West Spanish Peak (Elevation 13,633 Feet)

A Great Mountain in Southeast Colorado
West Spanish Peak, the taller peak among the Spanish Peaks, stands like a guardian over the little town of La Veta, Colorado. This mountain and East Spanish Peak can be seen from many parts of the I-25 corridor from Trinidad all the way to Colorado Springs. It is a worthy hike for the wonderful summit views. Another positive is the standard route at Cordova Pass is accessible by any car. The trail is approximately three miles (one way) to the summit.

Directions: Drive to Cuchara Pass from Highway 12 (the "Highway of the Legends"), and turn east on County Road 364. Proceed for six miles on this dirt road to Cordova Pass. The road has some bumpy spots, but most 2WD low clearance vehicles will make it just fine with careful driving. The West Spanish Trail begins at Cordova Pass. There is a $6 day parking fee.

West Spanish Peak, CO
West Spanish Peak covered in snow after an April snowstorm.

Spanish Peaks, Colorado
An autumn season shot of the Spanish Peaks (west is on the right) at a pullover on Highway 12 near La Veta.

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

West Peak Trailhead

Jose Cordova


July 2, 2016 - John Z. and I began at the trailhead at 7:10 a.m. on a cloudy day.

Cordova Pass was named after Jose Cordova in 1978. Read more about him in the adjacent photo.

Trail At first, the trail is pleasant with modest ups and downs in the forest.
West Spanish Peak, Colorado At a clearing, I snapped this shot and marked the route later on. In a sense, I'd say West Spanish Peak is like most 14ers or 13ers in that there's a lot of climbing to be done. However, when looking back at this particular mountain, even I was astonished by how STEEP that ridge looks above timberline. :)

Mountain Scenery

TOP: A large cairn at timberline.

SECOND: Somewhere nestled in those hills is the village of Cuchara. Mount Mestas is on the right.

The forecast called for the clouds to break, but they hadn't when we reached the long and steep area above timberline. The winds were howling and we were guessing the temperature may have been 45 degrees. Some hikers turned back, but we continued.

Talus Field

Hiking Spanish Peaks

Three photos of talus fields. So pretty!

John got a shot of me as I was working up. He was usually ahead of me because I was out of shape. This was my first real mountain climb in two years, the last being Boreas Mountain.

Snow in July You've got to love those patches of snow that have forgotten to melt.

I'll remind you today's date was July 2. :)

West Spanish Peak, CO On The Summit

Visibility was poor throughout much of the hike. In fact, while on the summit we were engulfed in clouds. However, for about 2 minutes things cleared enough to get a decent photo.

Other hikes this year:

  • Trinchera Peak
  • Greenhorn Mountain
  • Almagre Mountain
  • Steve on Summit

    West Spanish Peak Colorado

    Two photos of me on the summit. I don't know... I kept trying to get a good shot but to no avail. It's too bad we couldn't see much. I really wanted to see Pueblo, Trinidad and maybe even in Colorado Springs. Maybe I'll hike again on a sunnier day. :)

    GRATITUDE. For over a year, I had suffered from Morton's Neuroma in both feet, a condition that causes nerve pain and inflammation in the front of the foot. There was a point last winter where I was depressed and wondering if I'd ever be able to walk long distances again. Well, God answered my prayers. My feet are about 90% healed and as you can see, I did a hike of this stature. Grateful... so so grateful. :)

    On a false summit and engulfed in clouds.

    My summit video.

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