Ascent of Kitsuma Peak on 2013-07-06

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Saturday, July 6, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Kitsuma Peak
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:3195 ft / 973 m

Ascent Trip Report

Kitsuma Peak looms over the north side of I-40 at the Eastern Continental Divide. However, Kitsuma is not part of the divide, which instead crosses the Swannanoa Gap at Ridgecrest.

Headed westbound on I-40, take exit 66 (Ridgecrest), make a U-turn onto the frontage road, and follow it to the dead-end, where there is a paved parking area and a sign for the Kitsuma/Youngs Ridge Trail. This is part of a popular mountain-bike loop around Royal Gorge that also includes an abandoned stretch of old US70 that has been turned into a paved bikeway.

The hike is straightforward, Follow an old road that parallels I-40 for about a third of a mile and then climb switchbacks to the summit. Round trip 1.6 miles with a gain of 550 feet. No views from the HP, but there are ledges before and past the peak with nice views of the Swannanoa Valley and the Royal Gorge.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:555 ft / 169 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.6 mi / 2.6 km
    Route:Kitsuma/Youngs Ridge trail
    Trailhead:Ridgecrest road trailhead  2640 ft / 804 m
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail

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