Monte Cristo Gulch
Monte Cristo’ has a ring of riches to it, which is why hopeful miners were prospecting the hanging valley at the head of Monte Cristo Gulch. Far above treelimit, the obvious building material was rock. Ruined stone structures of the late 1800s languish in the unforgiving elements that patiently reclaim the efforts of man, but riches did come to the hopeful when gold was found here in 1860. Today’s Monte Cristo gold is in petals and pollen. Mother Nature regales humankind with large and small doses of beauty. Monte Cristo has both. The sweeping landscape of the hike encompasses wide skies, high peaks, and clear waters. The intimate beauty is one of color, shape, texture, and intriguing design. The beginning of this hike is the most difficult. Even the starting cairn, which is the second one from the dam, is not easy to find. The trail generally ascends strongly with intermittent level sections. There are also a number of water hazards, but none are insurmountable. This trail is a lovely adventure inspired by wildflowers all the way. Like marauding renegades, great heaps of thunderheads can surprise unwary hikers with their speed. Being above treeline calls for increased wariness. Wildflower Alert: Climb through wildflowers to a hanging valley fortified by mining relics.
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Directions to: Monte Cristo Gulchprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Skill Level||Strenuous, but short|
|Season||Bloom is July through August|
|Top Elevation||12,300 ft|
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