Trinchera Peak (Elevation 13,517 Feet) - Cuchara, Colorado

An Excellent Hiking Choice in the Sangre de Cristo Range
Trinchera Peak (13,517 feet) might seem like "just another peak" in the Sangre de Cristo Range. However, this mountain is a good choice for those desiring a hike of a ranked 13er with plenty of scenery and wonderful summit views. There were two daunting Class III sections on the ridge near the summit, but otherwise it was an easy hike on a 4WD road followed by mostly grassy tundra.

Directions: The mountain is accessible from the Blue Lake area. From the village of Cuchara, travel south on Highway 12 and make a right on FR 422. Take this dirt road (with some washboard areas, but perfectly OK for any vehicle) about 6-8 miles to the Blue Lake area. Then continue for another 0.5 miles and turn left on FR 436. There is a free parking area ahead and this is probably the best place to begin your hike. At this point, a sign reads 3.5 miles to Trinchera Peak, although we measured it at four miles. If you have a 4WD vehicle with high clearance, you can continue above timberline (which comes at ~2-mile mark) and all the way to the ridge if you wish.

Trinchera Peak, CO
A sunset in Trinidad, Colorado. Trinchera Peak is on the right.

Trinchera Peak, Colorado
The view of Trinchera Peak from FR 422.

Photos and videos by Steve Garufi, a.k.a. Colorado Guy. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - YouTube

North Fork Trail, CO

Photos

July 9, 2016 - The sign indicating you've arrived on the route to Trinchera Peak. Apparently, this is also known as the North Fork Trail.

Also, you'll cross into a "no fee area" at this point. No worries about parking or camping fees as required at Blue Lake or Bear Lake.

Trinchera Peak, CO It's about two miles in forest and then the views getting interesting at timberline.

Trinchera Peak showed herself to us hikers. :)

Trinchera Peak, CO

Trinchera Peak, Colorado

A four-wheel-drive road continues in switchbacks. Even if you don't intend to reach the summit, this section is so pretty to hike and explore.

The images show me and my buddy Thomas Lunt. The last times a picture of him was posted on this website was when we hiked Mount Harvard and Mt. Warren and Rogers Peak four years ago. Good times. :)

Sangre de Cristo Mountains The road ends at the ridge and then it's a steep ascent. Here's one shot looking back at the road.

West Spanish Peak is the pointed mountain in the distance. I had the joy of hiking to its summit last week. :)

Steve Hiker I stopped a lot to rest. Thomas captured this photo of me sucking air and not looking happy! :p)
Trinchera Peak, Colorado We were getting closer! The summit (left) was in view. On the right are two spots requiring Class III moves with exposure. Thomas did just fine -- he said it was "nothing" compared to the Sawtooth at Mount Bierstadt -- but I was more nervous than usual. In the end, we did just fine.
Sangre de Cristo Mountains While climbing that steep ridge, there were many reasons to rest and take in the scenery.

This is a shot facing north. Blanca Peak, Mount Lindsey and its neighboring mountains are in the distance.

Sangre De Cristo Range Plenty of wildflowers among the grass.
Trinchera Peak, Colorado

Trinchera Peak Summit

There were five sizeable cairns at the top. We had a perfect sunny morning and the mountain to ourselves.
Trinchera Peak, Colorado

West Spanish Peak, Colorado

Colorado Mountain Scenery

Trinchera Peak & Culebra Peak

San Luis Valley, CO

The summit views.

TOP: Facing northeast, there was a patch of snow. Mestas Mountain, Greenhorn Mountain, the town of La Veta and more could be seen.

SECOND: We had an amazing view of West Spanish Peak to the east.

THIRD: Facing southeast. The town of Trinidad and the hills beyond are in the distance.

FOURTH: Looking south, we had a great view of 14er Culebra Peak.

FIFTH: The westerly view with the San Luis Valley afar.

I also made two "not too shabbies." Enjoy. :)

Blanca Peak, Colorado Another view of Blanca Peak and all those mountains north of Highway 160. The Great Sand Dunes could be faintly seen.
Trinchera Peak, Colorado Smoking a cigar and enjoying all that Trinchera Peak had to offer. :)
Steve Garufi Hiker

Tom and Steve

Two shots of me and Tom. Such an enjoyable outing.

Happiness is being in the mountains, isn't it? :)


An invitation to read my memoir, the story of my first bike across America trip ...

Videos

Love the sounds of the birds.

Impressive scenery.

Windy on the ridge.

On the summit.

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