Alberta Peak is probably the most popular summit trail near Pagosa Springs. It’s located on the Continental Divide Trail and the Wolf Creek Ski Area.
The trail head starts off on Wolf Creek Pass at an elevation of 10,840 feet. And you summit at 11,840 feet. You gain about 1200 feet overall on this hike with a distance of three miles. Which makes this trail about 6 miles round trip.
Most locals do this hike as a sunrise hike, starting off in the dark. But given how hard it is to film in the dark, I wanted to do it as a sunset hike. Which makes the following advice here very important. Make sure you check the weather. If there’s any chance for thunderstorms, make sure you’re off the summit by at least 11am.
This hike offers spectacular views. But you have to put in the work to get to those views. You start off at wolf creek pass, hiking a short distance across a meadow. When you hit the trees, you’ll take a left. Due to the location of this trail next to Wolf Creek Pass, you can hear the noise from the highway and the parking lot, where many truckers choose to take a break and enjoy the cooler weather this area has to offer.
After the first quarter mile or so, here’s where the work begins. There’s many switchbacks and you gain over 800 feet in just the first mile and a half. It’s here where you get glimpses of the ski runs at Wolf Creek and eventually the Raven Chair, Bonanza Chair and Treasure Chair.
From here, the trail starts to level out a bit as you’re on the Continental Divide to the base of Alberta Peak. You’ll take a left at the stake and leave the continental divide trail to head up to the summit of Alberta Peak.
It’s a choose your adventure scramble across thousands of rocks and boulders, otherwise known as a talus slope. And within about five to 10 minutes after an elevation gain of 100 feet, you’ll be at the summit of Alberta Peak.
Now, I’ve hiked this before when it’s super windy. But on this evening, I couldn’t believe it as there was nearly zero wind. And it was a sight to behold as I sat there and watched the dusk turn into night.
Absolutely beautiful. And some of my favorite footage that I’ve shot of SW Colorado so far.
After experiencing that gorgeous sunset, it was a three mile hike back in the dark. Overall, I started the hike at about 6:45pm. Summited at 8:20pm. And got back to my car at the pass around 10:00 pm.
I highly recommend this hike, especially if you don’t have much experience with mountain summits. This is a perfect one to challenge yourself if you are new to this. It’s not to steep. Not too long. The rock is mostly secure. And it rewards you with some amazing views.
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Thanks for watching. And cheers!