Peak:  Crestone Peak (14er)
 Route:  Crestones Traverse
 Range:  Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  ktfoote628
 Date of Info:  08/05/2021
 Date Posted:  08/06/2021

Quite wet when we set out to backpack and do the Crestone traverse about 4 PM on Wednesday. Was surprised to see only a few open spots at the lower and upper trailhead, even on a Wednesday and spots were completely full PM on Thursday with lots of backpackers heading up. I think this area will be packed this weekend.

Lots of water on the roads and trails that dried up a bit by the time we got back. The worse part was after descending BHP in the trails in grass around Cottonwood Lake (4" so inches on those trails).

Red gully was also flowing very quickly with multiple streams but quite avoidable. Red Gully may be my favorite gully of the 50+ 14ers I have dne.

It took us about 4 hours to get to Crestone Peak from a camping spot near the old Crestone mine (dodging puddles slowed us down a bit as well as got a bit turned around in the camping area/ Humboldt connector in the dark), 2.5 hours for the traverse and maybe 4-5 hours to get down from Needle. I thought the traverse was straightforward but we definitely got lost coming down from the Needle, since neither of us had gone up it, so study that part carefully!

Overall, fun, beautiful, slightly smoky day. Bring waterproof shoes and a change of socks!

Photos (click for slideshow):
#1) Feet got a bit wet at this crossing after the Humboldt junction#2#3) Red Gully

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