Peak 13042 ft (Silverton area)

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
Colorado, United States, North America
County:
San Juan
Activities:
Mountaineering
Season:
Summer
Elevation:
13042 ft / 3975 m
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Peak 13042 ft (Silverton area)
Created On: Aug 23, 2014
Last Edited On: Oct 19, 2017

Overview


East face of Peak 13042 ft, note the band of cliffs above Putnam Basin.


Name: This peak has no official name.
Rank: Peak 13042 ft is Colorado’s 612th highest ranked peak.
Prominence: 942 ft.


Peak 13042 ft rises to the west of the town of Silverton in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. The eastern slopes of Peak 13042 ft are steep/wall-like and drop down into Putnam Basin. The western slopes, above 12000 ft, are in contrast quite gentle and are covered by beautiful grass all the way up to the summit. A band of cliffs tens of miles long traverses the slopes of many of the mountains in the area at an elevation of 11800-12000 ft creating a serious obstacle to the hiker. Occasional breaks in these cliffs, however, do provide walk-up access to the summits of the peaks. One such break happens to the southwest of Peak 13042 ft above Colorado Trail. You could start at Little Molas Lake Trailhead off of Route 550 and follow Colorado trail until you see the break. You can then leave the trail and find your own way to the summit of Peak 13042 ft.



Southeast face, L to R: Peak 13042 ft, Peak 12764 ft & Point 12613 ft.


Getting There

Directions to Little Molas Lake Trailhead (not to be confused with Molas Lake Trailhead):

From Silverton, drive 7 miles south on Route 550 to the well signed Little Molas Lake Campground/Trailhead on the west side of the road. Turn west and drive the well graded dirt road about a mile past the camp site to the end of the road at the trailhead.

Route, from Little Molas Lake

Peak 13042 ft from Little Molas Lake



All distances are per my GPS

Net elevation gain is 2150 ft. Due to the many ups and downs on the trail, my GPS recorded a total ascent of 3075 ft, 12.4 miles roundtrip.


Place
Elevation
Distance
Little Molas Lake Trailhead
10900 ft
zero miles
Broad Saddle
11540 ft
3.20 miles
Leave Trail
11500 ft
1.75 miles
Saddle
12100 ft
0.65 miles
Summit
13042 ft
0.60 miles
Total
-
6.20 miles


At the trailhead, Peak 13042 ft will not be visible. Get on Colorado Trail and head west. The trail zigzags up through a sparse forest and soon gets on grassy slopes that are mostly without trees. You will soon have a glimpse of Little Molas Lake with the peaks of the Grenadier Range in the back.

Little Molas Lake & The Grenadier RangeLittle Molas Lake & The Grenadier Range


You will then find the trail on the crest of a very broad and gently sloped ridgeline going uphill.

Rolling Mountain far rightRolling Mountain & Peak 12569 ft
North Twilight PeakNorth Twilight Peak


Engineer MountainEngineer Mountain


After 3.2 miles, you will reach a wide saddle between Peak 12764 ft to the west and Peak 12849 ft to the east. Bear Mountain comes to view to the north.

Bear MountainBear Mountain


Continue on the trail on the south side of Peak 12764 ft.

The Grenadier RangeThe Grenadier Range


Potato HillPotato Hill
On Colorado TrailOn Colorado Trail


Peak 12764 ftPeak 12764 ft


Engineer MountainEngineer Mountain
Peak 12569 ft & the tip of Engineer Mountain 12968 ftPeak 12569 ft


Potato Hill & North Twilight PeakTwilight Peaks & Potato Hill


Snowdon & South Snowdon PeaksSnowdon Peaks
Peak 12569 ft & Point 12766 ftPeak 12569 ft & Point 12766 ft


The trail does a number of small ups and downs as it heads northwest. You will note a continuous band of cliffs above you on the southern slopes of Peak 12764 ft. At some point at around 11500 ft, the trail begins to go downhill more steeply making a bend to head southwest on the slopes of Point 12601 ft. You will find a break in the cliffs above you.

Break in the cliffsBreak in the cliffs


Leave trail and head up the grassy slopes through the opening in the cliffs. A faint trail actually takes you there but where it branches off of Colorado trail is hard to find.

Cliffs below Peak 12601 ftCliffs below Peak 12601 ft
Hiking up the grassy slopes
Hiking up the grassy slopes
Hiking up grassy slopes
Hiking up grassy slopes
Hiking up grassy slopesTwilight Peaks & Potato Hill


Once you go through the opening in the cliffs, you will find yourself at a 12100 ft saddle where you seem to be on a high grassy plateau surrounded by cliffs below.

Golden Horn, Vermilion/Fuller and Beattie PeaksThe Vermilion Group
Twin SistersTwin Sisters


Hike northeast up the beautiful grassy slopes of Peak 13042 ft.

The beautiful southwestern slopes of Peak 13042 ft


The grassy southwestern slopes of Peak 13042 ft
Looking down the southwestern slopes of Peak 13042 ft


Just below the summit.

The summit of Peak 13042 ftThe summit of Peak 13042 ft


Views from the summit of Peak 13042 ft.

Vermilion Peak GroupThe Vermilion Group
US Grant Peak far leftUS Grant, Lookout Peak


Too many 13ers to countNorth toward Red Mountain Pass


Bear MountainBear Mountain
Twin Sisters (far left) and many othersTwin Sisters, Rolling Mtn


Engineer, Grayrock, Jura Knob and many othersEngineer Mtn


Ridgeline to Bear MountainRidge to Bear Mtn
Potato Hill & the Twilight PeaksPotato Hill & Twilight Peaks


The Needle Mountains & Snowdon PeaksSnowdon Peaks & The Needles


Sultan Mountain and The Grand TurkSultan Mtn & The Grand Turk
The Grenadier RangeThe Grenadier Range



Red Tape

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