The Cross Mountain Trailhead is located 2.2 miles south on State Highway 145 from the summit of Lizard Head Pass. If coming from Montrose, CO, drive south on US550 to Ridgway and turn west onto CO62. Drive west across Dallas Divide to the intersection with CO145. Drive SE 13 miles through Placerville and Sawpit to "Society Junction" where you will make a right turn to continue south on 145. (Going straight at this junction will take you into Telluride in 4 more miles.) Continue south on CO145 to the summit of Lizard Head Pass with stunning views of the summits around Trout Lake. Continue south another 2.2 miles to the trailhead parking on the right (west) side of the highway.

If coming from Durango, drive west out of town on US160. At Mancos, turn onto CO184 and head NW to Dolores. At Dolores, pick up CO145 and drive NE to the trailhead which will be 11.1 miles north from the center of Rico and on the west side of the highway.


The nearest Forest Servive CG is south of the trailhead on CO145 by 4.2 miles or about a little over 5 miles north of Rico. It's called the Cayton Campground. Here is the FS description: "Cayton Campground is 6 miles northeast of Rico on Colorado Highway 145 (part of the San Juan Skyway) 43 miles from Dolores. The entrance is 1/2 mile east of the highway on the Barlow Creek Road (Forest Rd. 578). The campground has 27 campsites, many along the river. Eighteen sites offer 50 amp RV electric plug ins. There are 16 reservable sites, 11 with electricity, and 11 non-reservable sites, 5 with electricity. Fishing is popular on summer weekends. At 9,400 feet, expect cool evenings. A dry dump station is in place."

North of Lizard Head Pass are the Matterhorn and Sunshine Campgrounds, closer to Telluride. The following are the FS description of each: "Matterhorn Campground is a highly developed campground adjacent to Colorado State Highway 145 near Telluride, CO. There are 28 campsites with 4 of them offering RV hookups (electricity and septic). Maximum spur length - 45 feet. Most sites on the outer side of the campground loop are wooded. Sites on the inside of the loop are more open. Most sites have pleasant views, especially the walk-in tent sites with unobstructed and panoramic views of the mountains. Showers are available to both overnight and day use guests. All sites have picnic tables, combination fire-rings and grills, and lantern poles. Firewood is available for a fee.

The campground is convenient to Telluride, CO with its' shops and a cook's night out. Hiking trails, fishing and jeep roads are found nearby. Lizard Head Wilderness is about 3 miles away."

Sunshine Campground is a single loop, paved campground with 15 campsites nestled in a dense aspen forest featuring a small mountain lake. Maximum spur length - 35 feet. A spectacular view of Sunshine Peak is visible from many sites. The campground is convenient to Telluride and its many shops and restaurants. No Reservations. First-Come, First-Serve Camping. $18 per night per camping unit; $4 per day for Day Use/Picnic in a campsite; $6 per firewood bundle; $5.00 per bag of trash (for non-registered guests); showers are available at the Matterhorn Campground for $6. Campers are required to store food and other items in a hard sided vehicle or camping unit constructed of solid non-pliable material. Click here for more information.

There also appears to be a fair amount of at-large camping at the summit of Lizard Head Pass. In general, the farther you get away from Telluride, the easier it is to find primitive sites.

Campsite Locations

Cayton › N 37° 46' 08.41", W 107° 59' 18.03"
Elevation: 9,370 ft.
Warning! Climbing peaks can be dangerous! By using this site and the information contained herein, you're agreeing to use common sense, good judgement, and to not hold us liable nor sue us for any reason. Legal Notice & Terms of Use.
Donate to ›