Trip Report: Hiking Wilson Peak via the Rock of Ages Trail
Getting to the trailhead: From Telluride, head towards Placerville and take a left on Silver Pick Road. Head up the road roughly four miles and take a right onto the 622 Road, take this road (and stay right at the fork) to the Rock of Ages Trail Head.
Trail: From the Rock of Ages parking lot, head up the trail to the Rock of Ages saddle. This section is roughly four miles and is well marked with plenty of signage. From this saddle, head east to the saddle that is between Gladstone and Wilson Peak. These trails should all be pretty obvious. From there, looking northeast, you can see the summit (or false summit) of Wilson Peak.
From the saddle, traverse the first section of rock (slightly more technical and good preparation for the summit), or hike down the dirt, around this section and eventually and back up to the main trail. Be cautious of rock above you and be sure not to knock any rocks off if there are people below you.
The route to the false summit is recognizable, especially if following the rock cairns.
Hiking towards the Wilson Peak summit from the Gladstone/Wilson Peak saddle.
Once at the false summit, you will descend via a rock ledge to the connecting ridge, cross the ridge and then head upwards towards the summit. From the false summit, the route is Class 3, be ready to scramble and use your hands and feet like you are climbing. The two images shown below are the descent from the false summit and the final push to the actual summit (try to spot the people). If you aren’t comfortable scrambling in loose rocks, we suggest hiring a local climbing guide service to help you get to the summit.
Enjoy the 360 degree views from the top! Be sure to bring a helmet and read all signs along the way. For more detailed information, visit 14ers.com and summitpost.org.
Looking out towards Lizard Head.
Middle Peak Loop Hike
We went on a nice loop that includes the summit of Middle Peak. This is a little visited area. Very nice walking. This hike does not follow any established trails.
Middle Peak Summit with Lone Cone beyond.
Some route finding and navigating are required and there is some lower end class 4 scrambling on the ridge to the summit of Middle Peak. We have also climbed Dolores Peak from this same parking spot. These routes are shown in the Google Earth Map at the end of this report.
If you’re lucky a mushroom might find you.
View Middle Peak – Dolores Peak in a larger map
Grays Basin to Mud Lake Ridge Walk
We did a nice loop across the high ridge line above Gray’s Basin on Sunday. Park on the Bridal Veil Road and follow the historic mining trail to the Mayflower Mine in Grays Basin. Be careful not to fall into the open mine pit! Hike up the south facing slope to the ridge crest near Ingram Peak. This slope is traditionally one of the premier wildflower slopes around and it was in full bloom last Sunday.
Wildflowers along the way
Once on the ridge crest follow it uphill skirting around a couple of rock outcrops. Stay on the ridge as much as possible. Climb to the summit of peak 13,142′. I’m certain this has a Colorado Mountain Club letter/number (T?) assigned to it but I don’t know what it is. From the top of the peak descend West/North down the ridge that separates Gray’s Basin from Mud Lake Basin. Keep your eyes open for good crystals.
Proceed down the ridge to a grassy slope that you will see from a distance. Descend that grassy slope, which is another killer wildflower section, down to Mud Lake Basin. Go down through Mud Lake until you reach the Blue Lake Pipeline. Follow the pipeline back to the Gray’s Basin/Mayflower Mine Trail and then down to the Bridal Veil road.
New Water Feature!
There is a sweet new geyser type water feature shooting 20’+ into the air out of the Mud Lake Pipeline.
Most of this route does not follow any established trails and requires some navigating and experience with off trail hiking above treeline. Folks with reasonable T-ride fitness level should Plan 5.5 hours car to car minimum. Best to add an hour or two for checking out the mine and all of the flowers. Another variation we have enjoyed is to descend from 13,142’into Ingram Basin and loop back to the car that way. Happy trails!
View Gray’s Basin – Mud Lake.kml in a larger map