Bill Hammons: Writing and Running in Boulder, Colorado


Mount Sneffels, Colorado

Mount Sneffels' Elevation: 14,150 Feet

Mount Sneffels' Rank Among Colorado's Fourteeners in Terms of Elevation: #27

Mount Sneffels is located in the San Juan Mountains

Mount Sneffels requires a scramble

Best months for climbing Mount Sneffels are May through October

Click here for a Mapquest map of Mount Sneffels

Mount Sneffels, with an elevation of 14,150 feet, is the 27th highest peak in the state of Colorado. Sneffels, a beautiful mountain with steep slopes, is considered the "Monarch of the San Juans," and is one of the most-photographed mountains in Colorado. It's believed that the most likely origin for Sneffels' name is Mount Snaefell from Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth.

The standard route to Sneffels' summit is from the Yankee Boy Basin trailheads (4WD will get you roughly a mile further up the trail). To reach these trailheads, head south along US Highway 550 from the town of Ouray for half a mile, then turn right onto CR 361 (just after the first major switchback). 4WD will get you seven miles further, to parking at a spur road which heads left.

Once you've parked, follow the road and/or trail all the way to above Wrights Lake, then climb to the small amphitheater below Sneffels' south face. Follow the Lavender Couloir up steep scree to your right, and an obvious, steep couloir slightly to the left after that.

It's advised to wear a helmet in the last couloir to the summit, due to potential rockfall. It's also been suggested to climb Mount Sneffels with spring consolidated snow to avoid the substantial scree; prepare appropriately if you choose this option.

Sources:,,, Dawson's Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners, Volume 2: The Southern Peaks

This page last updated 8/15/06

Copyright © William Robert Hammons. All rights reserved. No portion of this site may be reproduced without the express written permission of the author, though linking to any portion of this site is encouraged (see the home page for details).