26-Aug-2016 -- Serendipity! I was in Crested Butte to go mountain biking - specifically, on the famed “401 Trail”; widely considered one of the best mountain biking trails in the U.S. As I rode this trail the previous day, I noticed that it passed just 0.4 miles west of the Degree Confluence Point. I considered stashing my bike and bushwhacking to the point and back, but decided against this, due to approaching thunderstorms. Instead, I decided to wait until the next day, and visit the point in the ‘traditional’ way: By hiking up the dirt road from Gothic Road, about 1 mile to the southwest.
One day later, I began my hike from Gothic Road, up the dirt road that heads towards the point. I knew that I’d have to cross the creek in two places: Once, close to Gothic Road, and again, close to the point, so I decided to wear hiking boots without socks. To my surprise, I found the ~500 foot elevation gain - starting at 9700’ - to be not at all strenuous, perhaps because I’d been mountain biking in the area the previous day, so had become acclimatized to the elevation. Near the top of the dirt road, I turned onto the “Rustlers Gulch Trail”, which passes just 0.15 miles west of the point.
At this point I bushwhacked through long grass and down a steep bank to the creek, which runs about 200’ from the point. Fortunately I found an easy way to cross the creek (albeit getting my boots wet in the process), and hiked up the steep bank on the other side. The point lies on top of this bank, in a grove of trees. To my surprise, there was a well-worn trail running along the bank, close to the point. (I figured that this trail likely branches off the Rustlers Gulch trail, after it crossed the creek somewhere just to the north.)