Hunter Fryingpan Wilderness
Williams Mountain-Hunter Fryingpan Wilderness
From the 13,761-ft summit of Deer Mountain
, I discovered UN13,382 or Williams Mountain. Later that summer, from the lofty summit of UN13,382, I discovered the pyramid-shaped UN13,545.
It’s the domino effect, and it’s a very effective way to discover new and exciting terrain.
Over time, the almighty Gods of erosion have rendered some nice handiwork in and around the Independence Pass area of the Sawatch Range. Just northwest and northeast of Colorado’s highest paved pass, expect a different Sawatch. Expect a collection of shapely, well built mountains that line the Continental Divide. These are the mountains that seem to go on forever looking west from the popular 14ers Mount Elbert and Mount Massive. These are the mountains of the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness. Most of these high 13ers are unnamed, which isn’t a bad thing when you’re looking for solitude and pristine terrain.
UN13,328 "Williams Mountain"
When viewed from other Sawatch summits, UN13,382 or “Williams Mountain” has an unmistakable visual appeal that is hard to forget. In addition to its alpine greatness, this mountain has a load of character, showcased with uncanny ruggedness that other nearby mountains can’t match. When viewed across the valley from Lost Man Lake at 6:00 am on a mid summer day, UN13,382 poses in perfect, picturesque-postcard beauty. The kind of beauty that hikers, climbers and landscape photographers dream of to provide a lifetime memory. Up close, from the popular Lost Man pack trail UN13,382 loses its far away graceful symmetry and effectively gains an imposing and menacing appearance.
UN13,382 is undoubtedly the king of the Lost Man Creek and Midway Creek Basins. It is the highest point of the officially named and little known Williams Mountains, a western spur of the Sawatch Range. From hwy 82 the Williams Mountains runs mostly to the northwest directly into the heart of the Hunter Fryingpan Wilderness and is home to many isolated unnamed thirteeners. In time, this summitpost page will evolve to a Williams Mountain Range page, with the future addition of a few more worthwhile thirteeners.
Lost Man TH
This trailhead is not winter accessible due to Independence Pass gate closures east and west of the divide.
East-From Leadville, go south on 14.5 miles on hwy 24 to the 24/hwy 82 junction and turn right. From the junction of Colorado 82 and Hwy 24, go 23.5 west on 82 to Independence Pass at 12,093-ft. Descend the west side of the pass 1.84 miles and pass the Linkins Lake TH. Continue descending hwy 82 another 3.8 miles to the Lost Man TH at 10,675. The Lost Man Campground is located directly across the street; camping as of 2004 was $12.00 a night.
West-From Main Street in Aspen, drive hwy 82 approximately 13.5 miles east towards Independence Pass and look sharp for the Lost Man TH on the left. The Lost Man Campground is located directly across the street; camping as of 2004 was $12.00 a night.
San Isabel National Forest-Red Tape No permits or fees are required to climb or hike, not yet at least.
MAPS San Isabel National Forest
USGS 7.5 minute quadrangle: Winfield
Trails Illustrated #129 Buena Vista/Collegiate Peaks
Leadville Ranger District
2015 North Poplar - Leadville, CO - 80461
Phone (719) 486-0749
Fax (719) 486-0928
Independence Pass-7 day forecast Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC)
Mount Elbert Web Cam
Click image to enlarge
Click here to view a 7-day forecast for the Williams Mountains in rural Lake County