Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 37.77900°N / 107.864°W
Additional Information Elevation: 13752 ft / 4192 m
Sign the Climber's Log


San Miguel Peak is a high undistinguished summit southwest of its more prominent neighbors in the Ice Lake Basin area. It sits practically at the center of three different counties: San Juan, San Miguel and Dolores. AT 13,752 feet it lies just short of 14,000 feet. Its in very close proximity to Wilson Peak, Mount Wilson, El Diente, and Gladstone Peak. The hike to the top, East spur of the northeast ridge is rather easy, about class 2 and is approached from the West. The route follows a good hiking trail to scenic Lake Hope. Some climbers claim that different sections of the mountain are class 4, so be sure to carefully plan out which route you are going to take.

Getting There

Drive to a point midway between the Ophir Loop and Lizard Head Pass on Colorado 145. Turn east on a road that goes northeast of Trout Lake. Follow the road, Forest Service 626, past Trout Lake along the north side of Lake Fork. Two miles from the highway make a sharp left turn on a side road that starts northwest and then loops back southeast. Continue two more miles to a trailhead parking area at 10,300 feet.

Hike southeast on a good trail that climbs steadily. Leave the trail a quarter mile beyond the timber, at 11,700 feet. Turn right and walk southeast over grassy open country. This will bring you to the north end of Lake Hope near its outlet. If you miss this turn and follow the trail all the way to the east end of the lake at 11,860 feet, turn right and walk northwest over a small knoll to get to the lake outlet.

Cross the dam at the lake outlet and climb west. Ascend a rounded spur ridge off the main northeast ridge of San Miguel Peak. This ridge feeds into the rocky northeast ridge that you then follow to the summit.

Red Tape

No fees or permits are required. Although it is in a protected National Forest Area. Remember to always pack-out what you pack in. Otherwise there will be fees for entrance to the mountains.

When To Climb

June through September is the best time to make the climb, but the snow fall from the year before, determines the accesibility. Snow is possible at any time of year, so be prepared. Winter climbs are possible, but usually recommended for experienced climbers.

On the actual climbing day, it is best to start early in the morning to avoid thunder bumpers. I would suggest that you plan to reach the summit by no later than 11:30, it's that serious a threat.

Climbing Periods:

October-May: Expect high snow levels and high wind in places. Snow can fall at any time without warning. You shouldnt attempt a mountain at this time if you are not experienced climber. Even then, you shouldnt attempt the mountain if you are not familiar with the area. There are dangerous places on the mountain where you can slip through crevasses. Avalanches occur with high frequency in various places. Be sure to know where these places are.

June: June is a transitional period between summer and spring-winter. Snow levels start to fall quickly in June, but in the rockies, snow levels can still be quite high in June and often are. One of the best reasons to go in June is because it is before the monsoon season in which there is a regular occurence of lightning storms. Freezing temperatures still occur regularly at this time.

July-August: This is the peak of climbing season in Colorado. Although it occurs at the same time as the monsoons. In a normal year, lightening storms occur regularly at around noon. I eamn regularly, in the July-August period there are probably 45-50 days of thunderstorms. Do not attempt to climb the peak during a storm.

September: The other transition period for the mountains. At this time, the aspens change color and the first snows begin to fall. Cold temperatures begin to occur regularly again. This is basically the last time to attempt a climb.

Mountain Conditions

Check with the local news weather reports before making a climb. Telluride Weather is a website which includes current conditions, snow coverage, and extended forecasts. This is the closest town to the peak.

Current Conditions:

Extended Forecast:

Do not rely on the forecasts because weather in the high country is very unpredictable and can change quickly. Many experienced climbers have been killed when trapped on the mountain during a lightening storm. To avoid the regular occurrence of thunder storms on the mountain you should plan to bag the peak in the morning, getting to the summit around 10 o'clock. After 11:30 the weather can change very quickly, LEAVE THE MOUNTAIN AT THE FIRST SIGN OF THUNDER BUMPERS! The air is very thin in the mountain, people unaccustomed to high altitude can get altitude sickness. If you begin to feel dizzy, slow down, and relax. Check with Uncompaghre National Forest at:

USDA Forest Service
2250 Highway 50
Delta, CO 81416

(970) 874-6600

Check here for information on snow percipitation.

Camping and Lodging.

Camping Camping is allowed at the trailhead. There are many camping sites around the highway. Regulations for camping include 300 feet from water.

Lodging Telluride is a close town with plenty of inns, motels, and even luxury hotels. The following is a list from the Colorado Hotels website:

Bear Creek Lodge at Mountain Village
135 San Joaquin Road
Telluride, CO 81435 US

Blue Mesa Lodge, Telluride, CO

Mountain Village
Telluride, CO 81435 US

Cabins and Penthouses at The Peaks Wyndham Luxury Resort
109 Sunny Ridge
Telluride, CO 81435 US

Mountain Lodge Wyndham Luxury Resort
457 Mountain Village Boulevard
Telluride, CO 81435 US

Telluride Mountainside Inn
333 S. Davis St
Telluride, CO 81435 US

The Hotel Telluride
199 North Cornet Street
Telluride, CO 81435 US

The Peaks Wyndham Luxury Resort
136 Country Club Drive
Telluride, CO 81435 US

The San Sophia Inn and Condominiums
330 West Pacific Ave
Telluride, CO 81435 US



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