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.
This page last updated 8/15/06