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Walking on clouds

Peak Summited2021 Santiago Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadMaple springs
EncounteredWildflowers blooming
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a partner
Road ConditionsRoad recommended for high clearance only
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

Santiago peak via maple springs. 10miles and 2,000ft elevation gain. There wasn’t much information out there for this trail so I hope I can give more information!

My friend and I met at the Maple Springs visitor center at 7am. There was maybe about 10 Parking spots available in the gravel road. My friend left his car there with a adventure pass, and we took my car up to the real maple springs trailhead.
the paved road ended after 1 mile or so and turned into a dusty dirt and rocky road, my car was fine. My car is a suv Volkswagen 2 wheel drive so we took it slow going up and down the mountain and moved over for cars approaching from behind. Going up there was nobody coming down so we did not need to move over. The road going up the mountain is a one lane road basically, and the branches of the trees are overgrown and will scratch your car, if pulling over to the side to let cars pass. After 40 minutes driving 5pmh up the mountain we made it to the trailhead and parked. The road up to Santiago peak is a wide fire road with trucks, motorbikes, and bicycles passing by. It was very dusty so don’t forget a mask or dust mask, or you’ll be coughing up later in the day. The peak was beautiful sitting above the clouds! There was lots of cars parked at the peak enjoying the view. We quickly ate lunch and headed back down. There was lots of littered trash, so we brought a trash bag to pick up some trash heading down!
Heading down the mountain with our car was a bit tricky, we had to pull over many times to let cars pass, and most cars are off roading jeeps, trucks and 4x4s that will roar pass. It’s doable and so worth it not to add the extra 10 miles of hiking, but wouldn’t recommend for a low clearance car.

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