El Diente/Mount Wilson Traverse

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hiking, Mountaineering, Scrambling
Time Required:
Less than two hours
Rock Difficulty:
Class 4

Route Quality: 6 Votes

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El Diente/Mount Wilson Traverse
Created On: Aug 23, 2006
Last Edited On: Jul 9, 2012


The El Diente/Mount Wilson Traverse is, according to Gerry Roach, one of the four great Colorado traverses. It is considered the easiest of the four. The other three in order of increasing difficulty are: Crestone Peak/Crestone Needle, Little Bear/Blanca and North Maroon Peak/Maroon Peak.
View of the El Diente Mount...El Diente/Mount Wilson Traverse from the North. Credit: xskier77
One can approach the traverse from either the Rock of Ages Saddle or the Navajo Lake Trailhead. The traverse can be done in either direction, but is described from El Diente to Mount Wilson here.
The El Diente/Wilson ridge...El Diente/Mount Wilson Traverse from Mount Wilson. Credit: Peter Eliassen

Getting There

From Lizard Head Pass, drive west on Highway 145 5.4 miles to a well-signed Dunton Road. Dunton Road is not plowed until May 15. Snowmobile travel is practical prior to snow removal. Drive Dunton Road 7.1 miles. The Navajo Lake Trailhead (9350') is 0.25 miles up a well signed spur road off Dunton Road. Any vehicle can make it to the trailhead.
El Diente/Mount Wilson Traverse from Navajo Lake THEl Diente/Mount Wilson Traverse form the Navajo Lake TH

Route Description

From the trailhead follow El Diente's West Ridge Route to El Diente's summit. Follow the ridge while avoiding difficultues to the north. Avoid the Organ Pipe gendarmes and another group of gendarmes by staying to the south. Regain the ridge, passing over a false summit ("West Wilson") at the approximate halfway point, then descend to a saddle at 13,980'. Descend slightly to a cleft on the south then reascend the ridge on class 3 rock to another saddle at 14,070'. Traverse to the north side of Mount Wilson's north ridge and follow it to the summit. There are many cairns, but are not distributed equally along the route. In some places there is a plethora and in some places none.
Mount Wilson from El Diente s...El Diente/Mount Wilson Traverse from El Diente. Credit: Ryan Schilling

Essential Gear

Shoes. Rope and rack if uncomfortable on steep, exposed, fourth class rock.

Guide Book

Dawson's Guide to Colorado Fourteeners Vol. 2: The Southern Peaks

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Hyadventure - Jul 9, 2012 6:56 pm - Hasn't voted

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages Trailhead was reopened 8/2011

Brian Kalet

Brian Kalet - Jul 9, 2012 7:04 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Rock of Ages

I updated the page. Thanks!

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