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LoJ: #548 (G & M: #547) / 13,123' Boskoff Peak Woods Peak

Range › San Juan Range
Quadrangle › Dolores Peak
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 37° 51' 19.64", W 108° 01' 52.51" (Not Field Checked)

Peak Summary

Note: This peak in G&M was simply UN 13,123 A. Then it acquired the nickname of "Woods Peak" for the nearby lake of the same name. By an act of Congress, it has been officially named Boskoff Peak after Christine Boskoff, a noted, female American alpinist who perished in an avalanche while climbing in Tibet, along with her partner, Charlie Fowler of the Telluride/Norwood area, in 2006. UN 13,498, aka: Big Bear Peak to the east is now named after Mr. Fowler. You can learn more about the name change here: https://coloradosun.com/2019/07/22/colorado-peaks-named-for-climbers-fowler-boskoff/

Boskoff Peak is a fairly easy Class 2, mostly tundra walk up summit located at the west end of the long ridge that runs from Wilson Peak. The summit is most easily accessed from Woods Lake and the campground there, which is accessible to passenger vehicles. This unimpressive little hump on the ridge has two redeeming qualities: an outstanding view of the Wilson Group of summits and family friendly hiking. 

Boskoff Peak SW Ridge Route

Class 2
Medium Day // Take a Lunch
RT From Woods Lake TH: 8.8 mi / 3,715'
  • Trailhead
    • Woods Lake TH

      Woods Lake TH from Ridgway, CO: At the intersection of US550 and CO62 on the east side of Ridgway, turn onto CO62, drive across the bridge over the Uncompahgre River, continue through downtown Ridgway and head up the hill, still on CO62. Drive up and over Dallas Divide and drop back down to the intersection of CO62 and CO145. Appx. 23 miles. Turn south onto CO145. Drive through Placerville, about .9 mile south and continue another 2.4 miles to the turnoff for the Fall Creek Road/CR57P or FR618. Drive south on the paved road (turns to graded gravel after 2.7 miles) for 7.4 miles to an intersection with FR621. Stay left to follow FR621 another 2 miles to the campground and trailhead parking. Attached is a link with Forest Service information about the campground and directions to it: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/gmug/recarea/?recid=32380


      Camping

      The Woods Lake Campground is at the trailhead. This is a "first-come, first-served" campground with around 40 sites, water and vault toilets. It has had a lot of work done to it in recent years, especially with dead tree mitigation. Follow the link above for more information regarding this campground. 

    Peak Icon Route Photos

    Route Info Boskoff Peak SW Ridge

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 2005

    With a few other trails located around Woods Lake, make sure you strike out on the correct one. The correct trail will pass by the NE arm of the lake before heading more south. On the Uncompahgre forest map, it's Trail #406, called the "Woods Lake Trail." Do not be mislead onto Trail #426 which heads west or #421 which heads back north and east. The Woods Lake Trail will head in a southerly direction until it turns east after more than two miles to intersect the Elk Creek Trail #407. 

    A couple weeks before we embarked on this trip, a news report aired in Grand Junction said that a small aircraft with several passengers had crashed on Wilson Peak. Actually, it had crashed on the northwest slopes below the summit of Woods Peak, which is really nothing more than a bump on the long ridge that extends east from Wilson Peak and forms the northern boundary above Navajo Lake. The efforts to remove bodies had involved the use of the trail we would be on this day. The campground hosts had witnessed this crash, saying that the plane had headed directly into the mountainside without varying from its course. It must have been a horrifying experience for those on board. One of the photos we have posted shows the approximate location of the crash site we think. 

    The lower portion of the Woods Lake trail takes you through a pleasant forest with a few nice views of Dolores and Middle Peaks to the west. Woods Lake also offers a nice photographic opportunity of the same peaks with an undisturbed reflection on the water. There may be some flowers in bloom in the vicinity of the lake. As you approach tree line, you may begin to encounter sporadic drifts of snow earlier season. The trail does not follow the route marked on the older USGS map, but still leads to the same general area. It intersects the Elk Creek trail, having turned more easterly to do so, and there, you will want to turn south again, heading for the saddle on the ridge that extends west from Boskoff. As we approached the last trees, the snow was almost continuous when we hiked this in mid-June, hence the recommendation for ice axe. 

    You may avoid following the trail to the ridge by heading east and up a fairly steep slope or snowfield. Eventually, just plan to gain the west ridge of Boskoff on grassy slopes. When we hiked this, at the ridge a strong wind was blowing from the southwest which only strengthened as we hiked higher. In a short time, the winds were blowing steadily above 30 mph and gusting even higher. By the time we were approaching the summit, winds were steady at 40 mph. Head on up the grassy slope which will gradually give way to scree and rubble to the summit. None of it is difficult. The inauspicious peak is composed of medium sized broken rocks and for us, some snow. We found a register and signed in and then sought some cover from the wind for a few minutes. 

    The view up the valley above Navajo Lake was astounding with clouds swirling around the peaks and parting occasionally for a view of the snow-covered slopes that plummet down to Navajo lake. The descent for us went very quickly with large patches of snow to assist and was hastened even more by the threat of oncoming showers. We departed the ridge lower down so we could take advantage of the snowfields to expedite our retreat from the mountain, but eventually made our way back to the Elk Creek Trail, then the Woods Lake Trail to return to the trailhead. 


    Additional BETA

    Links to other information, routes & trip reports for this peak that may be helpful.
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