Mount Sneffels Wilderness Trails
Nestled into a narrow box canyon in a precipitous range of peaks, the town of Ouray fancies itself as “America’s Switzerland.” Few could argue with this characterization when considering the sheer, knife-edge ridges and craggy peaks of the nearby Mount Sneffels Wilderness. Designated in 1980, Mount Sneffels could easily be Colorado’s most spectacular wilderness, particularly in early fall when fresh snow lightly dusts the banded layers of rock towering above auburn tundra grasses. While the peaks and serrated ridges are incomparably dramatic, this area offers relatively little in the way of biological diversity because of the fact that the vast majority of the wilderness consists of largely vertical rock and ice slopes. Many Coloradans know Mount Sneffels from calendar photographs taken from Dallas Divide. Particularly in autumn, photographers catch the mountain behind a foreground of golden aspen forests. But an equally renowned scenic bonanza is found on the mountain’s backside, amid the flowering fields of Yankee Boy Basin. Blossoms of every hue imaginable unleash shutter-clicking frenzies as amateur and professional photographers attempt to capture the intense blues, yellows, reds, and whites of columbines, Indian paintbrush, arnica, phlox, and lupine—a kaleidoscope of color. This trail guide includes descriptions of Mount Sneffels, Blue Lakes, Sneffels Highline Trail, and Yankee Boy Basin to Blue Lakes, Second Box Canyon, Piedra Hot Springs, Skunk Creek, Devil Mountain/Second Box Canyon, Piedra River Trail, East Creek to Beaver Meadows, and Sheep Creek to Baldy Mountain.
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Directions to: Mount Sneffels Wilderness Trailsprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Skill Level||Moderate to Strenuous|
|Season||Best Spring through Fall|
|Trailhead Elevation||9,600 ft|
|Top Elevation||14,150 ft|
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