Lizard Head Wilderness Trails
Named for a prominent spire near Lizard Head Pass, this area contains the westernmost 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado. Located in the San Juan Mountains, these fourteeners provide much of the recreational allure of the area, but they are not for the fainthearted. Mount Wilson and El Diente (“the tooth”) pose two of the most difficult climbs in the state; the exposed knife-edged ridge that connects the peaks can cause an apoplectic reaction among acrophobics. Many visitors to Lizard Head Wilderness are drawn to the magnificent unbroken expanses of aspen draping the area’s lower slopes. To top it off, the elegant form of Dolores Peak stands like a silent sentinel, one of the last peaks of the San Juans before the Rockies fade into the arid, desiccated canyons of the Colorado Plateau. Like the other high peaks of the San Juans, the three fourteeners in Lizard Head consist of igneous intrusions—molten rock that stopped short of the surface and cooled into granite—denser and more resistant than the surrounding volcanic rocks. The Lizard Head formation is an exception to this rule; this freestanding spire is a volcanic neck that crumbled into its present form. Climbing guidebooks call 13,113-foot Lizard Head the most difficult summit in Colorado and do not recommend attempting it because its rock is rotten and unsafe. Instead, walk to the base of the 400-foot formation and admire its beauty from below. This trail guide includes descriptions of Cross Mountain, Navajo Lake, and Lizard Head Trail.
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Directions to: Lizard Head Wilderness Trailsprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Season||Best Spring through Fall|
|Trailhead Elevation||9,000 ft|
|Top Elevation||14,246 ft|
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