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Galena Mountain - Altitude 12,983 Feet

My Climb of a Colorado 12er in Lake County Near Turquoise Lake and Leadville, CO - September 7, 2009

Galena Mountain, CO Galena Mountain stands prominently west of Leadville and north of Turquoise Lake. As one drives north from Twin Lakes to Leadville, this 12,983' peak with a steep and jagged southeastern face can not be missed!

Personally, my ascent of Galena Mountain was more rewarding than usual, for many factors came into play that discouraged me about reaching the summit. Firstly, I had a late start. I slept in until 8 a.m. and didn't reach the trailhead until 9:30 a.m. With my luck, many dark clouds quickly gathered above the entire Rocky Mountain region by late morning. The threat of lightning strikes was something I was very concerned about. I felt especially tired and lazy too, and my body "screamed at me" to turn back. Somehow I made it.

How To Get There: At Turquoise Lake, I parked at the Timberline Lake Trailhead at the far west end of the lake. From there I hiked on the Colorado Trail and turned upward at the mountain's southern ridge above timberline. I also met hikers who came from Bear Lake (using the Colorado Trail) and arrived at this southern ridge. Of course, I had my trustworthy topographical map to guide me the entire way. Don't have one? Galena Mountain is on the National Geographic Holy Cross & Ruedi Reservoir map which can be bought here: Holy Cross/Reudi Reservoir Trails Illustrated Map #126.

Thank you for checking out my photos below! -Steve :)

Twitter: @stevegarufi
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Photos of Galena Mountain, Colorado Galena Mountain, CO
All three of the photos in this section were taken on the morning of my ascent. This top photo was taken as I drove westbound (due north) on Highway 24 between Twin Lakes and Leadville in Lake County. The mountain definitely "sticks out" for many miles along this scenic route in the upper Arkansas River Valley.
Galena Mountain, CO
Another picture of Galena Mountain taken near the Mt. Massive Golf Course as I traveled toward Turquoise Lake.
Turquoise Lake, CO
A photo taken from my car while pulled over on the south side of Turquoise Lake. Galena Mountain and its comparatively gentle southern slope can be seen on its left. That slope with green forest and openness above is the route I took.

Timberline Lake Trailhead
The Ascent To Galena Mountain

The Timberline Lake Trailhead. My journey began with some significant uphill on the Colorado Trail.

Colorado Trail I had to include a typical green forest picture. ;)
Mt. Massive, CO Up the Colorado Trail I went until I reached timberline... and what a view I had looking back! The largest mountain is Mt. Massive (alt. 14,421 feet), and great views could be seen of Hagerman Pass and the canyon and road leading to the Hagerman Tunnel area.
At the highest point in the ridge from the trail, I turned and traveled up. This was my view.
Colorado Rocky Mountains

Mt. Massive

I continually turned back to snap photos of that grand view of Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert respectively. So pretty!

Soon I encountered seven hikers who were part of a 2-day expedition run by a touring company based in the Denver area. Their web site is: They were a nice bunch of people from all over the country including California, Iowa and elsewhere.

SECOND PHOTO: A zoom-in of Mt. Massive. As you can see, gray clouds were rolling in.

Colorado Rocky Mountains From a photography standpoint, the poor lighting was very frustrating, but I did my best.
Galena Mountain, CO Upward on continued and eventually the Galena Mountain summit came into view!
Colorado Rocky Mountains

Colorado Rocky Mountains

At one of many instances that I rested, I pulled out the camera to capture some of the mountain views toward the West (1st photo). I have explored so many mountain areas of Colorado, but I'm humbled to think of all the peaks in this direction toward Reudi Reservoir (north of Aspen, CO) that I have yet to visit. So many mountains, so little time!

SECOND PHOTO: Look at the beautiful red foliage in the foregrond. I'm telling you folks... I kept looking back at that grand view of Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert and took so many pictures! :)

Galena Mountain, CO Coming closer to the summit.
Galena Mountain, Colorado Even closer!
St. Kevin's Lake St. Kevin's Lake In this vicinity, looking down on the right (east) was St. Kevin's Lake. I love those picturesque high altitude lakes nestled practically against a mountain. Oh and yes folks, the white you see in both of these photos is snow. Snow baby snow! The snow was undoubtedly "old snow" - snow from last winter that has not entirely melted during our summer and autumn season. Heh heh!
Galena Mountain

Galena Mountain, CO

Closer and oh so closer to the summit!

Galena Mountain Summit - Alt. 12,983 Feet

At the summit, the skies were very gray but calm. I did not spend too much time (maybe 10 minutes) out of concern for what those gray clouds could create up there. (One token photo of myself included.)

Galena Mountain, CO
Galena Mountain is part of the Continental Divide, and adjacent are three photos on the east side of the divide looking toward Lake County.

FYI - I didn't do the greatest job of capturing all the mountain views. The photo above with me included is the only shot facing west toward Pitkin County. Some intriguing landmarks exist such as the Isolation Lakes, Homestead Reservoir and a path known as Lonesome Lake Trail.

Below are some of my pages in this general region of Lake County and Leadville:
Lake County Roads 10 & 24
Bicycling in Leadville
Mineral Belt Trail
Photos in Leadville CO (May 2009)
"Snowy Mountains"
Mt. Elbert & South Elbert
Twin Lakes to Independence Pass (Autumn)
Independence Pass
Mt. Democrat - Mt. Lincoln - Mt. Bross
Mountain Biking in Twin Lakes
Interlaken Resort (Twin Lakes)

Galena Mountain, CO

Colorado Rocky Mountains

Colorado Rocky Mountains

One final photo of Mt. Massive.
I had the entire summit to myself until this gentleman from Frisco (top photo) approached the summit. It turns out he and a friend were fishing at St. Kevin's Lake when he decided to go for a climb while his buddy continued to fish. Somehow he scrambled up one of the ridges to reach the summit!

2ND PHOTO: A zoom-in of Turquoise Lake, the town of Leadville, Mt. Sheridan and Mt. Sherman. (Both mountains on far left)

Galena Mountain, CO

Turquoise Lake, CO

I was surprised to see a marker at the summit. I didn't think lesser known Colorado 12ers gained enough attention to get these! :) Marker
On my way down, I couldn't help but photograph some of the smaller plants showing off their autumn colors!