Peak 13078' at Poplar Gulch - St. Elmo, Colorado

An underrated 13er that's worth your time ...
Many Colorado 13ers don't get much love and those without names get even less! Still, hiking Peak 13078' from Poplar Gulch is one that I recommend. The summit offers many great views in the Sawatch Range, and as it's usually the case with these mountains, Peak 13078' is a drawing card for those who want to avoid the crowds. We only saw four hikers on the entire trail -- all while we were coming down. From the Poplar Gulch Trail in St. Elmo, it was a 4.3 mile hike (one way) with a 3000' foot elevation gain.

Peak 13078'
A rock pile on the summit of Peak 13078'.
Peak 13078
The south face of Peak 13078'. Photo taken at Grizzly Lake.

The north face of Peak 13078', the nearest peak on the left. Photo taken from Gladstone Ridge.

Photos and write-up by Steve Garufi in Buena Vista, Colorado. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - YouTube

Click any image to view it at a larger size.
Poplar Gulch Trail, CO

Hiking In Poplar Gulch

You ascend out of Chalk Creek Canyon and will continue through meadows and forests. Then when I got above timberline, I got serious about taking pictures.
Poplar Gulch, CO

Poplar Gulch Trail, Colorado

Two photos of this mountain view. It would be interesting to wander around there, set up camp and perhaps hike Peak 13050'.
Poplar Gulch 13er Although you can't quite see the summit in this image, this is Peak 13078' as it comes to view.
Trail to Peak 13078' At the saddle, the trail continues into Green Timber Gulch in South Cottonwood Canyon.

Here's a photo facing east. This trail heads up Peak 13078'.

Poplar Gulch Trail There's one steep section. We rested many times, and I had many incentives to stop to enjoy this view behind us. :)
Peak 13078 Feet

On The Summit

A rock pile on the summit. It's too bad this mountain doesn't have a name. I'm sure suggestions have been made, but I'd throw out "Mount Vernon" -- the name of my friend and hiking partner Mike Vernon of Buena Vista. That sounds like a stately name for a peak like this. :) (See a photo of us at the bottom of this photo gallery.)
Mount Princeton, Colorado The magnificent view of Mount Princeton to the west.

Those two pointed peaks on the right are Peak 13317' and Peak 13299'. That's right -- those don't have names either.

Mount Antero, Colorado To the southeast was yet another captiving view.

Mount Antero, Mount White, Mount Shavano, Boulder Mountain and other peaks are all out there, and waaaaaaay below is Chalk Creek Canyon. You can see a stretch of County Road 162 too. (Click to image to view it at a larger size.)

According to my map, the gulch in the foreground is named Coal Camp Canyon.

Grizzly Gulch & Lake, CO

Chalk Creek Canyon, CO

St. Elmo, CO

If you're a fan of Chalk Creek Canyon, then this is a hike worth your time. It was neat to see how the canyon appears from the high country.

TOP: A closer look at Grizzly Lake and Grizzly Gulch.

SECOND: Much of the canyon surrounding by peaks. To get an even better view, hike on that ridge directly to the south.

THIRD: Although St. Elmo was just out of view, we could see much of the old train route into Romley and Hancock, as well as the mining roads to the Iron Chest Mine.

I made a video summarizing what I thought of these mountains ...
Mountains Facing west, Emma Burr Mountain was as beautiful as ever.
Mountains Ice Mountain and Huron Peak afar. This is in the direction of Cottonwood Pass, which we could not see.
Mount Yale, Colorado Mount Yale had a monstrous presence to the north.
Buena Vista, CO

South Cottonwood Canyon, CO

TOP: We could see Buena Vista way out there.

SECOND: A good view of South Cottonwood Canyon below. Cottonwood Lake is just around that bend. Also included is Sheep Mountain and the Buffalo Peaks.

Yellow Wildflower

Hikers Log

The wildflowers are out.

According to the hikers' log, we were the first people to hike this mountain in a week. :)

Steve Garufi & Mike Vernon Me and Mike. We hiked Mount Democrat last week and have more mountains on the agenda.


Above timberline on the Poplar Gulch Trail.

On the summit of Peak 13078'.

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