Route: South Ridge from La Junta Peak
Posted On: 2021-09-17, By: supranihilest
Info: The ridge direct from La Junta doesn't go, but there is a trail through a mix of grass and scree below the ridge on the west side. Don't go too far down, it's only 50 or so feet below the ridge crest. To get back to Telluride from here I continued north to unranked 12er Ballard Mountain, which is the high point at the northern extremity of the ridge. There's a large block nearing Ballard that is also bypassed to the west. From Ballard's summit a trail is visible to the north. It initially drops down a steep and nasty little gully before returning to the grassy ridge crest, and from there continues north a short distance before beginning to switchback down the western face of the ridge. There are dozens of switchbacks on this trail, which is super solid the whole way. You'll pass below a large tower in a treed area before switchbacks resume, taking you almost all the way to Bear Creek. The trail here is confusing, but you'll go north a short distance and then there will be a log bridge (the logs look like they're about to break) over a small gap on Bear Creek, and then you'll hit a closed road which will take you back to Telluride.