A Remarkable Mountain in Southeast Colorado
Fishers Peak is the large flat-topped mountain southeast of Trinidad that you can't ignore as you drive by on Interstate 25.
At an elevation of 9,633 feet, Fishers Peak has the distinction of being the highest mountain from its longitude all the way east in the United States.
Fishers Peak and most of the land around it is privately owned. There is no public access or a trail. Apparently some have climbed it from Lake Dorothey
in Sugarite Canyon State Park, but it's a nasty bushwack and about 16 miles round trip. Sadly, detailed topographical maps of this region are scarce. Having said that,
below are my photos and write-up from a hike in August 2016. The landowners provided permission to ten of us hikers. I won't give details out of respect
to the landowners, as they strictly prohibit trespassing and will prosecute offenders.
All I'll say is we began somewhere in the lands east of
Interstate 25 between Raton Pass and exit 8.
Rumors are brewing that the state of Colorado might be intersted in buying Fishers Peak and much of its land for preservation purposes.
It's highly speculative, but my bets are on that sometime in the 21st Century, a beautiful trail will be built for the public to enjoy the mountain and
the many pristine areas around Raton Mesa. Lastly, the peak seems to be referred as "Fisher's Peak" with an apostrophe, but
my guess is it will probably go the way of Grays Peak,
Longs Peak and Pikes Peak someday.
It just looks stupid to type it out as "Fisher's Peak" and I won't do it here.
The view of Fishers Peak from the north side of Trinidad.
A beautiful snow scene on Easter morning in Trinidad. Fishers Peak frames the photo perfectly.
August 20, 2016 - Our hike began on private dirt roads leading to cattle pastures.
Eventually, we got better views of the handsome rock face of Fishers Peak.
We gained about 2,500 feet overall in elevation. Once off the dirt roads, we had a steep and nasty
bushwhacking adventure. We stayed together. I huffed and puffed like crazy. (See video.) And I got more knicks and scratches that on any hike in recent memory. :p)
The photo doesn't show how tall and scary the section was.
Then again, the six people with me did it.
We climbed up a steep section with no trail that was teeming with trees, bushes and thorns.
Some of our group had already turned back. Finally, we got to the base of the caprock. At this point, all that was required was a Class III climb on
a rockface about 20 feet tall. (After that, it's a gentle walk to the summit.) Adjacent is a shot of one woman climbing it ...
and this is where I stopped. I just didn't feel safe climbing this section.
It looked tougher than the V-notch on Mount Sneffels
that I did years ago. In retrospct, maybe I could have climbed it, but then I'd have to deal with coming down which is usually tougher.
So I humbly stayed at the base as the six others in my party continued.
My hope is someday, when the land is secured, a trail is built, and there are holds and/or ropes built in this section, I'll return. :) I recall
Picacho Peak in Arizona had helpful holds and ropes in some sections.
I was so close to the summit. It broke my heart that I couldn't see Trinidad or the eastern plains.
Anyway, adjacent were my views:
TOP: The rugged and rocky ridges of Raton Mesa.
SECOND: Not the greatest lighting, but Interstate 25 near Raton Pass can be seen right of center.
THIRD: A pretty shot showing the Interstate 25 corridor with the Santa Fe Trail Ranch behind.
Wheeler Peak could be seen way in the distance.
The views were worthy of a not too shabby video. :)
Special thanks to Tim Crisler, leader of the Trinidad Outdoors Club, for guiding us on this hike. :) We had a memorable time!