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Early June
Early Sept

About the Mountain


Mount Wilson (14,250 ft) is one of the few Colorado Fourteeners that requires fourth class rock climbing, meaning steep, exposed scrambling. It’s also one of the westernmost Fourteeners, located in the San Juan Mountains just 12 miles from Telluride. This places it squarely in one of Colorado’s most beautiful regions. It’ll take a long road trip from Denver or a regional flight via Montrose to get there, but the scenery alone is well worth the journey.

“The Traverse across the Mt. Wilson was very difficult to find a route and in the end I just pointed myself across the ridge and made my way.”

- Jeff Garmire

Mount Wilson and its neighboring peaks – El Diente (14,159 ft) and Wilson Peak (14,017 ft) – are notorious for their poor rock quality and unstable terrain. Most climbers attempting to summit all peaks over 14,000 feet in Colorado will save these for the end for this reason, so that they will have more experience scrambling at altitude when they attempt them. But the traverse from Mount Wilson to El Diente is equally well known as being one of the ‘most aesthetic ridge traverses in Colorado.’ So if you have some built up endurance, it’s worth attempting both peaks in one day for an unforgettable adventure. You can choose between the Climber’s Traverse, which stays close to the crest at a steady 13,000 feet the whole way, or the Hiker’s Traverse, which reduces the exposure, but also the panoramic views. Either way, be sure to plan some rest and relaxation time in Telluride when you are done. Or if you want to continue the adventure, you can head to nearby Ouray, the “Switzerland of America” that’s famous for its world-class ice climbing and 4×4 trails.

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