- Wilson Peak
- 4272 m.
- Primary factor 267 m.
- 48th in Colorado
- Location: North 37:51.617, West 107:59.050
- Climbed August 16, 2001
How to get there:
We used the trailhead serving Navajo Lake in Navajo Basin.
We drove from Denver via US 285 to Poncha Springs, then US 50
to Gunnison and Monterose. From here follow the road towards
Telluride, but turn right up to Lizard Head Pass a few miles before
the town (Colorado Hwy 145). Drive 8.6 km down from Lizard Head Pass, then
go right on a small dirt road, US Forest Service 535. This road is
called Dunton Road, there is a sign. Follow this road up the side of
the valley, then across an open flat area and finally descending down
into a valley to the trailhead. There is a short, dead end road to
the trailhead going sharply right near the bottom of the hill, this
is 11.5 km from the beginning of Dunton Road. The trailhead has
a good parking area. It took us 7.5 hours to drive from Denver
including a quick lunch, gas, a few delays due to highway
construction and a quick stop to buy some supplies in Monterose.
First, from the trailhead to Navajo Lake:
Second, from Navajo Lake to Wilson Peak:
The trail runs on the left side of Navajo Lake and then
climbs into the Upper Navajo Basin. This climb, also on the
left side (when ascending) of the valley, follows a very
clear trail, mostly on rocks as it crosses a large rocky area
on the slope. Higher up, the trail crosses a small creek and
continues a more gradual climb into the very upper part of
the basin. At this point one has Gladstone Peak straight ahead,
Mount Wilson is up to the right (the summit cannot be seen), and
Wilson Peak is behind a false summit that connects with a ridge
to Gladstone Peak (left of Gladstone).
The trail continues up to the very distinct pass between Navajo Basin
and Silver Pick Basin. This pass is called Rock of Ages and is at 3970 m.
Just before the pass, the trail visits the ruins of an old mine, there
is an iron wagon (to be used in the mine) there. How this heavy
object was moved here is almost beyond imagination. The trail to
the pass is very clear and nice, the climb of Wilson Peak
starts from this pass.
From the pass, the route first follows the top of the ridge, then
traverses in a gentle climb under the false summit that is
looming overhead. The route is clearly marked with cairns and
visible tracks from other climbers. The route reaches a small
saddle on the ridge that extends from Wilson Peak to Gladstone
Peak, there was a very visible pole at this point when we were there.
From this point one can either downclimb (very easy class 2) on the
other side of the ridge or follow cairns to the left, maintaining
the elevation. This latter option involves some class 3 climbing
on solid rock.
I did this hike with Jan-Frode Myklebust.
Wilson Peak and the connecting ridge in
the direction of Gladstone Peak.
The route starts in the saddle in the leftmost
part of the picture, traverses under the false
summit, to the first, small col in the ridge quite
near, but below this summit. From there the route
gains access to the main face in the picture and
ascents it towards a small false summit quite near
the top. This picture is taken early in the morning
while ascending Mount Wilson.
Wilson Peak and upper Navajo Basin
as seen from the summit of El Diente.
The crux on the Wilson Peak climb
This picture may need to be scrolled.
The easier route follows (on the right side) the
distinct, narrow crack that starts in a brown, sand/gravel
area and angels slightly right to hit the horizon ridge
near a small, but distinct "dip" in the ridge.
(This dip is about half way up on the visible part of
the ridge in the picture.)
point the route is easier and follows the main ridge to