Backpacking in the Gore Range – Snow Peak

(Last Updated On: September 2, 2015)

When Natalia and I finished our last ski of the season together on Mount Champion, we decided that we weren’t really done having fun together in the mountains. Thus, a backpacking trip was born. We originally settled on the Sangres, but then Natalia had to move from Denver to Montrose – and was literally sticking a backpacking trip in the middle of a move. To accommodate her move and crazy endeavor to put a backpacking trip within it, we changed our trip to the Gore Range.

Our intention was to hike the Deluge Lake trail, find a place to camp at the lake or a little lower, and then bang out the peaks (Snow Peak, Valhalla, and Grand Traverse) that surrounded the basin over the next day or two. In an otherwise very wet summer, the forecast looked exceptionally promising, and it looked like we might actually be able to pull it off – move and all.

Natalia showed up to the trailhead in this rig.

I turned away and said, “I don’t know her.” 😉 But, I couldn’t ignore her for long. After she sifted through all of her stuff and gathered all of her backpacking gear, Natalia and I were off, climbing the rather steep trail to Deluge Lake.
Hiking the Deluge Lake Trail in the Gore Range.

Admittedly, the hike through the forest was nice, but not super scenic. And the sounds of I-70 lingered for quite some time. But, the wildflowers were nice.
Rosy Paintbrush in the Gore Range.

Eventually, we rounded up to a shelf and I-70 noises faded, making us actually feel like we were in the Wilderness. Then, we finally came to an overlook, and “tadah!” Beautiful.
Mountains in the Gore Range.

We could see the peaks we were aiming for ahead.
Snow Peak and Valhalla in the Gore Range.

Peaks near Deluge Lake in the Gore Range.

Natalia with the southern face of Grand Traverse Peak.
Grand Traverse Peak in the Gore Range.

As we climbed higher, we realized that Deluge Lake lay on a bench above us, and was basically at treeline. We opted to camp a bit lower, in case we needed the shelter of trees, but still near Deluge Creek. Couldn’t ask for a more beautiful location!
Campsite near Deluge Creek in the Gore Range.

Snow Peak put on quite a show for us to enjoy during sunset and twilight.
Snow Peak at sunset in the Gore Range.

Snow Peak at twilight in the Gore Range.

The next morning, we woke with the sun, and scurried off to see what peaks the conditions for the day would allow us to climb. We started with Snow Peak. Lots of talus on the way.
Natalia Moran climbing talus to ascend Snow Peak.

Natalia taking a break on the talus / scree slope.
Natalia Moran climbing Snow Peak.

As we ascended, we could see the valley from which we came just the day before, a few thousand feet lower down.
Views of the Deluge Creek Valley.

Holy Cross and other Sawatch peaks in the distance.
Holy Cross seen from Snow Peak.

The summit of Snow Peak loomed over our heads.
Climbing Snow Peak

On the saddle, we took a break, getting ready for the headwall that lay ahead. Me with Snow Peak.
Brittany Konsella climbing Snow Peak.

The views of the Gore Range from the saddle were spectacular.
Views of Gore Range from Snow Peak.

Views of Gore Range from Snow Peak.

Snow Lake lingered in the basin to the east.
Snow Lake seen from near Snow Peak.

Closer view of the summit of Snow Peak.
Snow Peak

Climbing it was sporty at times. Natalia
Natalia Moran climbing Snow Peak.

These flowers tamed the tough places.
Wildflowers in the Gore Range.

Me.
Brittany Konsella climbing Snow Peak.

Still climbing. Natalia.
Natalia Moran climbing Snow Peak in the Gore Range.

Natalia Moran climbing Snow Peak in the Gore Range.

Climbing Snow Peak in the Gore Range.

Climbing Snow Peak in the Gore Range.

Nearing the summit. Me.
Brittany Konsella climbing Snow Peak in the Gore Range.

Brittany Konsella climbing Snow Peak in the Gore Range.

The views on the summit of Snow Peak were grand!
Summit views from Snow Peak!

Demming and West Demming in the distance, Gore Lake below.
View of Gore Range from Snow Peak.

Selfie on the summit!
Brittany Konsella and Natalia Moran on the summit of Snow Peak.

Looking across toward Grand Traverse Peak – a hopeful goal for later in the day or the next, with Deluge Lake below.
Deluge Lake and Grand Traverse Peak seen from Snow Peak.

After lingering on the summit, it was time to head onward toward our next goal, Mount Valhalla. Here, Natalia descends with Valhalla in the background.
Natalia Moran descending from Snow Peak.

Me downclimbing.
Brittany Konsella downclimbing on Snow Peak.

Downclimbing on Snow Peak.

Check back next week for a report on climbing Mount Valhalla and Grand Traverse Peak!

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things,Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate 🙂 Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

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Summary
Backpacking in the Gore Range - Snow Peak
Article Name
Backpacking in the Gore Range - Snow Peak
Description
The Gore Range is known for its difficult access, making it great for backpacking. To climb Snow Peak, we first camped near Deluge Lake, a beautiful spot!
Author

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things, Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate :) Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

2 thoughts on “Backpacking in the Gore Range – Snow Peak

  • August 21, 2015 at 4:17 pm
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    Awesome backpacking trip and a great write-up ! I can’t believe I am just catching up. I am just disappointed there wasn’t any snow on Snow 🙂 So glad we didn’t reschedule the trip on the account of some move…

  • August 21, 2015 at 4:20 pm
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    So glad it worked out with our busy summer schedules, Natalie!

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