Bill Hammons: Writing and Running in Boulder, Colorado


Wilson Peak, Colorado

Wilson Peak's Elevation: 14,017 Feet

Wilson Peak's Rank Among Colorado's Fourteeners in Terms of Elevation: #48

Wilson Peak is located in the San Juan Mountains

Wilson Peak requires a scramble

Best months for climbing Wilson Peak are July through September

Click here for a Mapquest map of Wilson Peak

Wilson Peak, with an elevation of 14,017 feet, is the 48th highest peak in the state of Colorado. The peak, along with neighboring Mount Wilson, was named for A.D. Wilson, a member of the Hayden Survey. Wilson Peak is considered an easier climb than Mount Wilson, but still involves a great deal of exposed scrambling. As of the summer of 2006, the peak's southwest ridge route is open for a fee (email for more information). The southwest ridge (via Bilk Basin trailhead) is perhaps the safest route to Wilson Peak's summit, but that's not saying much, and lack of 4WD will add 3.5 miles to your hike each way.

To reach the Bilk Basin trailhead, head west from Telluride along 145 until the intersection with South Fork Road. Take a left and follow South Fork until the Illium townsite, at which point you'll turn right/west onto Road 623. After a bridge and hill, take a left/south on an old railroad grade for three miles, then turn right and up a steep hill to a fork where 2WD vehicles must park. 4WD can take the left fork and continue on for 3.5 miles along 623 to the Bilk Basin trailhead at the Morningstar Mine ruins.

Once parked, cross Bilk Creek and hike 1.5 miles before taking a north fork in the trail to Wilson Peak. This fork will take you a further 1.75 miles, to the Rock of Ages Saddle between Wilson Peak and Gladstone Peak. Scramble north along the ridge to the summit (note that this last section involves cliffs and fall potential; rope is recommended).

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

This page last updated 8/15/06

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