Mount Shavano and Tabeguache Peak is a 10 mile out and back trail located near Nathrop, Colorado and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from July until September.
This is a tough hike for those that are starting out... it is up up up the whole way with some particularly difficult grade the .25 mile before the saddle and the last 400 feet to the top. However, the views are beautiful!
First .25 miles is flat, next 2.5 are gradual incline and once you break the tree line you are exposed and increasing elevation quickly. Start the hike as early as you need to in order to be down from the summit by noon. You don't want to get caught in an afternoon storm. When I want there was an early morning (9am) storm that turned several people back down the mountain. Keep an eye out for storms as they can form very quickly... they often form below the summit and with in a matter of minutes you can be caught in a lightning storm on top. But as long as you are careful and watch the forecast, you'll be fine.
This was a very long trip, but so worth it. We saw campers, hikers, and a lot of off roaders. We drove up to the North Fork Reservoir which was an amazing view. Small brooks coming from the lake. Snow still on the ground in places. We even saw people on a canoe on the small lake. We then went back and drove up to Billings Lake. Amazing. A small natural lake in a valley surrounded by mountains. Up on one ridge there looks to be a cave with a rock front. We drove up to that and walked to the cave. The front is marked 1880 Pride of the West. Other off roaders told us it was a hotel in the 1800s to the mining community. We were able to step inside and take pictures. Well worth an afternoon of site seeing.
This was a tough, but good climb. The road to the TH is rough, but very passable with almost any car when dry. Most of the trail below the trees is easy enough to follow. Watch for deliberately cut tree fall. Out of the tree line and up to the saddle, the trail was great - but steep near the saddle. The last climb to the Shavano summit was steep indeed. Pay attention to boot marks and cairns, an it's possible to follow the "trail" all the way to the top. Beware of small switchbacks. The summit is rocky but spacious enough. You are basically on your own over to Tabeguache. The trail is very patchy and overall pathetic. The ascent to Tabeguache is just a matter of scrambling and watching for loose rock. Coming back is long, and summed up with false summits. I counted about 7 from the Tabeguache summit, so I was anticipating it. Some of the false summits looked very real on approach. Coming down, the trail to the saddle for the last part was hard to follow and I ultimately lost it. It was fine because the loose scree was fun to come down - and fast. I climbed on a Thursday, and there weren't many other climbers at all - compared to some like Yale. I would certainly recommend this climb, but this is no walk in the park, and wouldn't recommend this as a first 14er. Yale, or Elbert would be better break-ins. This is significantly harder then Yale, but a similar principle. And don't leave Shavano if the weather is bad. It's a long mile over and additional one back.