A Colorado 13er In The Sawatch Range, West of Buena Vista, Colorado
A 13er That's Low On People's Climbing Lists
Gladstone Ridge is one of those 13ers that most people have never heard of, and in fact, it is rarely climbed.
It is a long ridge that divides Cottonwood Canyon (that leads to Cottonwood Pass)
and South Cottonwood Canyon (home of Cottonwood Lake
and Mineral Basin), with a high point at 13,209 feet.
On this page are my photos of my hike.
June 5, 2012 - At 5:45 a.m., I traveled from Buena Vista
into South Cottonwood Canyon and parked at the base of Grassy Gulch. My 2WD vehicle did fine beyond Cottonwood Lake and into the canyon, but
Grassy Gulch Road definitely requires a 4WD and high clearance vehicle.
As you'll see on your topographical map if you choose to do this hike, I walked up the road to
the ridge that provides a great view of Ptarmigan Lake.
From there, I hiked east
on the ridge to the summit.
Another common route is to start at the Ptarmigan Lake Trailhead from
Chaffee County Road 306. Hike past Ptarmigan Lake and hit the ridge.
Adjacent are two photos of Ptarmigan Lake as I began to hike east on the ridge.
Turning back and gazing at the view of Jones Mountain (elev. 13,232 feet).
TOP: Point 13,038' (left) and Point 12,962' (center) with the summit on the right.
SECOND: A closer view of Point 13,038' and Gladstone Ridge. I found the best way to traverse Point 13,038' is to just
stay on the ridge and climb it.
As I continued, the view of Ptarmigan Lake kept changing. Another photo.
With the summit in view, I hiked above Jonesy Gulch. Adjacent are two photos.
As I studied my map and assessed the slopes,
I decided that I would hike down Jonesy Gulch to reach the road. That way,
I'd get down from timberline quicker and would have an easier and quicker time to reach my car.
Although there wasn't a trail, I found it relatively easy to
hike down the gulch.
Closer to the top ...
The views from Gladstone Ridge are quite rewarding. Perhaps the very best was this spectacular sight of
14er Mount Yale. :)
This view to the east includes Sheep Mountain,
which conceivably could be reached from Gladstone Ridge. Just continue hiking on the ridge for about four miles. Beyond the mountain is the Arkansas River Valley and the town of Buena Vista.
Mount Princeton. What a beautiful mountain, isn't it?
My two latest climbs of Mount Princeton can be seen
Also, this picture will certainly be the newest addition on my Mt. Princeton website:
Facing south. Many peaks in the southern Sawatch Range.