This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Engineer Mountain 12968', CO

Guide 4 Triplogs Mine 0 0 Topics
5 of 5 
no permit
47 4 0
Warning! Technical climbing skills required. Risks include serious injury to death.  Risks are not eliminated by skill.
Climb Consensus (2) → View
Difficulty 3rd
Climb I X
Rock Metamorphic Not good
Length 10 ft 1 Pitch
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 10,679 feet
Elevation Gain 2,280 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,400 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 17
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall, Perennial Waterfall, Seasonal Creek, Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
4  2020-08-30
Not quite Engineer Mountain
5  2017-09-01 toddak
33  2013-06-14 Jim_H
9  2011-12-31
Coal Bank Pass Excursion
Author Jim_H
author avatar Guides 63
Routes 67
Photos 8,818
Trips 1,981 map ( 11,986 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Marana, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep → 9 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  5:11am - 7:23pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
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Fauna Nearby
Named place Nearby
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Harder than it seems
by Jim_H

Likely In-Season!
Engineer Mountain is only 12,968' and so ordinarily you would expect it to be overlooked in Colorado. However, it is very popular as it is prominent over US 550, easy to access, and offers great views. It is harder than it seems like it should be from the data, as the hike and climb is steep, the terrain on the mountain is loose and it feels like it wants to slide, and the ridge is pretty exposed.

The hike begins easy enough. From Coal Bank Pass, go north on US 550 a couple of hundred feet or so and find the dirt road to the west. Hike this, or drive this, to the parking area and sign for the Pass Trail. This trail is a nicely built Forest Service trail through the spruce forest to treeline where it meets a cross trail. You'll gain a fair amount of elevation and most of your miles in this section.

Once you meet the cross trail, you'll be directly below Engineer Mountain. From here, you can see and follow the obvious trail leading to the mountain's base. It begins to go up slope and shouldn't be too hard to follow. As you leave the red rock and enter the white rock, the situation changes. It shouldn't be overly difficult, but you do have to look for the trail at times. You'll encounter a few sections of scrambling before you get to be about half way up. When you get to a chimney section, you can either climb up that, or do what I did: as the trail enters the short deep section of rock before the chimney, climb up to the left and follow the slope to the top of the chimney. From here it is never very hard, but the rock feels dangerous and you're on a high ridge. This is more of an issue when coming down. Descend carefully the way you came.

Engineer is not as easy as you might think, but a lot of people summit it. I would not do this casually in monsoon season, as even though not terribly high for the state, it is a high area and I would not want to be on this rock when wet. Never mind the lightning. Really, given the choice between a late start on a 14er walk up or this during the peak of monsoon season, I would take the walk up.

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2013-06-14 Jim_H
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
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    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike & climb trip
    Take US 550 north out of Durango to Coal Bank Pass. Park at the pass, or take the gravel road across from the pass and slightly to the north and park near the trailhead sign.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Jun 14 2013 8:45 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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