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    Uncompahgre Peak Hike

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    12.4 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    866 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Uncompahgre Peak Hike

    The uncompahgre Peak Hike is a challenging and exhilarating excursion in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado that will take you to the summit of the 6th highest peak in the state. While out hiking the trail, you will gradually make your way up through the basin, before the final steep push and light scramble up to the summit for some breathtaking views. Take note that you will need a 4x4 high clearance vehicle in order to reach the trailhead, as the road into the mountains is very rough and rugged.

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    Route Description for Uncompahgre Peak Hike

    Featuring some rough and rugged mountain terrain, the Uncompahgre Peak Hike will require proper hiking footwear and a decent level of physical fitness to complete, as there is a short scramble to the summit. You will also need a 4x4 high clearance vehicle to reach the trailhead, as the road leading into the mountains will be quite difficult to traverse without one.

    Although it is difficult to reach, the Uncompahgre Peak Hike is a fantastic adventure that will take you high into the San Juan Mountains for incredible views. In addition to experiencing the beautiful scenery of the mountains, you will also have the sense of achievement at having summited the 6th highest peak in the Rockies, making for a memorable day out on the trails in Colorado.

    Setting out from the Nellie Creek Trailhead, you will make your way to the northwest and follow a path running parallel to the creek. Here, you will climb gradually uphill through a mixture of forest and meadow for 1.4 km, before arriving at a junction in the trail.

    Taking the path on the left, you will head to the west and continue uphill through the basin, enjoying the sweeping views of the mountainous landscape over the next 2.4 km until you arrive at another junction. Keep right here and follow the path as it loops around to the northwest for the ascent of Uncompahgre Peak.

    Here, the route will begin to steepen as you work your way towards the summit, eventually leading you on a brief and rocky scramble up to the top of the peak. Once there, you will enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding San Juan Mountains, including Silver Mountain to the north and Matterhorn Peak to the southwest.

    After taking in the stunning views across the Colorado wilderness, you will need to head back along the same trail to return to the trailhead. Exercise caution here, as the gradual slope that you climbed on the way in is far more dangerous on the way down, thanks to loose rock that creates unstable footing. After working your way back down the mountain and through the basin, you will arrive back at the parking area having completed the Uncompahgre Peak Hike.

    Trail Highlights

    Uncompahgre Peak

    Situated in the San Juan Mountain sub-range, Uncompahgre Peak has an elevation of 4,365 m, making it the sixth highest summit in the state of Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. The west, east, and south faces of the mountain are not overly steep; however, the north face features a 213 m cliff. The name Uncompahgre comes from the Ute word meaning ‘dirty water’, likely in reference to nearby hot springs in the area.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How tall is Uncompahgre Peak?

    Uncompahgre peak has an elevation of 4,361 m above sea level.

    What county can Uncompahgre Peak be found in?

    Uncompahgre Peak is located in the San Juan Mountains, in Hinsdale County.

    Insider Hints for Uncompahgre Peak Hike

    • A 4x4 high clearance vehicle is required to make the rugged drive into the trailhead.
    • Wear proper hiking boots with good ankle support.
    • Watch your footing on the return leg down the mountainside, as the loose rock can be hazardous.

    Getting to the Uncompahgre Peak Hike Trailhead

    The starting point for the Uncompahgre Peak Hike can be found at the Nellie Creek Trailhead along Forest Service Road 239.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Uncompahgre Peak Hike Elevation Graph

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