Crown Mountain is located in the Lake City Region of the San Juan Mountains and found on the same ridge and south of bicentennial Niagara Peak and centennial Jones Mountain A. A 13,340 foot saddle separates Crown Mountain from Niagara Peak. Crown Mountain and its neighbor “North Crown Mountain” dominate your view looking south from Niagara Peak. Crown Mountain provides better views of the Weminuche Wilderness and its two ranges: the Grenadier Mountains and the Needle Mountains than more popular Niagara Peak, Jones Mountain A and “American Peak”.
Crown Mountain & "North Crown Mountain" from left to right
Crown Mountain’s summit can be reached by class 2+ hiking/scrambling. Crown can also be easily linked with climbs of Niagara Peak, Jones Mountain A and “American Peak”. Crown Mountain can be accessed via the north, east and west, but is probably most easily climbed from the west now that the Snare Stairs in Snare Gulch are closed to vehicular traffic. The summit register on Crown Mountain is a baby jar. I’m embarrassed to say this, but I was unable to open the jar when I was there.
"North Crown Mountain" from Crown Mountain
From Silverton, CO, drive east-northeast on County Road 2 past Howardsville and Eureka at miles 4.2 and 8.0, respectively. Continue on County Road 2, crossing the Animas River. There is a sign after the bridge over the Animas River recommending 4WD or high-clearance vehicles. Continue along this road reaching the Grouse-Burns Gulch Trailhead just before the shelf road crosses back over to the Animas River's east side at mile 11.1 and 10,720 feet. 4WD vehicles can continue up Burns Gulch by fording the Animas River 100 yards south of where the road crosses the Animas River. Another way to reach the Burns Gulch 4WD road without fording the Animas River, but crossing the Grouse Creek, is to follow a road just north of the bridge over the Animas River. 4WD vehicles can drive 2 miles to 11,880 feet in Burns Gulch. Road closure with snow cover is in Eureka.
Crown Mountain's Northeast Ridge Route via Burns Gulch. Click to enlarge.
Continue up Burns Gulch to the Jones Mountain-Niagara Peak saddle. Climb west up a trail to Niagara Peak's summit. Descend Niagara Peak's south ridge to the Niagara Peak-Crown Mountain saddle. Climb southwest to Crown Mountain's summit.