WILSON PEAK, COLORADO
14,017'  Rank: 48th  Class 3

July 21, 2016

From the Colorado 145 and Colorado 62 junction, travel southeast on Colorado 145 for 3.0 miles to Fall Creek Road (57P). This is not far past the Blue Jay Lodge. Continue south on 57P which will turn to gravel just before the junction with Wilson Mesa Ranch Road (56L) at 3.8 miles, stay straight. Stay straight at 6.4 miles and again at 7.5 miles. At 8.9 miles arrive at the Woods Lake Campground and follow the signs for the trailhead parking. The trailhead is a few hundred feet past the parking lot on the road. The road is in excellent condition from start to finish. There is no washboards, the road is perfectly smooth and suitable for travel in any vehicle. No potholes, no large rocks, etc. Parking lot was also in great condition, with a large amount of parking spaces.

Woods Lake TH to Navajo Lake 9M RT, 1683' gain PHOTOS Class 1

Navajo Lake is 4.5 miles from the Woods Lake Trailhead. Being roughly the same distance and elevation gain as the Navajo Lake Trailhead, this trailhead has two distinct advantages; it is less driving if coming from the north, and it offers unmatched views of El Diente from above the basin. The only disadvantage is that you have to gain 400 feet on the way out. This is a gradual 400 feet and it over before you know it however. It is worth the view. From the parking lot travel south through the livestock hitching post area to the trailhead sign on the east side of the road. Continue on the trail passing through an old fence until you come to Woods Lake very quickly. Follow the trail from a start of 9417' around the south side of the lake and you will come to the trail junction.Stay straight in the direction of "Elk Creek Trail No. 407" for 2.5 miles to the next turn in the shade with a gradual slope the entire way. Continuing on the trail you will encounter mostly gradual class one hiking with the occasional short steep sections. Around 2.0 miles you will come to a downed tree. The trail does not actually go towards the tree,but switches back and is headed up the hill behind you. Around 2.3 miles in and an elevation of 11,200, you will come across an old cabin. From here you are not far from the trail junction. It gets a little steeper from here to the junction however.At 2.7 miles in and 11,550 feet you will arrive at the trail junction. At the sign you turn to the right. If you were to take a left, it would eventually lead you to Silver Pick Basin. From here the elevation gain is almost complete. It is mostly level hiking from here to Navajo Basin. Soon you get great views of El Diente Peak from around 11,570 and 3.3 miles from the trailhead. From here it is all downhill to the junction with the Navajo Lake Trail for 0.5 miles. As you come into the basin you can see Gladstone Peak (13,913'), Mt. Wilson (14,017'), and El Diente Peak (14,159'). The Woods Lake Trail meets up with the Navajo Lake Trail at 3.8 miles and an elevation of about 11,110. Stay straight here and follow the well traveled trail for about 0.7 miles to Navajo Lake on the standard Navajo Lake Trail.

Navajo Lake to Wilson Peak SW Ridge 7M RT, 2917' gain PHOTOS Class 3

From Navajo Lake follow the Rock of Ages Approach to Rock of Ages saddle or follow the Navajo Basin Approach to 12,300’ in upper east end of Navajo Basin. If coming in from Navajo, continue to the east end of the basin (Photo #1) and ascend the trail northeast and then north towards Rock of Ages saddle above - Photos #2 and #3. Follow the trail north, pass the Rock of Ages Mine and reach the Rock of Ages saddle, at 13,000’.From the Rock of Ages saddle, look east to see the route as it crosses the saddle and traverses the side of a steep slope - Photo #4. Cross the narrow saddle on a good trail and continue across a rugged slope (Photo #5) to reach the small saddle between Gladstone Peak and Wilson Peak. Photo #6 looks back on the hike from Rock of Ages and Photo #7 is the view to the south. From the small saddle, look northeast to see the remaining route to the summit - Photo #8 and Photo #9. From here, you have a couple of options: 1) Scramble north across the rocks (Photo #10) until you reach easier terrain or 2) Descend approx. 100’ east on steep dirt, turn left and pass under the Class 3 ledges before climbing back up the slope. Option #1 requires Class 3 climbing but is more direct. Option #2 is easier but requires a loss of elevation. After getting past the steep slope near the saddle, find a trail which heads north and northeast towards the southwest ridge - Photo #11 and Photo #12. The slope is steep and loose but you should find a trail all the way to 13,900’. Continue to climb the slope (Photo #13) and gain the southwest ridge, near 13,550’ - Photo #14. Stay near the ridge crest and gain a 13,900-foot false summit - Photo #15 and Photo #16. From the false summit, the true summit is not far away but the remaining route is Class 3. Your next challenge is to descend from the false summit, cross below the connecting ridge, and gain the summit - Photo #17 and Photo #18. Downclimb about 50’, cross some difficult rock below the ridge (Photo #19) and climb back to the ridge (Photo #20 and Photo #21) to reach easier terrain. Walk a short distance north to reach the summit




Navajo Lake