Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
6,223.00 ft (1,896.77 m)
Trail type
30.50 mi (49.08 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

San Luis Peak Loop is a 30.5-mile route through the La Garita Mountains, including the summit of San Luis Peak (14,014'), the range's highest point. It is located within Gunnison National Forest, north of Creede, Colorado, in La Garita Wilderness. There are two main routes that people take to reach the top of San Luis Peak and this loop explores them both going up the south ridge and down the northeast ridge towards Stewart Creek. 

This loop features alpine forests, wildflower filled meadows, talus slopes, and breathtaking mountain vistas, and views overlooking the Rio Grande Valley and the San Luis Valley. 

It is a high alpine route with an elevation range of 10,300' to 14,014' (at the peak of San Luis Peak) and an overall gain of 6,223'.

This is a challenging, yet scenic and rewarding adventure that is suitable for runners, hikers, and backpackers.


The trek begins where Forest Route 503 turns from a forest road to a 4x4 road. Continue along the road for 1.8 miles until you reach West Willow Creek Trailhead. Take the San Luis Pass Trail to San Luis Pass, then turn right and take the Colorado Trail north.

After about 7 miles, you'll reach a trail junction and begin your climb up San Luis Peak's southern ridge. Continue down the northeast ridge and follow the Stewart Creek Trail all the way to the Stewart Creek Trailhead. Follow Stewart Creek until you reach the Colorado Trail (CT)/Continental Divide Trail (CDT). Follow the CT/CDT south, passing the San Luis Peak trail junction you used to ascend the mountain, and retrace your steps back to the beginning. 


The best time to visit this area if you want to avoid snow is in the summer. Keep in mind that summer also brings afternoon thunderstorms and chances for lightning. Make sure you check current weather conditions before heading out and have a plan in case you do encounter bad weather. 


Dispersed camping is allowed in the national forest as long as visitors follow the appropriate regulations. For more information please visit


  • Prepare to spend the entire trek at high elevation. 

  • Prepare for quickly changing weather, especially in the summer season.

  • Start early to avoid being near the summit during an afternoon thunderstorm. 

  • This route passes through the La Garita Wilderness, which is subject to Wilderness Restrictions.

  • The trailhead can be difficult to access and may require a high clearance vehicle. 


Current Weather on San Luis Peak

How Do I Stay Safe from Lightning at High Elevations?


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round





Incredible views. Wildflowers. Alpine environment.


Trailhead may be difficult to reach.

Trailhead Elevation

10,300.00 ft (3,139.44 m)

Highest point

14,014.00 ft (4,271.47 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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