Snowdon Peak & Mountain View Crest
Turret Peak from the west.
The Needleton Trailhead is located 13 miles south of Silverton at 8,212' along the Animas River and can only be approached by foot or train. See the Getting There section for train details.
The Purgatory Trailhead is located along U.S. 550 south of Silverton & north of Durango at 8,800'. If driving from the south, start at 32nd Street and U.S. 500 in Durango and continue north along U.S. 550 for 24.7 miles to the trailhead. If you are driving from the north, continue south along U.S. 550 7.7 miles from Coal Creek Pass. The trailhead is on the east side of the road across from the ski area.
Access to Turret Peak is via Needleton, Colorado. Needleton is most commonly reached by the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
. Roundtrip tickets cost $85 as of 2013. Avoiding the train requires an additional 1612 feet of elevation gain and 19 miles of hiking from the Purgatory Trailhead (3). Turret Peak's standard route is the Northwest Slopes Route
and can be approached one of two ways, via North Pigeon Creek or Ruby Creek. Since the approach via North Pigeon Creek is easier, that is described in the Northwest Slopes Route Page
. For information on the Ruby Creek approach, visit the Ruby Creek Trail page
North Pigeon Creek Approach
7.6 miles, 5623' of elevation gain, Class 2+
Ruby Creek Approach
10.2 miles, 5823' of elevation gain, Class 2+
Turret Peak and the Turret Needles. Photo: iceisnice
Turret Peak is in the Weminuche Willderness; mechanized travel is forbidden.
There are good sites at the 11,740 & 8,260 foot meadows in North Pigeon Creek and on the Animas River Trail, respectively.
When to Climb
Turret Peak can be climbed year round, but is usually climbed from early May to late October when the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
typically stops at Needleton, Colorado. The greatest objective danger in the fall-spring will be avalanche danger and during the summer will be lightning. If climbing during the summer, plan to be off of the summit and or/exposed ridges by noon.
Map of the Standard Northwest Slopes Route from Needleton. Click to enlarge.
External LinksWeatherGuided Ascents of Turret Peak