Peak(s):  California Peak  -  13,849 feet
Date Posted:  08/14/2013
Date Climbed:   08/05/2013
Author:  cftbq
 Day 1: An easy Centennial with great views   

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TH: Lower Huerfano TH, where the Zapata Trail crosses FS 580
RT: 8.45 mi.
Vert: ~4,100 ft.
Time: ~9 hrs.
Crew: cftbq, broncotw, James Jennings


The Zapata Trail leaves the valley floor and switchbacks up to a meadow.
Previous reports suggest that the trail is easy to lose here, and it does indeed become indistinct. A pole in a pile of rocks at the other (SW) side of the meadow, however, is easily located and marks where the trail once again becomes easy to see.
At this point, enough of the trees have been left behind to offer nice views down the valley.

The ridge is reached at this saddle:

Looking up from the same point gives an initial view of the long ridge ahead (the actual summit is not yet visible).

Eventually, the summit does appear, but there are lots of ridge bumps in between.

A great view of Mt. Lindsey appears.

Do these false summits ever end?

Here's Middle Zapata Creek Lake, along the other common route to the summit.

You get a nice look at the Great Sand Dunes.

And the way back down is just as long.

It's a technically easy peak, but the ridge can be a test of patience. It was a good choice for the first day of a multi-day trip.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Fun Day.....
08/15/2013 21:20
That was a fun day! Thanks for the great TR and pics!

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