Custom Trip: Uncompahgre Wilderness Trip-Wetterhorn Basin
elevation gain & Loss
POINTS OF INTEREST
ABOUT YOUR TRIP
This five-day high tundra hike includes two camps at timberline. As we venture into isolated wilderness, we often view herds of elk and big horn sheep on this trip. The first day is a gradual accent 5-mile hike (elevation gain 1,500 feet) along the middle fork of the Cimarron River. The next day is where you get a workout in with a strenuous 5-mile hike (elevation gain 1,500 feet and elevation loss 1,250 feet) over a 12,900-foot pass into our camp in Wetterhorn Basin –views well worth the effort! The next two days are layover days to climb peaks or just relax in our favorite camp in the San Juan’s. The last day is over the 12,900 foot pass below Coxcomb Peak back to the middle fork trailhead about 10 miles (elevation gain 1,250 feet and elevation loss 3,000 feet). Detailed: Middle Fork Cimarron River Starting at the Middle Fork trailhead hike 4-miles to the Wetterhorn Basin trail to our first camp. Then hike 4-miles to our camp at Wetterhorn Basin Wetterhorn Basin.
This region is often and accurately referred to as “The Little Switzerland of America” for its phenomenal scenery. Featuring one of the most unique and distinctive panoramas in Colorado, the Uncompahgre region is remarkable. With the neighboring communities Ouray, Ridgway, and Lake City it encompasses 102,721 acres. With 110 miles of trails, we take advantage of the Cimarron River as well as Coxcomb Peak. The rugged prominent peaks ascend above deep valleys and lay a backdrop that is spectacular. This includes two fourteeners: Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre. Our trips include two camps at timberline; the second is near the Wetterhorn Basin and arguably our favorite in the San Juan’s! As a wildlife hotspot we often encounter herds of elk and big horn sheep while exploring this territory. The cascading summits and astounding landscapes are guaranteed to impress
Trip Highlight Video
GEAR AND AGREEMENTS
WHAT TO EXPECT
Our trips originate in the high mountain town of Silverton, Colorado (elevation 9,316 feet) which is a historic mining town boasting gorgeous Victorian architecture. It’s renowned for its mountainous beauty and vivid alpine landscape, truly a postcard setting. Located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado it’s self-contained with a wide variety lodging options. Whether budget conscious, or looking for something higher end, there are accommodations suited for all tastes. The dining scene is also nicely varied with many choices (www.silvertoncolorado.com).
It is highly recommended that clients come at least a few days ahead of time to acclimate to the altitude. The nearby local airports are either Durango La Plata CO (DRO) or Montrose Telluride, CO (MTJ), and the closest major airports are Albuquerque International, NM (ABQ) or Denver International, CO. (DEN). There are many activities the surrounding areas provide, including but not limited to: exceptional hiking, jeep or ATV rentals to explore the remote high country, Mesa Verde National Park, Narrow Gauge Railroad from Durango to Silverton train ride, mountain bike rentals and alpine slide at Purgatory, and outings to the nearby towns of Ouray (home of the famous natural hot springs!), the plush resort town of Telluride, and the historic town of Durango.
Our headquarters are located in Silverton at 1708 Greene St. There is an orientation meeting the night before the trip at 6 PM where the clients meet their guides, go over the details of the trip; they also receive their panniers (llama bags) which they take back to their hotel to pack up their gear that evening. The next morning at 8:30 the trip departs from the HQ (parking for clients cars available) to the trailhead. The trips return at 2-3 PM on the last day.