At 13, 849 ft California Peak is the 84th highest peak in Colorado. This grants it “centennial” status. We climbed this peak in the late Spring (May). Via the north ridge route. This route is described by Gerry Roach as a “classic”. This gentle giant is nestled in the dramatic and rugged Sangre De Cristo Range. The peak is an easy one, however, the spectacular views and solitude are sure to hold your interest. This is a mountain you should have on your list!!
Here is some basic useful information about this route.
- Trail head (Note this is to Upper Huerfeno You will want to stop a little more than a mile short). Plan on about an hour from Walsenburg to reach this trailhead
- GPX Route for this hike (Right Click and select ‘save as’)
- Weather Forecast
- Summit post Peak Page and North Ridge Route
- 14ers.com trip reports
Distance: 8.4 miles
Starting Elevation: 10,200
Summit Elevation: 13, 849
Elevation Gain: 4,101
Difficulty: Class 1
There is a nice campground by the creek before you reach the ranches. There are also several nice dispersed campsites near the trailhead.
Leave the small parking area and follow the good zappata trail west approximately 1.7 miles to where it gains the ridge. The trail may be obscure in the meadow or in the spring may be covered by drifts in the forest. When in the meadow take note of where the low point in the ridge is . This is where the trail gains the ridge. If you lose the trail just aim for this point. Gain the ridge at 11,860 ft. From here simply follow the gentle ridge south to the summit. You will pass over several false summits including pt 13, 476