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Gladstone Ridge - Elevation 13,209 Feet

A Colorado 13er In The Sawatch Range, West of Buena Vista, Colorado

A 13er That's Low On People's Climbing Lists
Gladstone Ridge is one of those 13ers that most people have never heard of, and in fact, it is rarely climbed. It is a long ridge that divides Cottonwood Canyon (that leads to Cottonwood Pass) and South Cottonwood Canyon (home of Cottonwood Lake and Mineral Basin), with a high point at 13,209 feet. On this page are my photos of my hike.

Photos and commentary by Steve Garufi in Buena Vista, Colorado. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - Google Plus

Gladstone Ridge Colorado
The view of Gladstone Ridge as one faces east. The highest point is on the right.

Gladstone Ridge, CO
At Cottonwood Pass, Gladstone Ridge sprawls across on the left and center of the picture. The high point is directly below the arrow.

From the high point of the Poplar Gulch Trail, located south of Gladstone Ridge.

Ptarmigan Lake Colorado

Ptarmigan Lake, CO

June 5, 2012 - At 5:45 a.m., I traveled from Buena Vista into South Cottonwood Canyon and parked at the base of Grassy Gulch. My 2WD vehicle did fine beyond Cottonwood Lake and into the canyon, but Grassy Gulch Road definitely requires a 4WD and high clearance vehicle. As you'll see on your topographical map if you choose to do this hike, I walked up the road to the ridge that provides a great view of Ptarmigan Lake. From there, I hiked east on the ridge to the summit.

Another common route is to start at the Ptarmigan Lake Trailhead from Chaffee County Road 306. Hike past Ptarmigan Lake and hit the ridge.

Adjacent are two photos of Ptarmigan Lake as I began to hike east on the ridge.

Jones Mountain Colorado Turning back and gazing at the view of Jones Mountain (elev. 13,232 feet).
Gladstone Ridge, Colorado

Gladstone Ridge Colorado

TOP: Point 13,038' (left) and Point 12,962' (center) with the summit on the right.

SECOND: A closer view of Point 13,038' and Gladstone Ridge. I found the best way to traverse Point 13,038' is to just stay on the ridge and climb it.

As I continued, the view of Ptarmigan Lake kept changing. Another photo.
Jonesy Gulch Colorado

Jonesy Gulch Colorado

With the summit in view, I hiked above Jonesy Gulch. Adjacent are two photos.

As I studied my map and assessed the slopes, I decided that I would hike down Jonesy Gulch to reach the road. That way, I'd get down from timberline quicker and would have an easier and quicker time to reach my car. Although there wasn't a trail, I found it relatively easy to hike down the gulch.

13er Gladstone Ridge Closer to the top ...
Mount Yale Colorado The Summit

The views from Gladstone Ridge are quite rewarding. Perhaps the very best was this spectacular sight of 14er Mount Yale. :)

Sheep Mountain This view to the east includes Sheep Mountain, which conceivably could be reached from Gladstone Ridge. Just continue hiking on the ridge for about four miles. Beyond the mountain is the Arkansas River Valley and the town of Buena Vista.
Mount Princeton Colorado Mount Princeton. What a beautiful mountain, isn't it? My two latest climbs of Mount Princeton can be seen here and here.

Also, this picture will certainly be the newest addition on my Mt. Princeton website:

Facing south. Many peaks in the southern Sawatch Range.
Emma Burr Mountain Colorado I zoomed-in as much as I could to capture Emma Burr Mountain (elev. 13,544 feet).
Cottonwood Pass Colorado While coming down Cottonwood Pass (traveling east toward Buena Vista), one can certainly see Gladstone Ridge. I love this photo of the road twisting and turning upward to the divide.
Chaffee County Road 306 Directly north, it appeared that one could park at the upper parking lot (one mile west of the Denny Creek Trailhead) and hike one's way up to Gladstone Ridge. Just a thought.
Steve Relaxing on the summit in my mountain boots that I bought at the Walmart in Paris, Arkansas. :)


Showing you the views and talking too much at the summit.

Jones Mountain, Ptarmigan Lake and Mount Yale.

Farther up the ridge. It was windy! But not as windy as Mount Sheridan last week.

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