Northwest Ridge Culebra
Unlike some I didn’t mind paying the fee to access this pristine area of Colorado. The Cielo Vista Ranch is a beautiful place and the wilderness out there is well worth paying for. The staff are friendly and accommodating and I hope it remains that way so we can continue to have access.
We showed up for the early morning meeting time at the gate to drive to the upper trailhead. From there we mostly made our own way up the ridge and over to Culebra. We had low visibility most of the day and didn’t get much for views. Nor were we able to carry on over to Red Mountain, a peak I will need to come back for.
We nearly lost the trail on the return with little visibility, but thankfully got back on route and found the giant cairn and the right path down.
After getting back to the car and chatting with others who were hiking the same peaks that day we all made our way back to the main building to check out and leave Cielo Vista. We stumbled into one of the caretakers that gave us a little mini private tour of the ranch! It was such a cool experience and I’m thankful we had the opportunity! We even witnessed a poacher encounter and how they handle business on the ranch. Pretty cool.
I don’t recall the name, so I need to return to update this post but we stopped at a little diner inside a market for lunch with a couple people we met on the hike and it was delicious and quaint.