Many guests of our Creede Colorado dude ranch look forward to spending one day of their dude ranch vacation hiking the Colorado Rockies. The La Garita Mountains, a high sub-range of the San Juans, are all around us, and provide many outstanding hiking opportunities.

One of these is nearby Phoenix Peak, also called Creede Crest or Gwynedd Mountain. Since it doesn’t have one specific name it is officially known as Unnamed 13895; it is also the second highest unnamed peak in Colorado. Whatever you call it, it is located just south of the continental divide in the La Garita Wilderness of the Rio Grande National Forest.

The trailhead is just a few miles northeast of Creede, and permits are not required to park or hike. Keep an eye out for elk and deer on the way to the summit, and be sure to admire the terrace ponds built by beavers. From the summit, you’ll admire a number of tall peaks such as San Luis Peak (over 14,000 feet), Stewart Peak, Baldy Alto, and more. Be sure to bring a box of tasty food from the dining room so you can enjoy a satisfying meal before heading back to the ranch.

Phoenix Peak is best hiked July through September, when snow is unlikely. We recommend starting early, so you’ll be back in time to relax at our Colorado dude ranch before restoring yourself with dinner. You’ll may want to dive in the pool, soak weary muscles in a hot spring, or pamper yourself with a massage. Then kick back at the bar with a well deserved drink and take enjoy views of the mountains.

For additional information on hiking Phoenix Peak, please visit summitpost.