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Sneffels Range, Colorado
Area/Range

Sneffels Range, Colorado

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Sneffels Range, Colorado

Page Type: Area/Range

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.00416°N / 107.9727°W

Object Title: Sneffels Range, Colorado

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Scrambling

Elevation: 14150 ft / 4313 m

 

Page By: John Kirk

Created/Edited: Apr 17, 2008 / Dec 13, 2012

Object ID: 396958

Hits: 20863 

Page Score: 99.58%  - 120 Votes 

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Introduction

    
    Wonderful view of Mount Sneffels from Gilpin Peak - photo by RyanS

    While not identified by the Board of Geographic Names, the Mount Sneffels massif and its satellite peaks as viewed from highways 62 and 145 are often referred to locally and abroad as the "Sneffels Range". For objective purposes, the scope of the range has been defined here using key saddles as the criteria to determine range boundaries. Thus, the range is here defined as the continuous area higher than and west of Red Mountain Pass (Mount Sneffels' saddle) and north of Ophir Pass (Vermilion Peak's saddle). Mount Sneffels at 14,150' is 27th highest in the state, is the highest peak in Ouray County. Mount Sneffels is also the parent peak of San Juan County's highest, Vermilion Peak 13,894', to the south. Three of Colorado's highest 100 ranked peaks are included in this range, two of them being technical (easy 5th class). The range is host to 37 ranked 13ers (peaks with at least 300' rise), with a select few "easy" hikes. The opportunities for scrambling and hiking in the area are exceptional and views on clear days are always top-notch. Due to its composition, most of the rock in the area is very rotten and many approaches involve extremely loose scree traverses (approaches to Mears Peak and Teakettle Mountain among the worst). The rock is often very colorful and the high mineral content also influences the color of the lakes in the area, such as the famous Blue Lakes. The northern flank of the range on the west side of Mount Sneffels contains several peaks named with the prefix "S " followed by an ascending number from southeast to northwest, ending with "S 10". The "S" represents an abbreviation for "Sneffels". Similarly, peaks flanking the east side Telluride have a prefix "T ", starting with "T 0" and ending with "T 11" going north to south, where the "T" represents an abbreviation for "Telluride".
    

    Fall Color in the Sneffels Range - photo by yorksman


Interactive Google Map of Sneffels Range Peaks


Scenery and Setting

 

Iron Mountain, Campbell Peak and the east ridge of "T O".
 

A view of "T 0" from the east in September.
 

Silver Mountain and Palmyra Peak loom above Telluride.
 

"S 4" may challenge your notion of loose rock sidehilling.
 

Nice views to be had in any direction - Gilpin Peak and Blocktops from "S 4".
 

Colorful approach to "S 5" from the east.

Flora
    The San Juan Range is host to an amazing variety and quantity of alpine wildflowers, proliferating high basins between July and August. The Sneffels Range in particular is lined with vast fields of flowers that often compete for attention with the incredible peaks in the area.


Alpine Sunflowers

Indian Paintbrush

Wild Geranium

Sky Pilot

Moss Campion

Fern Leaf Lousewort

Marsh Marigold

Kings Crown

Trailing Fleabane

Silky Phacelia

Bluebells

Elephant Heads

Delphinium

Penstemon

Arnica

Blue Columbine

Alpine Fireweed

Alpine Bistort

Parry's Primrose

Daisies


Technical Climbing

 

Stunning Saint Sophia Ridge is a chossy approach followed by easiest route of 5.7 - photo by RyanS


At least four peaks in the Sneffels Range require 5th class moves to reach the summit, the most popular being the two centennial 13ers Dallas Peak and Teakettle Mountain. "Coffeepot" serves as a nice companion piece to a climb of Teakettle. Seldom visited, gendarme-infested Saint Sophia Ridge (South Ridge of Mount Emma) is the most difficult summit to reach listed here. Mount Sneffels itself has several 5th class possibilities, including the Snake Couloir. Several variations also exist for a more difficult ascent Dallas Peak.

For infomation on Dallas Peak, see this page

For infomation on Teakettle Mountain, see this page

For infomation on "Coffeepot", see this page

For infomation on Mount Sneffels, see this page

For brief information on Saint Sophia Ridge, see this page

 

Climbers preparing to ascend Teakettle's 5th class summit block - photo by RyanS

 
Rappelling Dallas Peak's summit block - photo by skasgaard

 
Climbing the Snake Couloir - photo by SarahThompson

 
Stemming up the chimney on "Coffeepot" - photo by skasgaard

Peaks > 13,000'

Longitude
RankNameElevationQuadRiseLatitudeClass
27Sneffels, Mount 14,150'Mount Sneffels 3,050'38.0036-107.79232+
98Teakettle Mountain 13,819'Mount Sneffels759'38.0006-107.79235.3
100Dallas Peak 13,809'Telluride869'37.9882-107.76185.3
113Potosi Peak 13,786'Ironton806'37.9897-107.82342+
S"West Dallas"13,741'Telluride281'37.9913-107.7493
134"T 0"13,735'Telluride395'37.9926-107.83442
149Gilpin Peak 13,694'Telluride720'37.9865-107.84912
"Kismet"13,694'Mount Sneffels194'38.0000-107.7933
155Cirque Mountain 13,686'Mount Sneffels546'38.0038-107.78502+
166Lookout Peak13,661'Ophir841'37.8623-107.77153
197Emma, Mount13,581'Telluride561'37.9749-107.7802
"Coffeepot" 13,568'Telluride188'37.9963-107.79025.2
214Wasatch Mountain13,555'Telluride495'37.8901-107.75682
"Block Tops"13,543'Telluride203'37.9870-107.7957
24913510 B13,510'Ironton610'37.9175-107.80222
250"T 11"13,510'Telluride452'37.8777-107.73772
STelluride Peak13,509'Ironton289'37.9248-107.76602
259Mears Peak13,496'Mount Sneffels556'38.0094-107.73582+
260Whitehouse Mountain A13,492'Ouray592'38.0202-107.8620
266Three Needles13,481'Telluride421'37.8899-107.73803
269"T 10" 13,477'Ironton537'37.8979-107.75612
273La Junta Peak13,472'Telluride612'37.8968-107.74922
274Silver Mountain B13,470'Telluride410'37.8770-107.7871
275Ridgway, Mount13,468'Mount Sneffels448'38.0137-107.8313
284San Joaquin Ridge13,460'Telluride360'37.8768-107.7532
292"S 6"13,441'Mount Sneffels381'38.0072-107.80833
293"T 5"13,436'Telluride416'37.9593-107.84642
S"Oscars Peak"13,432'Telluride292'37.8752-107.76372
"S 3"13,410'Mount Sneffels270'38.0010-107.79382
326Chicago Peak13,385'Ironton365'37.9428-107.84162
"S 5"13,380'Mount Sneffels240'38.0057-107.74422
350"T 7"13,359'Ironton499'37.9341-107.84232
376Trico Peak 13,321'Ironton461'37.9052-107.72322
Palmyra Peak13,319'Telluride179'37.8834-107.7383
378"T 8"13,315'Ironton495'37.9420-107.82922
13300 E13,300'Ophir280'37.8589-107.7647
Mendota Peak13,275'Telluride175'37.9609-107.7161
440"S 8"13,252'Sams552'38.0147-107.77832
445"S 4"13,242'Mount Sneffels302'38.0071-107.89113
464"S 7"13,220'Sams400'38.0079-107.83182
Campbell Peak13,213'Telluride233'37.9871-107.8804
479Hayden Mountain South 13,206'Ironton549'37.9545-107.8549
5141315913,159'Ophir379'37.8615-107.70252+
52913145 A13,145'Telluride325'37.9054-107.75602
538Hayden Mountain North13,139'Ironton519'37.9679-107.7889
542"S 9"13,134'Sams354'38.0253-107.68922
571"Corbett Peak"13,100'Ouray320'38.0270-107.8912
573"Tomboy Peak"13,095'Telluride315'37.9474-107.73402
Saint Sophia Ridge13,060'Telluride160'37.9691-107.75155.7
Wolcott Mountain13,041'Mount Sneffels181'38.0163-107.7845
United States Mountain13,036'Ironton176'37.9566-107.8474
625"S 10"13,020'Sams360'38.0270-107.73902
Ruffner Mountain13,003'Sams23'38.0053-107.9063



Mount Sneffels 14,150'

Teakettle Mountain 13,819'

Dallas Peak 13,809'

Potosi Peak 13,786'

"West Dallas" 13,741'

"T 0" 13,735'

Gilpin Peak 13,694'

"Kismet" 13,694'

Cirque Mountain 13,686'

Lookout Peak 13,661'

Mount Emma 13,581'

"Coffeepot" 13,568'

Wasatch Mountain 13,555'

Block Tops 13,543'

"T 11" 13,510'

13510 B 13,510'

Telluride Peak 13,509'

Mears Peak 13,496'

Whitehouse Mountain 13,492'

Three Needles 13,481'

"T 10" 13,477'

La Junta Peak 13,472'

Silver Mountain B 13,470'

San Joaquin Ridge 13,460'

"S 6" 13,441'

"S 3" 13,410'

"T 5" 13,436'

"Oscars Peak" 13,432'

"S 5" 13,380'

Chicago Peak 13,385'

"T 7" 13,359'

Trico Peak 13,321'

"T 8" 13,315'

13300 E 13,300'

Mendota Peak 13,275'

"S 8" 13,252'

"S 4" 13,242'

"S 7" 13,220'

Campbell Peak 13,213'

Hayden Mountain 13,206'

13159 13,159'

13145 A 13,145'

"S 9" 13,134'

"Tomboy Peak" 13,095'

Saint Sophia Ridge 13,060'

Wolcott Mountain 13,041'

United States Mountain 13,039'

"S 10" 13,020'

Peaks < 13,000'

RankNameElevationQuadRiseLatitudeLongitudeClass
SGreenback Mountain12,997'Telluride297'37.9689-107.7950
Hayden Peak B12,987'Sams207'38.0306-107.79502
650"Reconnoiter Peak"12,980'Mount Sneffels 440'38.0201-107.9092
Ballard Mountain12,804'Telluride104'37.9117-107.7627
Ajax Peak12,785'Telluride125'37.9287-107.7901
Iron Mountain A12,747'Telluride207'37.9877-107.7556
Gold Hill A12,740'Telluride160'37.8947-107.8661
862Stony Mountain12,698'Telluride414'37.9824-107.8229
948"Angel Knob"12,580'Ouray360'38.0136-107.7715
Ingram Peak12,552'Telluride52'37.9148-107.7284
11301231112,311'Sams331'38.0038-107.7584
North Pole Peak12,208'Sams108'38.0386-107.9309
Ophir Needles12,070'Ophir90'37.8684-107.9151
1350Whipple Mountain11,922'Gray Head342'37.9946-107.8561
1371Bald Mountain E11,868'Telluride328'37.8963-107.9342
1720Last Dollar Mountain11,140'Sams477'38.0008-107.8467
1789Gray Head10,982'Gray Head538'37.9914-107.9599
West Twin Peak10,970'Ouray230'38.0275-107.9730
Hawn Mountain10,922'Gray Head222'37.9840-107.6990
Turkey Creek Mesa10,860'Telluride40'37.8915-107.9248
East Twin Peak10,798'Ouray138'38.0279-107.8624
Needle Rock A10,656'Telluride116'37.9263-107.6919
Coonskin Mountain10,580'Telluride40'37.9324-107.8138
Sister Peak10,380'Ouray80'38.0280-107.8329
222910140 E10,140'Sams320'38.0432-107.6884
S10140 G10,140'Sams280'38.0525-107.9397
Deep Creek Mesa9,940'Telluride120'37.9606-107.9384
2413South Baldy9,829'Mount Sneffels689'38.0788-107.8579
Spruce Ridge A9,780'Sams80'38.0652-107.8331
25089660 A9,660'Placerville800'38.0093-107.8818
2532Hastings Mesa9,620'Sams560'38.0584-108.0157

Access, Camping and Conditions

Three popular towns are situated near the Sneffels Range: Ouray, Telluride, and Ridgway. These are best accessed using highway 550 from Montrose (or Durango if approaching from the south). Ouray is famous for its ice climbing and sits in a valley very similar to towns of Switzerland, and thus carries the nickname "Switzerland of America". There are many places to stay in Ouray, and like Silverton, retains the qualities of a quaint an old mining town. Ouray provides great access to Yankee Boy Basin (often used for Sneffels, Teakettle, Potosi, Whitehouse, Corbett, Gilpin, Emma) and Blue Lakes Basin (used for "T 0", "S 4", "S 5" and "S 6", as well as Sneffels). Red Mountain Pass is another access point used for the eastern portion of the range south of Imogene Pass. Telluride is more famous for its skiing, and real estate has the prices to prove it. Telluride also retains a mining town feel to a lesser extent. Telluride provides a great access point for the northern flanks of the range west of Sneffels, including Mears, and "S 7" through "S 10" as well as the southern end of the range including Wasatch Peak, La Junta Peak, and Silver Mountain B. Ridgway is a bit further north than Ouray, and thus further from the range, but offers nice camping nearby.

Ouray info: ouraycolorado.com

Telluride info: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telluride,_Colorado

Ridgway info: ridgwaycolorado.com

Parks and Camping:
Ouray Area Parks and Camping

Telluride Area Parks and Camping

Wilderness info:
Mount Sneffels Wilderness

Weather and Conditions:
Current Conditions and Forecast

The San Juan Range in general and particularly the Sneffels range melt out late.
Current Snowpack

Images