bottom of this road, off of the good gravel county road, due to snow. We were able to drive 3.6 of ~4.6 miles up it, and decided we could easily do the hike, as it is a relatively easy 1,500'+ in 2 miles from Blowout Pass.

We walked the road past 4' drifts to the Pass in 25 minutes, then took 2 hours to get to the summit, having to post-hole through drifts in a couple of spots on the north side of Sheep Mountain. We had a fair amount of wind and some rain on the top, and headed down to eat lunch on the southern grassy slopes. We skirted the snow on the way back to the car in < 2 hours, and headed out.