The summit of Wood Mountain
Wood Mountain, along with Peak 13708 and Peak 13722, create an alpine bowl to the north of Cinnamon Pass (12620 ft) in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado.
Cinnamon Pass Road is a popular Four Wheel Drive road that can provide access from Lake City to Silverton. This road will take you through many abandoned towns and mines, giving a glimpse of the mining history of Colorado in a background of spectacular mountain scenery.
From Cinnamon Pass, a hike to the summit of Wood Mountain will take you across beautiful grassy slopes that lead to talus/gravel fields below the summit. Unlike its gentle southern slopes, the northern slopes of Wood Mountain are sheer cliffs that drop 500 ft into upper Horseshoe Basin, a high valley that is surrounded by walls on three sides. Wood Mountain and its ridges form the southern and the eastern walls while Peak 13688 forms the western wall. Following the ridgetop from Wood Mountain to Peak 13708 or Peak 13688 will require traversing spires and hiking narrow catwalks. I have not tried these routes and do not recommend them but those with advanced technical skills may discover endless opportunities on these ridges.
From the summit of Wood Mountain, you can see five of the nearby Fourteeners: Uncompahgre, Wetterhorn, Red Cloud Peak, Sunshine Peak and Handies Peak. You will also have commanding views of Horseshoe Basin, Cinnamon Pass and many other peaks of the San Juan Range.
While Cinnamon Pass Road is popular with Four Wheel Drivers, few people venture up the slopes of Wood Mountain. Summit is marked by a pile of rocks but I did not find a registry.
Wood Mountain from Cinnamon Pass
Wood Mountain on the far right rising above Cinnamon Pass, SW face
The book:"4WD Trails of Southwest Colorado" by Peter Massey and Jeanne Wilson will provide great information about the 4WD roads. Please note that this book does not intend to and does not provide any information about the mountains.
From Silverton, drive the right (and not the left) branch of Route 110 eight miles to the ghost town of Eureka. After Eureka, the road deteriorates but is still passable by most vehicles for another three miles until near the ghost town of Animas Forks. You will need a high clearance 4WD vehicle beyond this point (Jeep rental available in Silverton. See the link under camping).
There are many intersections in this area but they are well signed. Follow the signs and take the road up a steep slope until it enters an alpine bowl. Cinnamon Pass is reached 2.8 miles after the start of 4WD.
A few hundred feet before Cinnamon Pass (on Silverton side), you will see a gated road/two-track that has been closed to motorized vehicles. This is your trailhead. (For directions from Lake City, please refer to the above book).
Cinnamon Pass Road is usually open from Memorial Day Weekend until early Autumn. No fees required.
When To Climb
Easiest in summer.
Lodging, Camping and Jeep Rental available in Silverton