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Cross Mountain Trail

Many Telluriders will tell you, they came for the winter, stayed for the summer. And with the many hiking, biking trails and climbing areas to devour, who can blame them? To continue our exploration of the area”s hiking trails, we bring you our September hike of the month: Cross Mountain Trail.

Lizard Head


The Cross Mountain Trail offer 360 degree views of the surrounding Lizard Head Wilderness and San Juan Mountains. There is no better way to take-in some of the most beautiful mountains in Southwest Colorado!

TIPS: This hike takes a half-day to complete so make sure to pack plenty of water and snacks. Also, the September weather can be a bit cooler throughout the day so wear layers and bring a rain jacket in case of inclement weather. If you would like to cut out the last two miles that connect you back to the Cross Mountain Trailhead, you can leave a car in the Lizard Head parking area to run a car shuttle.

Cross Mountain Pass Trail

Photo of Lizard Head Wilderness by Britt Markey.

How to get there: Park your car at the Cross Mountain Trailhead, located approx 2 miles from the Lizard Head Trailhead located off of highway 145 on Lizard Head Pass. You will hike for approx 5 miles until you are at the base of Lizard Head Peak, at which point you will take a right onto the Lizard Head Trail (you will see a sign for this turn).  Continue 2.4 miles to the top of Blackface Mountain and then descend to Lizard Head Pass in 2.8 miles. Complete the loop by walking west through the parking area to the road leading downhill toward the highway. Just before the road reaches the highway you will see an unmarked trail heading right. Take this trail, which follows an old railroad grade paralleling the highway, for 2.25 miles back to the Cross Mountain trailhead parking area.

DISTANCE: 11.7 miles (loop)/ Approximately 6.5 hours

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Telluride Mountain Club advocates for safe, accessible, enjoyable and respectful opportunities for human-powered recreational activities in the Telluride region, through education, awareness and collaboration.

Telluride Mountain Club is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.