|Peak Summited||Santiago Peak|
|Trailhead||Cadillac Trail to Joplin Trail|
|Group||The Usual Suspects|
Desperate to complete the 12 pack, I read of the Joplin trail which would make summiting Santiago Peak possible even with the closure of the Holy Jim Trail. The only thing recent I could find about the Joplin Trail was that someone who had recently summitted Whitney, could not summit Santiago on the trail; so my hopes to complete the route were not exactly solid. Likewise, Joplin Trail is in the middle of the hike to summit Santiago Peak; so I had to piece together several trails I found on Gaia in order to create a route to the top. So we ended up beginning on the Cadillac Trail, transitioning to the Santiago Truck Trail, moving to the Joplin Trail, switching to the North Main Divide Road, and finally using an unnamed trail to the top. Contrary to the recent report I had read, the Joplin trail was well maintained, perhaps so recently that the maintenance had occurred since the report. The fog was so thick you could not see the peak until you got pretty high. Likewise, views from the top were not great due to cloud and fog cover on both sides. The route ended up being close to 16 miles with 5,000 feet of elevation gain which is not inconsequential, especially for a peak that tops out at only 5,687 feet. Nevertheless, it was an adventure and another peak in the bag!