You will be hard pressed to locate this overshadowed peak on the map.
Purgatory Peak lies between the north and south fork saddles on Purgatory Ridge. It represents the effective high point of that Ridge… to go further up you will really be climbing up the north face of Long Ridge.
Long Ridge rises to over 8,000’. Purgatory Peak, at 7260’, is lost in the under view. But, its 360 degree views are exceptional. The overgrown Long Ridge does not offer the same great vantages.
If you approach the peak from the route up and along Purgatory Ridge, you have over 2.5 miles of off trail hiking. This is a great hiking route and probably the best way to enjoy this high point. Check out that hike description for a detailing of that route.
If you approach the peak from the Good Canyon drainage, you will hike 1.5 miles from the old cabin site in Alamo Canyon. A great looping route is to hike up Purgatory Ridge then exit down into Good Canyon, returning along the Alamo Canyon Trail (T104).
No matter how you approach the peak, you will be logging lots of off trail miles. T104, the Alamo Canyon Trail, is not a trail… it is a route running along the base of the canyon. It walks about like you are off trail. You can improve the route if you can find and walk the remnants of the old mining road, but that can be an imposing challenge.
From the mouth of Purgatory Canyon, you have 2.8 miles to the T104 Trailhead.
From the old mining cabin you have 5.4 miles to the T104 Trailhead.
There is close to 2500’ of climbing from the T104 Trailhead up to Purgatory Peak, and some additional ups and downs, depending on your route.
Note: if you decide to approach the Peak from the old mining cabin site, walk from the site around the left side of the large rock above the creek, down and across the creek, and up into Good Canyon. Move immediately up to your right, following the old use trail. This trail moves nicely along the ride side of the canyon, usually about 60’ to 100’ above the canyon bottom. Exit the trail to your right after a half mile, choosing whatever route carries you up and to the south. The hill to your right is Purgatory Ridge… your goal is to climb to the top, but you can angle up and around softly. For the most part, you should find open routes. Once on top of the ridge, follow it south and up to Purgatory Peak...about 1.5 miles of trekking from the cabin.
For folks who hike the Hershberger Peak area, this peak is a must do. The views and perspective are exceptional. You can see that the formation north of Caballero Canyon called the Devil’s Backbone really extends south across and into Caballero and Alamo Canyon, forming the impressive cliffs on the north side of Alamo Canyon. The rock striations of Hershberger stand out in impressive detail. All of Good Canyon fall into view. The Mesa, The Roundup Grounds… it all is displayed below you.
Do not miss this hidden peak!
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.