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Rock of Ages Approach

Difficulty:  Class 1 
Exposure: Mild exposure very close to the route. Route options may be limited but you should be able to walk past the exposure area.
Upper Elevation: 13,000 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 10,400 feet
Elevation Gain:2,600 feet
Round-trip Length: 4.00 miles
Trailhead: Rock of Ages (S. Pick)
USGS Quad.: Mount Wilson
County Sheriff: San Miguel: 970-728-4442
National Forest:  Uncompahgre
Wilderness Area:  Lizard Head
Author: BillMiddlebrook
Last Updated: 3/2014
TH:  From Ridgway, leave U.S. 550 and take Colorado 62 towards Telluride. Drive over Dallas Divide and down to the town of Placerville. Turn left onto Colorado 145. Drive 6.5 miles and turn right onto the Silver Pick road (dirt). It is over 8 miles from here to the trailhead. Drive approx. 4 miles to a confusing intersection. Turn right. Continue 2.3 miles, turn right onto FR 645 and drive approx. 2.25 miles (there are some possible campsites along the way) to the Rock of Ages trailhead, near 10,350’.

Route: From the Rock of Ages trailhead (new location as of 2011), hike south and then southeast on the Rock of Ages (#429) trail to enter Silver Pick Basin near 11,300‘. Continue southeast up into the basin. Photo #1 shows portions of the basin and Photo #2 looks toward Wilson Peak. Continue on the road as it climbs south into the basin.

Near 11,500‘, cables (on the ground) from an old ariel tramway become evident. The road parallels the cables for a while and briefly turns right (west) near 11,800‘. The road soon leads back to the center of the basin. Stay on the road as it climbs east and then south to the top of a small hill with the remains of a rock house. From the rock house, you will need to do some brief route finding. Look directly south up on the steep slope to see the remnants of the Silver Pick mine. Just to the left of the mine, locate a dirt "trail" that leads up to the mine. From the rock house, walk across and then up some talus. There‘s not a great trail here, just continue south up talus until you spot the best way to reach the base of the slope. Locate the loose trail and climb approximately 450‘ to the left side of the mine. Near the mine, find a better trail that heads left (southeast). Follow the trail across the steep slope (Photo #3, Photo #4, Photo #5, Photo #6 and Photo #7) to reach the "Rock of Ages" saddle near 13,000‘.

Notes:     IMPORTANT: This route enters the Lizard Head Wilderness area. Wilderness areas have special regulations and restrictions for party size, dispersed camping, campfires, etc. Also, dog owners should read the wilderness information carefully because some wilderness areas prohibit dogs to be off-leash and/or limit how close dogs can be to lakes and streams. If you have questions about the Lizard Head Wilderness area, please contact a U.S. Forest Service office for the National Forest(s) listed above.

Topo map: (Not Displayed, click here to change your settings)

Route Photos: (Did you know?)
Photo #1 Photo #2 Photo #3 Photo #4 Photo #5 Photo #6 Photo #7

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