Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 42.77658°N / 109.23739°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Elevation: 12229 ft / 3727 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Shark s Nose

Shark's Nose is the large tower that rises up from Cirque Lake, directly south of Overhanging Tower. The sheer eastern face of the peak, as seen from Lonesome Lake, appears (and may very well be) impenetrable. Three pinnacles rise up from the top of the peak, with the northern pinnacle being the true summit.

Shark' Nose, as well as the rest of the peaks surrounding Cirque Lake, was carved out by a tributary glacier to the main glacier that formed the cirque surrounding Lonesome Lake. As a result, Cirque Lake is approximately 900 feet higher in elevation than Lonesome Lake. The peak is composed of coarse granite, with an abundance of large plagioclase crystals in the rock. This makes for excellent climbing.

Shark's Nose is home to a number of excellent routes. From Kelsey's guidebook, the routes include the Northwest Buttress (II, 5.6), the Direct Southwest Face (III, 5.8), the Southwest Face/South Ridge (III, 5.7), the North Face Left (III, 5.8, A?), and the North Face Right (III, 5.8).

Getting There

Entering the Cirque of the Towers
Waterfall in the Cirque of the Towers
Cirque Lake

Shark's Nose can be approached either from Lonesome Lake or Shadow Lake. The Lonesome Lake approach is more common. Both approaches start at the Big Sandy Trailhead. For directions to the trailhead, see Alan Ellis' excellent description in the "Cirque of the Towers" homepage.

Big Sandy Trailhead to Lonesome Lake: From the Big Sandy Trailhead follow the trail signs to Big Sandy Lake (5.5 miles). Hike along the western shores of Big Sandy Lake and get ready to begin gaining some elevation. After a mile or two you will reach North Lake, where you will hike above the eastern shore. Continue along the trail for another mile until you reach Arrowhead Lake. The trail will take you above the eastern shore of the lake. It will then drop down toward the northernmost shore of the lake, but you do not need to descend all the way to the lake. After the short descent you will come to an obvious fork in the trail. The right fork takes you to Jackass Pass and into the Cirque of the Towers, and the left fork also takes you into the Cirque with a lot less elevation gain. We prefer the left fork. Note: If you plan on taking the climber's trail, the trail breaks off from the main trail between North and Arrowhead lakes. The trail takes you along the western shore of Arrowhead lake, and involves some boulder-hopping and a bit of route finding. To get to the base of Shark's Nose from the Cirque, hike toward Pingora and follow the trail that ascends the slope to the west of Pingora. This will take you to Cirque Lake, which Shark's Nose rises above.

Big Sandy Trailhead to Shadow Lake: Although I have never approached Shark's Nose from the Shadow Lake side of the peak, I am told that it is very nice and more secluded than the Lonesome Lake side. From the Big Sandy Trailhead hike along the trail for 0.5 mile. At this point you will see a trail sign for the Fremont Trail, toward Dad's Lake. Follow the Fremont Trail past Dad's Lake and Marm's Lake for approximately 8 miles until you reach the Washakie Creek trail. Go east on this trail until you reach Shadow Lake.

Red Tape

There are no permits or fees required for overnight stays in the Cirque of the Towers.


Camping is free in the Cirque of the Towers, although you must camp 0.25 mile from Lonesome Lake. This is not a problem, as excellent camping can be found in the upper part of the Cirque that is more conducive to an ascent of Shark's Nose. Additionally, there is a campground at the Big Sandy Trailhead for a small fee.
Cirque of the Towers Lounging



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Cirque of the TowersMountains & Rocks