Ascent of Venado Peak on 2015-08-08

Climber: Andrew Oxford

Date:Saturday, August 8, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Venado Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:12734 ft / 3881 m

Ascent Trip Report

Hiking from Cabresto Lake to Venado Peak could be too much for a single summer day if you're running up against afternoon monsoons. Consider breaking it up into an overnight trip. I didn't but it was a long day.
I left my car on FR 134 at the intersection with FR 134A around 8 a.m. and hiked to Cabresto Lake. The road is passable with a high clearance vehicle and there is parking at the lake but my Honda Civic did not stand a chance.
I hiked along the lake's northern edge and up Lake Fork Trail to Bull Creek Trail. While the lake was busy with campers and anglers, I did not pass many other hikers on the trail. Hunters were camped out higher up towards the peaks but this hike is an antidote for anyone looking to get away from the crowds ascending the fourteeners further north.
At Heart Lake Trail, I turned right and continued to a treeless saddle with Venado to my left. The peak seems to offer the widest view of any I have hiked in the Sangre de Cristos. You can see far into Colorado to the north. To the south, you can see across to the Wheeler Peak range.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The view south from Venado Peak on Aug. 8, 2015. Heart Lake Trail cuts through the trees at center to a saddle below the peak (2015-08-08). Photo by Andrew Oxford.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4353 ft / 1327 m
    Trailhead:8381 ft / 2554 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:4 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:3 Hours 

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