Mt Shavano Tabeguache
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Mt Shavano /  Mt Tabeguache Combo

The basic route up to the saddle of Shavano and Esprit Point

The route up to the saddle on a good trail

From the saddle its still 900 feet more to the summit of Shavano

Mt. Tabeguache from connecting ridge on Shavano

We dropped our packs at the Shavano/Tabe saddle and hurried up to the summit of Tabeguache

 

Mt. Shavano / Mt. Tabeguache Combo

Scramble: Class 2 Ė Steep Hiking

Altitude: Shavano 14,229 ft, Tabeguache 14,155 ft

Elevation Gain: Shavano 4,550ft, 9.25 miles return, Shavano/Tabe 5,550ft, 11.25 miles return

Start Time: 5am to 6am to be on your way down by noon and avoid potential lightning storms

Ascent Time: Shavano 4 Hours, Shavano/Tabe Ė 1 hour there and 1 hour back to Shavano summit, total roundtrip time is around 9-10 hours for the average hiker and includes summit stops

Highlights

This combo while a nice accomplishment will test your legs and your endurance. Donít know if I would consider a repeat, perhaps on a cooler day.

Getting There

New Shavano Trailhead Ė 9,750ft Ė Yes restrooms

From Buena Vista: Drive 21 miles south on U.S. 285 and turn right (west) on County Road (CR) 140. This turn is on the opposite site of the road to the Salida Airport and just north of the junction with U.S. 50. Drive 1.6 miles and turn right on CR250. From Salida or more South: Drive to the intersection of U.S. 285 and U.S. 50 in Poncha Springs. Go west on U.S. 50 for 1.7 miles and turn right on CR250. After 1 mile, CR250 turns to dirt. From the point where CR 250 turns to dirt, drive 4 miles to a "Y" junction. CR 250 goes right and Forest Road (FR) 252 starts on the left. Stay left on FR 252 and drive through an open area where Mt. Shavano can be seen ahead.  Drive 2.9 miles to another small junction near a cattle guard. Continue on FR 252 to the left and drive 0.2 miles to another junction. The new Shavano+Tabeguache trailhead has been constructed in this area and the road to the previous Blank Cabin trailhead is now closed and gated. The trail starts behind the restroom, travels through the forest, and intersects the Colorado Trail near the old Blank Cabin trailhead.

Camping

At the new trailhead the sign says no overnight camping but not to worry the road past the trailhead like 30 yards away has dispersed camping sites all along it. We camped at the second spot and easily walked to the trailhead restroom when needed. The area is open range for cows so watch out for cowpies.

Route Description

The trail starts behind the restroom, travels through the forest, and intersects the Colorado Trail near the old Blank Cabin trailhead. From the restroom itís about half a mile before you hang a left (heading west) up the Shavano trail which climbs steeply through the forest into the basin between Shavano on the right and Esprit Point on your left. The trail follows the right hand side of the basin up to the saddle at 13,330 ft. Hang a right at the saddle and follow the trail for another 900 ft to the summit of Shavano (itís longer than it looks from the saddle). From the summit of Shavano itís ĺ of a mile boulder hopping down to the saddle between Shavano and Tabeguache at 13,700 ft, then ľ mile and approx 450ft up to the summit of Tabeguache then another 550 ft to climb back over Shavano on the way out. This combination is a toughie, especially if itís hot, and itís a long slog back to the trailhead. Forewarned is forearmed.