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Culebra Peak
Elevation: 14,047 feet
Mileage: 7.0 miles
Vertical Gain: 2,830 feet
Route: Northwest Ridge

September 25th - 26th, 2004

Culebra Peak. The proverbial thorn in any climber's side whose goal is to finish all of Colorado's 14ers. Culebra Peak is the only Colorado 14er entirely on private land and previous owners had closed access, or severely limited the access to Culebra Peak. Fortunately, the Cielo Vista Ranch, previously known as Taylor Ranch, was sold to Bobby and Dottie Hill in August 2004. The Hills have opened up access to the peak again but it comes at a $100 price tag. I didn't care much about the $100 fee, since the old system required me to join the Colorado Mountain Club for $75, then an additional $25 to hike Culebra once I was chosen from the lottery, which could take years. Climbers interested in climbing Culebra should contact the Cielo Vista Ranch at 254-897-7872. Climbs are usually restricted to weekends with a limit of 20 people per day on the mountain. Climbs during the week may be scheduled with the Hills for parties of 5 or more. Once your spot is reserved on a Culebra hike, the Cielo Vista Ranch will fax you a map to the ranch as well as a liability waiver. I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to hike Culebra Peak while access was open and not take a chance waiting until next summer.

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