Jones Mountain - 13860' - Class 2
Niagara Peak - 13807' - Class 2
American Peak - 13806' - Class 2
3 peak traverse June 2012
This trio of peaks I did solo the day after Stewart and Baldy Alto. I was able to drive up the Cinnamon Pass road from Eureka for 3 miles to the Burns/Grouse Gulch Trailhead. I walked up the 4WD road and high up into Burns Gulch to the end of the road where I saw an awesome looking modified jeep so I knew someone else had to be up here. I figured I'd do Niagara first so I began hiking up the boot path towards the Jones/Niagara saddle. Once there I had commanding views of much of the San Juans. The final 500 feet up Niagara was on stupidly loose rock but the views at the top were worth it. I noticed another solo hiker standing on top of Jones from the summit of Niagara. I began the traverse to Jones which was very easy as another boot path pointed the way. Once on Jones I met up with a group of four who were doing the traverse in the opposite direction. Two were already on the summit waiting for the other two. I spent the most time here and talked with them who also were members on the 14ers website. The jeep at the end of the road was theirs and they agreed to give me a ride back down once we all finished. So after a half hour we exchanged some information about the traverses and were on our way. I traversed over to American Peak while they continued to Niagara Peak. Once atop American Peak, the views of Handies were beautiful. However I could make out a long line of people on the trail and about 50 cars at the American Basin Trailhead. I was happy to be on much less visited American Peak on this Sunday afternoon. I made my way back to the Jones/American saddle and ran down the loose rock. Jones Mountain loomed above me and this face actually was pretty spectacular. Once I reached tundra I stopped and took lots of photos of all the beautiful wildflowers. The final hike back to the end of the road was on easy grasses. Right as I returned to their jeep the first in the group arrived and he even offered to let me shoot his 9 millimeter for target practice while he waited for the others in his group. An hour later when they arrived we piled in and I got a ride back to my car.