Darley Mountain Overview
West Slopes of Darley Mountain.
rises 13,260 feet above sea level and is located in the San Juan Range in Colorado. It is in between Hinsdale & Ouray counties and part of the spectacular Uncompahgre Wilderness.
Its saddle is considered to be the top of Engineer Pass (12,740) leading to Lake City. This mountain was being mined for something back in the day and all that mining has clearly made an impact on it. From a distance, the mountain looks like a big, steep pile of yellow and orange sand with a few boulders by the summit. There is a large and wide mining road that zig-zags up to nearly 100 feet shy of the summit. Despite this mountain's unattractive properties, the summit provides you with an outstanding veiw of the entire San Juan Range.
In-depth DetailsHere are more details:
CO Peak Rank: 432
Range: San Juan
Counties: Hinsdale & Ouray
Quadrangle: Handies Peak
Coordinates: 37.9827°N, -107.5881°W
Proximate Parent: Wildhorse Peak
Line Parent: Seigal Mountain
Isolation: 2.19 miles
YDS Class Rating: 2
Engineer Pass summit with Darley Mountain in the background
, head NE towards Silverton. Once at Silverton go towards Eureka. Once your at Eureka, keep going until you see a 4WD high clearance vehicle sign. You will need at least some clearance to continue. Passenger cars are not appropriate, but a standard all-wheel-drive vehicle will make it if you are careful and go slow. Continue down the Eureka Gulch Road until you get to Animas Forks. Past Animas Forks, there is a junction for Cinnamon, Engineer, California, and Placer Passes. Head NE onto the junction for Engineer/Cinnamon Pass. A High-Clearance 4WD vehicle, preferably a Jeep, is required. Continue passed the Junction until you get to another junction. Take a left onto Engineer Pass. If you need in-depth details on going up to the pass, refer to a 4WD book. Before the top you will pass a Overlook that is about 200 feet higher than the actually pass. You can park at this overlook and hike about 0.1 miles to the pass where the trail starts if theres no where to park on top of the pass. You are very close to the mountain from here.
If you do not have a 4WD vehicle, but still want to hike this, I'd recommend taking Engineer Pass from Lake City.
There is only one route that has a trail to get you up this. According to a few other people there are 2 routes and one of which is on the SE slope. Here is a basic summary of the marked route.
From the top of Engineer Pass, go beyond a gate that is says "No Motorized Vehicles". From here, follow the wide trail up loose rock up about 2 or 3 switchbacks. Then from there, the wide trail ends and you are 100 feet shy of the summit. Scramble your way up extremely loose shale rock until you get to the summit. More detail about this route is in the routes section of the page.
No permits required. Motorized vehicles are prohibited on the trailhead.
You are not allowed to drive off road, therefor besides tent camping, your only camping option is in Eureka or down the road to Lake City.