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Mount Wilson

Mount Wilson is a 14,250-foot hike located just outside Telluride, Colorado in the Lizard Head Wilderness. It is widely considered one of the most difficult 14ers in Colorado. There are multiple ways to summit this peak, but the most popular routes are Rock of Ages and the Kilpacker Trailhead. It's popular due to the possibility of traversing El Diente, Mount Wilson and Wilson Peak all in one trip. 

 

Najavo Lake Approach

This route is best if you are planning on combining a climb of Wilson Peak, El Diente and Mount Wilson. 

Distance: 14+ miles (round trip)

Difficulty: Difficult

Elevation Gain: 4,900 feet

Time: All Day

Directions to Navajo Basin: Head south on Colorado 145 to Lizard Head Pass. Continue for 5.2 miles, where there will be a dirt road on the right side. Continue for 7.3 miles to the signed entrance for the parking lot for Navajo Basin. 

From the trailhead, hike 1/4 of a mile and continue right past the Groundhog trail junction. Cross a bridge and continue up a steep hill to a large meadow. Continue through the trees and several smaller meadows and switchbacks until you reach 11,000 feet. Shortly after that, you'll reach a junction with the Woods Lake Trail. Stay right for another .5 miles and you'll reach Navajo Lake. From the lake, it's two miles to the routes to Wilson Peak and Mt. Wilson. Continue northeast onto talus on the north side of the basin as you approach the headwall. Continue towards El Diente on the right and continue to Mount Wilson.

 

Kilpacker Trailhead

This route is best for those only doing Mt. Wilson and El Diente. It's great for those who want to camp overnight in the basin. 

Distance: 13.4 miles (round trip)

Difficulty: Difficult

Elevation Gain: 4,450 feet

Time: All Day

Directions to KilPacker Trailhead: Drive south on Colorado 145 to Lizard Head Pass. Continue south for 5.2 miles before turning right on Forest Road 535. Continue five miles on the dirt road (2WD) to reach the trailhead on the right.

From the trailhead, hike west through meadows and continue into the trees. Continue northwest until you hit a junction 2.25 miles in and turn right. In another 1/2 mile, you'll reach a large meadow, where there are camping spots galore. To continue, head northeast along a well-marked trail, where you will encounter a waterfall to your right. Continue out of the trees through a large talus field right below El Diente's west ridge. There will be several more talus fields and difficult spots before you reach the turn-off for the El Diente Route at around 12,600 feet. From here, look for small cairns on your way to the summit. 

 

 

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