Friday, April 8, 2016

Backpacking the West Spanish Peak Trail

Spanish Peaks, Colorado
One of the ultralight trips I am planning to do this summer is backpacking in the historic Spanish Peaks Wilderness Area of southern Colorado. I have located two hiking trails, the Apishapa Trail and the Cordova Pass Trailhead that combine to climb to the 13,626 foot West Spanish Peak summit starting from a scenic, unpaved route. Just below the talus slopes on the west side of the peak there is a saddle around 12,000 feet in elevation that by map looks appropriate for an overnight camping spot. The area is located within 19,226 acres of wilderness and the combination of 2 trails provides an almost full day trip, if I first backpack up the west peak, then traverse to the east peak, shoot some photos and retrace my path back to the saddle below the west peak to camp for the night. I need to better evaluate the off-trail route to the East Spanish peak and back before I go, and purchase some micro spike traction devices for potential ice along the trail. From looking at the maps on CalTopo mixed with Google Earth, it looks challenging, doable and fun!
To make a better trip, I could then travel by car the next day west over the divide to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, and backpack and camp on the sand dune that night. I have read that the clear Colorado sky there gives great views of stars and constellations during the night. Some people even report UFO sightings in the Crestone area to the north of the park, which could be cool or terrible, an adventure in every way.
Either way, it would be an awesome two night, two location backpacking trip to two of Colorado's signature natural areas along with a scenic drive tunneled through a volcanic dike.
I will publish more backpacking information as I get closer to trip time, and a trip report when I return.

No comments:

Post a Comment