A “giant’s top hat, slightly cocked to one side” is the way some climbers describe Uncompahgre Peak. As fourteeners go, it is a relatively easy climb, but there is really only one way to ascend the mountain. The peak is surrounded on three sides by vertical cliffs of crumbly volcanic rock, but fortunately the south side consists of a sloping ridge that is easily climbed with a minimum of scrambling. Uncompahgre Peak was first climbed by members of the Hayden Survey in 1874. The mountain has long been recognized for its scenic beauty, and in the 1930s the area was included as one of the Forest Service’s original Primitive Areas.