East Spanish Peak

HARD 1 reviews
#83 of 95 trails in

East Spanish Peak is a 8.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Weston, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking and trail running.

DISTANCE
8.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3238 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

trail running

forest

views

wildlife

East Spanish Peak is not as high nor as steep as West Spanish Peak but it is a much longer slog starting from the upper trailhead on East Spanish versus the Cordova Pass for West Spanish with a slightly greater elevation gain. If starting from the lower trailhead count on another 2-3 hours and another 1500 feet in elevation gain. From the lower trailhead this is a really long slog and even those young and in good shape will not be able to climb anything else that day (such as West Spanish) as there will not be time.   The East Spanish trailhead is found by starting in La Veta. Go one block east of 160/Main Street, a dirt road name Birch and take that dirt road south, out of town. After passing two lakes on your right, just a mile or two out of town, you will take the first left. After a mile or two you continue on that road as it curves sharply right (it looks like a right turnoff and if you go straight you will run into a dead end). Keep on this road. After a few more miles you will go over a small bridge, then you will pass a sign saying "dead end". At this point you are almost there. Another quarter mile or so and you will find a wide portion of the road and on the right a small, poorly marked entrance to a jeep trail called Wahatoya trail. This is the lower trailhead. The elevation at this point is around 8400. If you have trail tires and 4WD you can take this jeep road up to the upper trailhead, elevation 9900 feet. Otherwise you will need to park and walk up. Count on a little over an hour to get to the upper trailhead, where there is is a parking lot.   The trail at this point is pretty clear and fairly flat. Your goal at this point is to get to a saddle where you break off from the main trail and turn left, to east Spanish. You turn left at the high point of this trail. There is a pole sticking out of the ground at this point. [If you go too far you will find yourself on the trail going downhill.] Assuming you turned left at the post, you will be heading slightly downhill with a very steep hill facing you in the distance, There are cairns, but it is not essential to follow them. You are walking on the saddle whose sides are narrowing as your progress, so you can't go far off the poorly marked trail as you head SE. The key, when you start up the steep rise is to find the very well marked path with switchbacks. It is well marked, but because it is in the trees you might be 300 yards away and not see it. If you don't take the switchbacked path it is a very steep slog straight up the hill which you will not want to do unless you like holding on to roots and branches. Finding the switchbacked path at this point is very helpful and only requires going left or right a few hundred yards. Once you scale this hill, going from about 10400 to slightly over 11000, the rest is pretty straightforward but lengthy, with the last few hours going up rocks, but larger rocks that are more stable than West Spanish. It is not clear that there is a path here, but much of it is on the ridge winding up to the peak and is easy to plot.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful area and gorgeous hike. First 2 miles are pretty easy, not too steep. When you break off the Wahatoya Trail for the East Peak trail it gets pretty steep.