Culebra Peak is located in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range and is the southernmost 14er.  It is on private land and you must get a permit to access the mountain.  The ranch allows 30 people on Friday and Saturday to hike, at $150 per person.

I arrived at the ranch on Friday night around 10:30 PM.   I parked my Jeep and climbed the gate to find a little area designated for camping on the other side.  It was a very clear night and the stars were absolutely incredible!

IMG_0883

 

 

 

I woke up at 530AM to prepare for the 6 AM gate opening.  The rancher was already there collecting paperwork and checking people in.  Once the group was ready, we drove through the gate to the to the ranch headquarters for a debriefing and overview of the mountain.  There were 18 people hiking, so apparently they had 12 no-shows that day.

Since I had a Jeep with high-clearance, they asked me to drive one of the hikers up the trailhead.  So, I met a new friend named Alvin who I hiked with.  Alvin is in Colorado for the summer visiting from Joshua Tree, California.  He is planning to hike all of the 14ers this year so I may catch up with him on a future trip.

IMG_0882

We started hiking at 7:15AM and made it to the top by 9:45AM.  Pretty quick, fairly easy hike.  There are not really any trails on Culebra, which makes the hike a little more interesting and fun.

On the way up we saw hundreds if not thousands of elk.

IMG_0869

IMG_0865

IMG_0880

IMG_0867

 

After summiting Culebra, I decided to head over to Red Mountain.  Red Mountain is a Colorado Centennial Peak (Top 100) so I figured since I had access, I may as well as bag another peak.

Heading back to the Jeep from Red Mountain, I attempted to skirt a reclimb of Culebra.  The route became fairly technical but overall was not too bad.

We had perfect weather and a great day!

IMG_0881