The trailhead is tricky to find and we wasted 30 minutes wandering aimlessly through the campground. The locals weren't much help.
Once we got on the right track it was a quick hike up the switchbacks to Horse Creek. View of Twin Lakes along the way.
Once we get into the valley we get a view of the peaks ahead. Not sure yet which one is Matterhorn, but we figured it out later.
It's the pointy one. Whee!
Everyone takes a picture of this sign. I don't know why. Follow Horse Creek. Trail is good here. Not complicated.
Some beautiful still ponds along Horse Creek
Getting out of the trees, starting to get a better view of our route. Matterhorn pokes up on the ridge on the right.
Gorgeous Horse Creek with Matterhorn above.
I really loved this stretch of the hike. It's a long day, might as well enjoy it.
End of trail! Begin boulder hopping!
Morning light on Matterhorn
Looking ahead to our first obstacle. Apparently this false pass is a bit tricky to figure out.
Waterfall to our right - scenery still entertaining me during the long hike.
WE start up through the boulders on the left side of the white outcropping below the false pass. There is good use trail.
Looking down the boulders. Trip reports said this was difficult and to cross over to the green gully on the right of the white outcropping, but I found the bouldery side just fine.
Above the false pass the use trails come and go. All go the right way - up the canyon.
Lost use trails in here, but no biggie. Continue up the canyon. Do NOT go up that lovely looking red chute on the right.
This. Do not go up this, despite it looking so inviting and close to the peak. It walls out.
Looking back down Horse Creek
Hiking up Horse Creek. Water is low this year, meaning the walk is a nice rock up up the creek bed.
Then we get into the boulders again. It's like this all the way to the pass.
Working our way up to Horse Creek Pass
Use trail comes and goes. Cairns come and go. We just head up.
Still some snow fields up here as we get closer to the pass.
Horse Creek Pass is the low point on the left. We stay high, contouring up and around to a higher crossing point on the ridge. No reason to lose elevation.
Approaching the pass
Looking down on Horse Creek Pass and the giant snow field that blocks the way much of the year.
Our pass, a bit higher than the pass proper.
Looking down on the pass and the giant snowfield.
We can now see beyond the pass to Twin Peaks and Virginia Peak
And our first close-up view of Matterhorn!
Virginia Peak towers over Spiller Creek
Matterhorn! Now we start the sandy slog up the slope.
Blue line is the route up, yellow is down. We head up to the right of a large gendarme, then traverse over to a platform from which we can scramble to the summit. On our descent, yellow, we bombed down the sandy chute to the left of the gendarme.
Up the sand. We kept trying to find solid rock but it was mostly loose stuff.
Still in the sand, the gendarme is getting closer.
A closer look at our final summit approach.
A nicer view of Spiller Creek and Virginia Peak