Custom Trip: Navajo Lake – Kilpacker
elevation gain & Loss
POINTS OF INTEREST
ABOUT YOUR TRIP
The first day is a 6-mile hike along the Navajo Lake trail to our camp at the junction of the Woods Lake trail (elevation gain 2000 feet). The next day is a layover day exploring the Navajo Lake area. The third day is a 5-mile hike to our camp into Kilpacker Basin (elevation loss 1,000 feet and elevation gain 500 feet). The camp is in a beautiful meadow below the magnificent 14,000-foot El Diente Peak. The layover day hike is the mountaineer trail to the base of the famous 14,000-foot peaks, El Diente and Mt. Wilson (elevation gain and loss 1,000 feet). The last day is a 5-mile hike out to the starting point (elevation loss 1500 feet). Detailed : Start at the Navajo Lake Navajo Lake Trail trailhead then take the highlighted trail hiking 4.5-miles to the junction of the Woods Lake trail Woods Lake to Navajo Lake . Then hike 1-mile to our camp at the junction of the Woods Lake trail and the Elk Creek trail. The third day hike 2.3-miles back to the highlighted Navajo Lake trail to the Kilpacker trail Kilpacker Trail and hike an additional 2-miles to our camp at Kilpacker Basin. The last day is a 5-mile hike out to the starting point.
This wilderness was established by Congress in 1980 and is named after Lizard Head Peak. This freestanding spire stands at 13,113 feet and is a volcanic neck that crumbled into its present form. This was due to a landslide in 1911 when the taller spire fell with a roar in the middle of the night; locals thought an earthquake had occurred, and the Telluride mountain skyline changed forever. We included a rare photo of the original Lizard Head below. The This area near the stylish town of Telluride and the laid-back town of Rico contains the westernmost 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado, Mount Wilson, Wilson Peak (inspiration for Coors Logo) and El Diente (“the tooth”). Finally, the Dolores Peak stands as a sentinel, one of the last peaks of the San Juan’s before blending into the red sandstone canyons of the Colorado Plateau. This area is known for the grandeur of the rugged mountains, surging streams, glaciated formed Navajo Lake and forests of aspens at its lower reaches blending into the Colorado blue spruce at the higher elevations. This area offers it all with the breathtaking peaks, beautiful valleys, and peaceful solitude. This is what makes this wilderness so appealing. For more information: Lizard Head Wilderness
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.