Clinton Peak - South Slope

Difficulty:  Class 2 
Summit Elevation: 13,857 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 10,950 feet
Elevation Gain:2,950 feet
Round-trip Length: 9.00 miles
Trailhead: Montgomery Res.
Author: BillMiddlebrook
Route Added: 07/14/2005
Last Updated: 10/02/2005


Less than 1 mile south of Hoosier Pass, take the County Road (CR) 4 west from Colorado 9. Start measuring mileage when you turn onto CR 4. At 0.3 miles, stay straight. At 0.6 miles, stay straight. At 0.8 miles, go right on the higher road. At 1.4 miles, reach the parking area at Montgomery Reservoir. Cross a small bridge and continue around the reservoir. Near 1.6 miles, the road gets a little rough. Climb the hill for a bit and locate a turn-off to the left - at 1.7 miles. Turn left and park near a water shed and concrete wall. This is the trailhead.


Hike northwest and west over 2.5 miles up the rough 4WD road into Platte Gulch. Near the end of the basin, stay right as the road climbs up to Wheeler Lake at 12,168'. The lake is over 3 miles from the trailhead. Photo #1 shows the route from this point. The road ends on the left side of the lake. Find a trail that continues north. Before reaching the north end of the lake, turn left and find a smaller trail that leads up a gully to the right of some cliffs - Photo #2.

Above 12,400', reach the start of the large basin that leads to Traver Peak, Clinton Peak, and McNamee Peak. There is no trail on the remainder of the route. Continue to the center of the basin to locate a small stream. Traver Peak is ahead to the southwest - Photo #3. Clinton Peak is not visible until you reach the west end of the basin. Follow the stream west where you must climb a couple of brief slopes along the way. Photo #4 was taken near 12,800'. Hike west to 13,000' where you can finally see the south slope of Clinton up to the right (northwest). The summit is difficult to distinguish from here. Photo #5 was taken from Mt. Lincoln and provides a better view of the area. Angle northwest a bit to start the climb out of the basin and up to the summit. Photo #6 is another view of Clinton's south slope.

Near 13,200', hike directly north up Clinton's steep south slope. Without snow, this is an easy talus hike. With snow, axe and crampons are recommended. There are some loose areas but the slope is relatively stable. Photo #7, taken from the south side of the basin, shows the route above 13,000'. Hit the summit ridge just shy of 13,800' between Clinton's summit (left) and a 13,800-foot point on the east end of the summit ridge. Turn left and hike 100' of elevation up Clinton's east ridge - Photo #8. The actual summit appears at the last moment. Photo #9 and Photo #10 were taken from the top.


Stock vehicles shouldn't attempt the very rough 4WD road up from the trailhead. This is one of the roughest roads in the area.


Photo #1 Photo #2 Photo #3 Photo #4 Photo #5 Photo #6 Photo #7 Photo #8 Photo #9 Photo #10