San Juan Mountains

Mountain Summits Snowpack Levels Streamflow
May 21 2024

San Juan Mountains


The San Juan Mountains, situated in the southwestern portion of Colorado, are renowned for their stunning beauty and rich history. This mountain range is known for its unique geology, with several peaks composed of volcanic ash and rock formations. Notable peaks in the San Juan Mountains include Uncompahgre Peak, Mount Wilson, and El Diente Peak. The highest peak in the range is Mount Sneffels, standing tall at 14,158 feet. The San Juan Mountains encompass several significant hydrology systems, including the Uncompahgre River, Animas River, and San Juan River. These rivers provide essential water resources for the region's agriculture, mining, and recreation industries. Interestingly, the mountains are also home to the famous Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a popular tourist attraction. Additionally, the San Juan Mountains have a rich mining history, enduring through several boom and bust cycles, and the remaining ghost towns provide fascinating glimpses into the past.

Peak Elevation
Redcloud Peak 14034
Windom Peak 14082
Stewart Peak 13983
Palmyra Peak 13319
Mount Eolus 14083
Mount Sneffels 14150
Mount Wilson 14246
Wilson Peak 14017
Little Giant Peak 13416
King Solomon Mtn 13220
Gold Hill 12716
Wetterhorn Peak 14015
Rio Grande Pyramid 13821
Uncompahgre Peak 14309
Bald Mountain 11880
Sunshine Peak 14001
Handies Peak 14048
Sunlight Peak 14059
San Luis Peak 14014
El Diente 14159

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Mountain Activities

1. Hiking: The San Juan Mountains offer numerous hiking trails ranging from easy to strenuous, providing hikers with stunning views of alpine lakes, waterfalls, and rugged peaks. Popular hikes include Ice Lakes Basin, Blue Lakes Trail, and Handies Peak.

2. Backpacking: Backpacking in the San Juan Mountains allows visitors to explore remote areas and experience true wilderness. The Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado's largest wilderness area, offers countless backpacking opportunities with stunning scenery and diverse wildlife.

3. Camping: Camping in the San Juan Mountains is a popular activity, with numerous campgrounds and dispersed camping areas available. Visitors can enjoy sleeping under the stars in peaceful surroundings, with many campgrounds offering amenities such as fire pits and picnic tables.

4. Mountain Biking: The San Juan Mountains offer world-class mountain biking trails, with options for riders of all skill levels. The popular Colorado Trail and the Durango Mountain Resort's bike park are just a couple of the many trails available for mountain biking enthusiasts.

5. Rock Climbing: The San Juan Mountains provide numerous opportunities for rock climbers, with a variety of routes and terrain to choose from. Popular climbing areas include the Ouray Ice Park for ice climbing, and the Telluride Via Ferrata for a unique climbing experience.

6. Fishing: The San Juan Mountains offer excellent fishing opportunities, with numerous rivers, streams, and alpine lakes teeming with trout. The Animas River and the Gunnison River are popular spots for fly fishing, while lakes such as Lake San Cristobal and Trout Lake are great for fishing from shore or a boat.

7. Wildlife Viewing: The San Juan Mountains are home to a diverse array of wildlife, including elk, deer, black bears, and mountain goats. Visitors can enjoy wildlife viewing opportunities by hiking, camping, or simply driving through the scenic mountain roads.


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