• Date - 09/17/2021
  • Elevation - 13,972'/13,835'
  • Route - Southwest Slopes/Northwest Slopes
  • Miles - 4.5
  • Elevation Gain - 4,507'
  • ACME Mapper - Link
  • CalTopo - Link
  • Partners - Brian Kooienga


Pigeon Peak and Turret Peak were my 98th and 99th Centennial Peaks.  We climbed the standard routes on both peaks from the meadow at 11,600' in Ruby Creek.  The day was a bit of a roller coaster as you have to gain an lose elevation several times on the hike.

Day five of our backpacking trip was successful as we made it to the summit of the two remaining Centennial Peaks we had on our agenda for this trip.  It was a chilly night and morning and we woke with plenty of frost on the ground and our tent.  Nevertheless, it didn't take long to warm up as this is a steep hike from start to finish.

The initial objective was going from camp 3 to the Pigeon/Turret Saddle at 13,100'.  From here you drop 700' as you circle all the way around Pigeon Peak to access the easiest route.  We decided to hike Pigeon Peak first because we would be more fresh for the more difficult peak.  Once on the west side of the mountain, we hiked steep grass and loose rocks to the north ridge line of the peak.  From here, we found the two class 4 steps you have to climb to access the upper 300' of the peak and then scrambled to the summit.

From the summit of Pigeon Peak, we reversed our route and worked our way back to the Pigeon/Turret Saddle at 13,100'.  At this point in the day, we were confident we were going to accomplish our goal as we only had 700' of relatively easy hiking to make it to Turret Peak.  We followed a use trail and cairns to the summit and celebrated our trip with a phone call to our wives.

Turret Peak was the only summit we stayed on longer than a few minutes.  We enjoyed the weather and sunshine before returning back to camp 3.  We spent one more night in the backcountry and then backpacked down Ruby Creek back to the Needleton Trailhead.  We completed an extensive loop of the area racking up approximately 30 miles and 17,000' over the week.

I now have one Centennial Peak left and Brian has only three left.  We plan on finishing next summer with another friend who will also be able to get all the peaks done.  We rode the train back to Durango, Colorado, and then made the long drive back to Denver, Colorado, getting home around 12:00 am on Saturday night.


We woke to a chilly morning with plenty of frost on the ground.

Brian finishing the hike to the Pigeon/Turret Saddle.

Summit Photo (Pigeon Peak)

Brian on the summit of Pigeon Peak with Turret Peak in the background.

Views of Jagged Mountain, Sunlight Peak, Windom Peak, Mount Eolus, and North Eolus.

We could see our tent from the summit of Pigeon Peak.

The Pigeon/Turret Saddle and Turret Peak after we climbed Pigeon Peak.

Pigeon Peak from the slopes of Turret Peak.

Summit Photo (Turret Peak)

Pigeon Peak from the summit of Turret Peak.

Brian on the summit of Turret Peak.

Starting the descent of our fourth and final Centennial Peak of the week.

Back at the Needleton Trailhead.