LoJ: #226 (G & M: #225) UN 13540 UN 13540 A

Range › San Juan Range
Quadrangle › Dolores Peak
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 37° 51' 24.51", W 108° 00' 05.71" (Not Field Checked)
Neighboring Peaks › Peak Icon "Big Bear Peak"

Peak Summary

Combined with UN13,498, this trip makes for a half to 3/4 day trip from the new "Rock of Ages" trailhead that provides access to both the Silver Pick and the east fork of Elk Creek basin areas. Do this as either a loop hike or an out and back. Mostly rocky terrain.

Rock of Ages/Silver Pick Circuit Route

Class 2
Long Day // Back for Dinner
RT From Rock of Ages TH: 12 mi / 3,500'
  • Trailhead
    • Rock of Ages TH

      Note: In 2011, the access issue to Wilson Peak through the Silver Pick basin was resolved with the opening of the "Rock of Ages" trail. This new access utilizes part of the old access roads to the Silver Pick, but the TH actually begins beyond where it use to be, and is actually in the Elk Creek drainage.

      From SH145, between Placerville and Telluride, turn south onto the "Silver Pick Road," aka: CR60M, which is a graded dirt road. This turnoff is about 6.5 miles south of the intersection at Placerville with SH62. From the turnoff it will be just under 7 miles to the trailhead (6.8 appx.) In about 3.1 miles you'll come to an intersection. Do not turn - stay on the main road and in another .7 mile, you'll come to the critical intersection. At this turn, go right onto FR622. Passenger cars beyond here not advised. Avoid accidentally driving up a private drive further right. Continue up FR622 for 2.2 more miles to where the Wilson Mesa trail comes in. In the past, some would park and start hiking from here for Silver Pick Basin. Just another tenth of a mile, you turn right onto FR645. Follow it to the Rock of Ages TH as it crosses Big Bear Creek (low water crossing) and swings around the ridge that divides Silver Pick Basin from the Elk Creek drainage. There is a sizable parking area.


      Camping

      Plenty of at-large, primitive camping opportunities on this one. Just after you turn off SH145, and before you cross the San Miguel River, a single-track road heads off east along the north bank of the river. You may be able to finds quick, overnight spots along here. Just across the river, you may be able to find another overnight spot.

      When you turn onto FR622, watch for wider spots in the road and primitive sites just off the road. This goes for FR645 as well. You can car-camp at the trailhead and approaching the TH, there are several "wider spots in the road" and a couple of pullouts.

    Peak Icon Route Map

    Route Info Rock of Ages/Silver Pick Circuit

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 1999

    Warning: This route suggestion may cross private property. Travel at your own risk. If you come across signs warning of private property, respect them and try to locate a different passage. The property issues may come when you drop off the connecting ridge between UN13,540 and UN13,498 to the north into the east fork basin of Elk Creek.

    Note: The mileage estimate and total elevation gain estimate for this summit include continuing on to UN13,498.

    From the Rock of Ages TH, head south through forest and in a short distance, stay left at a fork where you may encounter a gate. Continue through forest for another mile, staying left at another intersection and begin ascending out of the Elk Creek drainage on some switchbacks through the forest.  At a signed intersection in a talus field, turn left and gain elevation to begin your final exit of the Elk Creek drainage.  You'll be heading NE through even more talus in order to contour around the ridge that divides Elk Creek from the Silver Pick basin. Continue following the trail into the Silver Pick and aim for the "Rock of Ages" saddle between Wilson Peak and UN13,540A. Try to stay on the designated route through the basin and avoid all private property. This trail access into the Silver Pick Basin was constructed in order to provide access from the Silver Pick to the 3 - 14ers. Those familiar with this access will recall the steeper hiking  through boulder type talus and loose rubble as you approach the saddle. In early season, an ice axe and/or micro spikes may be useful.

    At the Rock of Ages saddle, (or Silver Pick Pass as some may call it) the real climb begins. From here, your first summit is only a half mile and less than 500 vertical feet away. Ascend west along the ridge crest on mostly smaller chiprock and talus to the summit. You should arrive there in under a half hour. Easy said - easy done. Now you need to make a decision - either turn around and return to your vehicle by the route you followed in or continue west along this ridge to the next summit, UN13,498, and then exit by descending off that summit generally to the north to get back to the Rock of Ages TH. See the route description for UN13,498 for further details.   

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