Hike Mount Shavano and Tabeguache Peak

Colorado Shavano/Tabeguache Trailhead

Added by Jeff Richards

  • Summit two 14ers in one day
  • Camping right by the trailhead
  • Remote location/uncrowded trails
  • 9.25 mile roundtrip hike
  • 4600' elevation gain

Start out on the Shavano and Tabeguache Trailhead off of FR 252 outside of Poncha Springs, at about 9,700 feet, and begin your trek into the forest. In the first half of a mile there are a few trail marker signs that should be read carefully to insure the right path is followed, but these signs are very easy to understand, and getting off track is hard. After this half mile, there is only one trail to follow, and that trail begins to climb. The first 3 or so miles is spent below tree-line, so if you got an early start (which is highly recommended) make sure to have a headlamp, as the trail does cross streams fairly often and can be easy to lose if you're not paying attention.

The trail climbs up out of the forest and traverses along the north side of a deep and beautiful gully. Follow the obvious trail as it stays relatively flat along side of the gully and start to head up to a saddle between Shavano and an unnamed mountain. The climb up to the saddle is your first big test, and should be taken slowly as it is steep and can be quite loose.

Now begins the hardest part of Shavano. There is only around 700 feet of climbing left, but it gets steeper and rockier, and the trail breaks off in many directions, which can become very confusing. Just note that all of these offshoot trails will lead to around the same area. After climbing 650 feet there is something of a false summit where the trail ends and you must simply scramble up rocks to reach the true summit.

Once on the summit, you can head back the same way you came up, or head to Tabeguache. Tabeguache is a flatter summit 1.5 miles to the Northwest. There is no obvious and well marked trail coming off of Shavano, so simply head down the rocky ridge to the Northwest (its the only other way to head beside back down). Make sure to stay as high as possible as this is where the scattered pieces of a broken trail will be. After a mile on the rocky ridge, you will make a steep descent to the very flat saddle. The downside to the saddle is it is short. This ascent, while not very long, can be tricky as the trail isn't very good, and it is very steep. It is easiest to just rock hop straight up to the summit and avoid the confusing trail.

After summiting Tabeguache you, unfortunately, have to go back the way you came. This means descending the rocky slope of Tabeguache. After getting to the saddle again, you must re-traverse the rocky ridge. To make it easy on yourself, simply stay as high as possible on the ridge. Once back to Shavano, its all the same as the way you came up.

Pack List

Hiking:
  • Good day pack,
  • Water
  • Snack/meal/trail food
  • Gloves
  • Wind/rain proof soft shell
  • Warm sweater or jacket to go under the shell
  • Hiking boots or shoes
  • Extra socks
  • Headlamp
  • Camera (gear)
Camping (all of the above plus):
  • Tent with reliable rainfly
  • Food for dinner and/or breakfast
  • Kindling and lighter to start a fire
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad (all ground is hard and rocky)
  • Tripod
  • Remote shutter (get shots of the stars on a clear night)
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

9.25 Miles

Elev. Gain:

4600 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

4 months ago

peak

The USGS marker at the top of Shavano is just a PVC pipe with stickers chained to a rock unless I never found it. The views from the saddle are impressive and mountain goats were seen running across. We also spotted a Marmut as the storms rolled over the saddle and poured down on Salida. This was my first Collegiate Peak and I would like to return to try another.

4 months ago

11 months ago

Super Fun Hike

This was the first mountain I ever hiked and I had a blast! It is absolutely beautiful even though it was hailing super hard on the way down. The view from the topics definitely worth a look.

11 months ago

Added by Jeff Richards

Addicted to the mountains and in love with all they offer.

 Boulder, CO

More Adventures Nearby

Hike the Shanahan Ridge Trail

Colorado / Shanahan Ridge Trailhead

Starting on the edge of a neighborhood in South Boulder, this 3.8 mile loop begins its 869 foot elevation gain by meandering through a pine forest.

Hike the Arapaho Traverse

Colorado / Fourth of July Trailhead

Begin at the Fourth of July Trailhead.  Day parking is free and overnight parking is $5.  Fourth of July is a popular trailhead and to ensure parking, you should arrive early in the morning (6am-ish..

Ian Glass
13 Saves

Poudre Canyon Run

Colorado / Dadd Gulch Trailhead Parking

Stretching 126 miles from its source in the Rocky Mountain National Park, the Cache La Poudre (pronounced: Poo-ter) river provides host to an entire treasure trove of outdoor recreational activities.

Jason Leach
3 Saves