Uncompahgre Peak, with an elevation of 14,309 feet, is the sixth highest peak in the state of Colorado, the highest peak on the state's Western Slope, and the highest peak in the San Juans. Uncompahgre is also considered one of the easier Fourteeners to climb (despite its rugged appearance), partly due to an excellent trail which runs most of the way to the summit. Easier, that is, if you have a 4WD vehicle to reach the Nellie Creek trailhead parking lot; not having a 4WD vehicle adds 8 miles roundtrip to your hike.
To reach the Nellie Creek trailhead, head west out of Lake City along Henson Creek/Engineer Pass Road. Drive this over five miles to the signed turnoff for Nellie Creek Road. Park your 2WD vehicle here; a 4WD will get you four more miles (to the Wilderness boundary). Either hiking or driving, be sure to take a left at the fork two miles along Nellie Creek Road.
From the 4WD parking area, hike 1.5 miles into Uncompaghgre's east basin, then follow the trail south to the peak's southeast ridge. Follow
that ridge to a rocky area within a few hundred feet of the summit, then traverse east before swinging left to the summit.
This page last updated 8/15/06