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Southern Sawatch: Antora Meadows & Windy Point

Friday, September 2, 2022

After spending the night next to the rushing waters of Willow Creek, I actually slept in past sunrise for a change since I had already climbed Parkview Mountain the evening before and had no other plans for first thing in the morning. Today I was going to be driving a couple hours to the very southern tip of the Sawatch Range where I had originally planned to spend the rest of the weekend. However, after driving south through Silverthorne, Leadville, Buena Vista and then over Poncha Pass to Bonanza, I just wasn’t feeling like I was into the trip anymore and decided I would probably be heading home later today instead.

After driving through Bonanza, I stopped to check out the cabin at the Exchequer Townsite.

Exchequer Townsite Cabin

Exchequer Cabin Interior

Then I headed up the road to Antora Meadows and had a good view of Windy Point (12,740) and Antora Peak (13,269) from this clearing.

Windy Point & Antora Peak

Mining ruins along the road in Antora Meadows.

Antora Meadows Cabin Ruins

I enjoyed the expansive views of the southern Sawatch and Sangre de Cristo Mountains from the end of the road at the saddle between Windy Point and Antora Peak.

Saddle View

Windy Ridge View

There was also a great view of Antora Peak from the saddle.

Antora Peak

I wasn’t sure the weather was going to hold out this afternoon, so I went on a quick hike up the ridge to Windy Point first since it wouldn’t take me long.

Ridge to Windy Point

Windy Point Summit

Windy Point Summit

I walked a little further south and downhill from the summit for a better view over Kerber Creek. If you look closely, you can see the Great Sand Dunes and the Sierra Blanca Massif on the other side of the San Luis Valley.

Lower Windy Point View

Returning to my Jeep parked at the saddle below.

Jeep Below

Jeep & Antora Peak

Jeep & Antora Peak

I briefly started hiking over to Antora Peak next, but the clouds were beginning to look too threatening to me, so I quickly changed my mind and returned to my Jeep. At this point I decided I was ready to start heading home.

Antora Creek

Overlooking the Continental Divide of the Cochetopa Hills.

Cochetopa Hills View

Antora Meadows Road

Antora Meadows Road

Southern Sawatch Views

Southern Sawatch Views

I headed down a different way to the Saguache Creek valley and stopped by the Twins Mine site along the way where there were two structures and an outhouse still standing.

Twins Mine Cabin

The wall on this cabin was very interesting-looking.

Cabin Wall

This way home…

Arrow Sign

I returned to the highway and headed home over North Pass and then through Gunnison, Montrose and Delta. I was actually looking forward to relaxing at home the rest of the weekend while the Labor Day weekend crowds were out.

>> Antora Meadows & Windy Point Photo Gallery

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