Welcome to SP!  -
San Bernardo Mountain

San Bernardo Mountain

San Bernardo Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 37.84717°N / 107.90886°W

Object Title: San Bernardo Mountain

County: San Miguel

Activities: Mountaineering

Season: Summer

Elevation: 11861 ft / 3615 m


Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Jul 26, 2014 / Oct 19, 2017

Object ID: 906402

Hits: 1609 

Page Score: 82.34%  - 15 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote



The north face of San Bernardo Mountain from Route 145

San Bernardo Mountain rises near Lizard Head Pass on Route 145 south of Telluride in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. Although San Bernardo has 1000 ft of prominence, it appears as an inconspicuous mountain due to the fact that it is surrounded by 12, 13 and 14000 ft peaks.

San Bernardo has two summits: Point 11861 ft to the west and Point 11822 ft to the east. These two points are separated by a roughly U-shaped ridgeline that drops to a minimum of 11740 ft. The northern slopes of San Bernardo are covered by a forest all the way to the summit. Below the summits and the connecting ridgeline on the south side, you will find small walls/steep rocky areas. Despite this, a walk-up access is possible from the south.

Lizard Head Trail starts at Lizard Head Pass and goes up to 10900 ft at the base of the southern ridgeline of San Bernardo Mountain before going down into Wilson Meadows. You can leave trail here and follow the ridgeline to the top. The forest on the ridgeline is fairly thin.

The south face of San Bernardo Mountain

Getting There

From Telluride, drive south on Route 145 to Lizard Head Pass (16 miles). Parking/picnic area is available at the pass.


San Bernardo Mountain

All distances are per my GPS
Parking on Lizard Head Pass
10260 ft
zero miles
Start of Switchbacks
1.45 miles
Junction with Black Face Mtn trail
10840 ft
0.65 miles
Wilson Meadows Trail/South Ridge of San Bernardo
10940 ft
0.45 miles
San Bernardo Summit
11861 ft
0.75 miles
3.30 miles

Please note that you will have no views of San Bernardo Mountain on this route.

Go to the north side of the parking area and get on Lizard Head Trail.
View of Sheep Mountain from near the parking area:

Sheep Mountain & Route 145
Sheep Mountain

Follow the trail north parallel to Route 145. The trail goes through a forest of mostly Aspen trees. It goes up and down but overall, does not change much elevation. Some traffic noise may be audible.

On Lizard Head Trail

On Lizard Head Trail

The trail then starts to make a large number of switchbacks going up in elevation quickly. Where there are breaks in trees, Trout Lake and the peaks around it will be visible.

Trout Lake & the Vermilion Peak Group
Trout Lake & The Vermilion Peak Group

Yellow Mountain
Yellow Mountain

On Lizard Head Trail

You will then reach a signed junction. Left goes to Black Face Mountain. Continue right (straight). You will be walking in a Pine forest on a relatively flat area. Depending on the season, you will go by a small pond and cross two small creeks until you reach a place where the trail begins to go down. A sign may point straight for Wilson Meadows. This is the start of the southern ridgeline of San Bernardo. Lizard Head Peak will be in good view.

Lzard Head Peak 13113 ft
Lizard Head Peak

Leave trail and begin going up on or near the crest of the ridgeline. For some time you may actually see a trail. You may have to go in and out of patches of forest but the forest is thin. You will get glimpses of the rocky slopes below the summit.

On the southern ridgeline of San Bernardo

On the southern ridgeline of San Bernardo

On the southern ridgeline of San Bernardo

Views from the ridgeline:

Sheep, San Miguel, Rolling Mtns.
Sheep, San Miguel & Rolling Mtns

Yellow Mountain
Yellow Mountain

Lookout & Oscars Peaks
Lookout & Oscars Peaks

The Vermilion Peak Group
The Vermilion Peak Group

You will then reach a pond. A dirt slope goes up a short distance to reach the 11740 ft saddle on the ridgeline between the two summits of San Bernardo.

Below the summit ridgeline

Turn left (west) and follow the top of the ridgeline to reach the summit. You will see a Pine forest on your right. To the left, steep rocky slopes drop down.
Views near and from the summit of San Bernardo Mountain:

San Bernardo, Sunshine & Wilson Peak
San Bernardo, Sunshine & Wilson Peak

The Wilsons & Wilson Meadows
The Mount Wilson Group

North side of Black Face Mountain 12147 ft
Black Face Mountain

Whipple Mountain
Whipple Mountain

Wilson Meadows
Wilson Meadows

Sheep, San Miguel, Rolling Mtns
Sheep, San Miguel & Rolling Mountains

Vermilion Group
The Vermilion Peak Group

Red Tape

No fees or permits needed.


Lzard Head Peak 13113 ftThe east summit of San Bernardo PeakOn Lizard Head TrailBelow the summit ridgelineThe Vermilion Peak GroupOn the southern ridgeline of San BernardoThe Wilsons & Wilson Meadows
Wilson MeadowsSheep, San Miguel, Rolling MtnsOn the southern ridgeline of San BernardoVermilion GroupSan Bernardo MountainNorth face of San Bernardo MountainSan Bernardo, Sunshine & Wilson Peak
[ View Gallery - 12 More Images ]