Peak(s):  San Luis Peak  -  14,014 feet
Date Posted:  07/22/2019
Date Climbed:   07/20/2019
Author:  sharper100
Additional Members:   ksay85
 San Luis Peak - South Ridge   

We started from the 8.2 mile point on 503, as the road is blocked off at that point. All of the trail directions/photos in are still totally spot-on for this route. Multiple stream crossings as we headed northeast up the hill with the rocky point to our left. Going up this hill was the steepest part of the entire hike! It is even more steep (to me, at least) than the San Luis shoulder. The trail is also dirt and gravel at this point, so on the way down was a challenge, especially when you're tired. On the ridge crest, it was fairly easy to go to the edge of the crest, spot the Continental Divide Trail, and hike down to it. The faint trail mentioned in is covered in snow currently, but we were able to maneuver close to where it was and saw where it exited the snow field and connected with the CDT. It's a short, steep hike down. You can also see San Luis Peak for the first time while on this ridge. We traversed the two basins, and they were absolutely stunning, except for the beetle kill of the trees in the forest. So sad. The long gradual ascent of the trail in these basins makes for a super awesome hiking experience.19547_01 19547_02

You're able to enjoy the beauty and get a good look at San Luis. After exiting the CDT, you head up the long shoulder of San Luis. There are plenty of cairns to help you stay on track, but the trail is also apparent. This photo is looking back south after starting up the shoulder.


Just when you think you've reached the top, there's always more....that's all I'll say about that long shoulder. This shot was looking south west at another valley as we ascended the shoulder. 19547_04

The peak wasn't crowded - and everyone was coming from the standard route.


The south ridge trail was wonderfully void of crowds and a super peaceful, gorgeous hike. 19547_0619547_0719547_0819547_09

It took us way longer than normal, as we didn't get any altitude training this year prior to doing San Luis. So, after hitting the shoulder, we slowed down substantially. But, it took us 3 hours and 25 minutes to summit - and MapMyRun says it was 6.51 miles from the Jeep to the summit. We started at 5:45 am and arrived back at the Jeep at 10 after Noon. Great trail, highly recommend this route...but SHHHHHHH don't tell everyone! haha

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
the route
07/30/2019 20:08
Is this not the normal route? bc you say you recommend this route so I'm confused

07/31/2019 08:45
This is not the standard route. The standard route is the Northeast Ridge. We did the South Ridge route.

Going for it
07/10/2021 23:58
It will be my first solo 14er. I am greatful for your excellent trip report, has calmed my nerves. I can definitely find the trail no problem now.

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