Mount Sneffels Hiking Routes
Mount Sneffels, at 14,158 feet, towers above the rest of the Sneffels Range in the San Juan Mountains. The jagged peak can be seen as you drive towards Telluride across Dallas Divide. Mt. Sneffels is a great 14er choice because of the varying route possibilities and two access points: Yankee Boy Basin and Blue Lakes.
Yankee Boy Basin: Drive south out of Ouray and head up County Road 361, staying right at Camp Bird. After driving it, we would recommend a 4WD vehicle if you plan on driving well up the road. Some vehicles will make it all the way to the top trail head, but there are places to park along the road if don’t make it that far.
Blue Lakes: Alternatively, you can head west out of Ridgway (towards Telluride) about 4.5 miles to the East Dallas Creek National Forest access road and turn right (south). You will follow this road all the way to the end, where road turns into trail head. The trail will take you first to Blue Lake and will continue to the two upper lakes and ultimately Blue Lake Pass.
The Standard Route/Lavender Couloir: This is the easier of the summit routes. When standing south looking at the summit of Sneffels, this route is on the ride/east side. This route pretty much heads up the south basin, up Lavender Couloir, through the V Notch and up to the summit.
Southwest Ridge: If you are looking to beat the crowds (and feel comfortable scrambling through and scampering over rocks), this is the route for you. It’s a bit more technical (Class 3), but offers incredible views of Blue Lakes and is more exciting than the standard route. The “trail” starts at the top of Blue Lake Pass and heads up the ridge towards the summit.
The 360 degree summit views off Sneffels are incredible, enough for an excuse to make the trip!
For more detailed information on hiking Mount Sneffels, visit SummitPost or 14ers.com.
See Telluride Hiking Trails for an interactive map of the more than 75 hikes in and around Telluride. We’ve also got information on everything you need to know to stay safe on the Via Ferrata; gear list, route map, access information and tips from the locals.
Can anyone provide feedback on how to get to the upper trailhead on Mt Sneffels? I don’t have a four wheel drive. I checked into renting a UTV and it’s $425 to rent one for 8 hours. Too expensive and also does not allow me to start the hike at sunup. Does anyone offer 4 x 4 shuttle service up to the upper trailhead, the one at 12,460 feet elevation?