Lidar values now complete.

UN 13,015 (formerly UN 13,020 interpolated) near Maroon Lake and Willow Pass has been determined to be no longer a ranked summit per Lidar evaluation, which gives it 292 ft. of prominence. This has reduced the total number of ranked 13ers from 584 to 583.

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LoJ: #591 (Pre-LiDAR: NR) / 13,073' Kendall #2 Benchmark Formerly UN13066

Range › San Juan Range
Quadrangle › Silverton
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 37° 47' 38.06", W 107° 38' 31.37" (Not Field Checked)

Peak Summary

Previously regarded as an unranked summit, mainly because of the saddle elevation, Lidar-based re-evaluation has determined Kendall #2 Benchmark to qualify as a ranked 13er with 348 feet of prominence. For those with a 4WD vehicle and good clearance, you can easily reach this summit by jeeping up Kendall Gulch out of Silverton, however, this road is quite a bit rougher than when we first drove it many years ago. It's not too bad up to the major switchback beyond timberline. Beyond there will be some serious four-wheeling. Those who wish to make the hike more sporting, may want to park some place below timberline and the entire road up from Silverton appears to be a popular run/hiking route. The hike itself is Class 2 and the upper Kendall Basin is rife with wildflowers during July and early August. (See photos)

Kendall #2 Benchmark from Kendall Mountain Route

Class 2
Peak Icon Peak Icon
Short Day // A Wee Little Climb
Climbed with Kendall Mountain
RT From Kendall Gulch Trailhead: 4.5 mi / 2,215'
From Kendall Mountain: 1.15 mi / 340' (One-Way)
  • Trailhead
    • Kendall Gulch Trailhead

      From the intersection west of Silverton on US550, drive on northeast into town to East 14th St. This is one block before the courthouse. Turn right and drive SE to a "Y" intersection just across the Animas River. Park out of the way at this intersection. There are some other parking spots if you take the turn to the right for Kendall Gulch, just before the road begins the uphill climb. This is the "lower" trailhead for those with passenger vehicle only. Coordinates are: N 37° 48' 39.66" W 107° 39' 31.55". If you have to hike from here, total round-trip mileage will be 11 miles and elevation gain will be 4,040 feet.

      For those with higher clearance or 4WD vehicles, you may continue to drive to an upper trailhead. The last time we drove this road was in 2022. In 2002, we had no problem at all driving all the way up to a switchback at 12,260 ft. in a Jeep Cherokee. The road was in generally good condition and it took us about a half hour from the lower trailhead. It has been our observation that this road is a popular jeeping route which means it receives a lot of use. You may want to inquire in town as to its overall condition now before heading up. In 2022, we found it to be much slower going with many more rocks, but generally, we did not find clearance to be a major issue. The switchback at 12,260 ft. is what we are calling the "upper trailhead." Coordinates are: N 37° 47' 19.49" W 107° 37' 49.44". There's plenty of room to park. A hike from here is Class 1 to low Class 2. A Class 2 rating would because of the hiking up steep tundra. To make the hike a little more sporting, there's a good place to park at a switchback at tree line at 11,480 ft. Coordinates are: N 37° 47' 05.09" W 107° 38' 27.66".The measurements we are providing have this lower switchback as the starting point. That's because, the road above here becomes even rockier and slower driving, and because some might want to make this hike a little more sporting.

      We are sequencing Kendall Peak (13,338) with Kendall #2, which was added as a new 13er in 2022, so mileages and elevation gains provided will reflect that.

      An additional note: From the switchback parking at 11,480 ft., if you walk east up the drainage to a more level area around 12,000 - 12,200 ft., the July and early August wildflowers here are outstanding. Also, on the upper section of jeep road above the higher switchback, you'll see lots of purple fringe and kings crown.


      Camping

      There is no camping in Silverton. The closest campgrounds are up South Mineral Creek or up toward Molas Pass. Campgrounds near Molas Pass include the Molas Lake Campground Park operated by the Town of Silverton (located right on Molas Lake) and the Little Molas Lake Campground, a fee site operated by the forest service. Both up the Molas Pass road (US550) and the South Mineral Creek Road ( FR585) you can find a number of primitive sites, all of which tend to completely fill up on summer weekends. Also, when you make the turn to the right out of Silverton after crossing the Animas on 14th St., to head up the Kendall Gulch road, there appear to be a few possible primitive sites before the road begins its climb, however, it may be debatable as to whether or not these are "legal" camp spots.

    Approach Map Photos
    • From Kendall Mountain


      From our suggested lower parking spot on the switchback at 11,480 ft., continue hiking on the increasingly rocky road to the upper switchback at 12,260 ft. From that switchback, begin to hike directly uphill toward the first saddle west of the Kendall summit. The initial going is steep on low tundra. Wildflowers can be nice. When you arrive at the saddle turn right and walk to the summit along the western ridge crest, but staying on the south side to avoid initial difficulties. About half way up this west ridge, the tundra gives way to scree & rubble, but there's nothing difficult. Time to summit will probably be about an hour unless the kids are slowing you down.

      From the lower trailhead across the Animas in Silverton, total walking distance via the Kendall Mountain Road will be 5.5 miles with 4,040 feet of elevation gain making this more of a Class 2 hike up.

      To descend, while you've made all this effort to get here, why not head west along the ridge and hike over to UN 13,073 (Kendall #2)? The ridge hike is not difficult and is mostly on tundra and scree, but the saddle is rugged and you may want to skirt around on the south side, utilizing the 4WD road, when ascending Kendall #2. There are a few rocky obstacles to avoid, but again, nothing difficult.

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    Peak Icon Route Map Photos

    Route Info Kendall #2 Benchmark from Kendall Mountain

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 2022

    Kendall #2 Benchmark is sequenced with Kendall Mountain 13,353 ft. Mileage and elevation gain are calculated from the summit of Kendall Mtn. Round-trip mileage and elevation assume completion of the circuit.

    From the summit of Kendall Mountain, head west to SW back down the talus & scree to follow the ridge westward that leads to a saddle separating the two summits. Once out of the talus, most of the ridge is lower tundra with intermittent talus. Stay on the south side of the ridge crest to keep out of any trouble. The ridge will lead over to an overlook of the 4WD road that goes nearly to the summit of Kendall #2. When you're overlooking the road, walk down slope some on tundra to a better location to descend west down to the road and avoid the rock and talus of descending the ridge directly to the saddle. Once down on the road, follow it to the saddle, continue on the road SW to a place where it rounds a broad south ridge with what appears to be a weather measuring station. Leave the road, walking straight north and pick up an old trail that leads around to the west side of the Kendall #2 summit crossing some tundra with wildflowers. The trail will play out closer to the summit, so just scramble on up the tundra and scree to reach the summit crest. There's a bench marker on this one and some great views all around, especially looking down on Silverton and of the Grenadier and Needle Mountains to the south.

    For the descent, walk off the summit to the north toward the buildings and towers just a little below. At the saddle, you can descend westward and pick up the road that leads up here, This road is badly deteriorated and leads through larger talus, and eventually connects back to the 4WD road that comes from the previously mentioned saddle. Once on the correct road, just follow it back to wherever you parked.

    If you like wildflowers, you'll see plenty an the walk back down and to make this hike more interesting, you may want to leave the road at the switchback at 12,260 feet and drop down into the basin below for a spectacular mid to later July display with Sultan and Grand Turk forming a scenic backdrop.

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