Telluride is one of southern Colorado’s most spectacular mountain towns. Nestled in a deep glacial valley, and surrounded by high alpinee peaks, it’s a classic skiing and hiking destination in the southern San Juan Range. For those looking to hike or climb a fourteener during their stay in Telluride, you have a few options to choose from. However, while there are a dozen or so significant peaks within a 2-3 hour drive of the town, many are difficult and dangerous 14ers best attempted by more experienced mountaineers. Here’s my guide to the six best 14ers near Telluride, Colorado.
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Hiking or Climbing 14ers Near Telluride
Before we get to the peaks themselves, remember to use fourteener safety best practices when visiting these 14ers near Telluride. This includes researching your route in advance and checking the weather forecast, bringing the ten essentials, and leaving your plans and expected return time with someone dependable back home. These tips will help ensure you have a safe and successful trip to one of these 14ers near Telluride. Now here are my six favorites to choose from.
Wilson Peak is clearly visible from the Telluride Ski Area, rising over the horizon to the southwest of town. The standard route up this 14,000-foot peak is a difficult and dangerous class 4 climb best attempted by more experienced climbers and peak baggers. The mountain is known for its rockfall and rockslide potential, so be sure you wear a helmet if attempting this climb. Click here to view my route guide for Wilson Peak.
El Diente is officially named, but it’s one of several fourteeners that fails to meet the 300-foot prominence requirement to be officially ranked. Regardless of this technicality, it’s a popular peak that is still frequently climbed by 14er peak baggers. It’s a class 3 climb, slightly easier than Wilson Peak, but still not a mountain to get complacent about. Click here to view my route guide for El Diente Peak, one of the best 14ers near Telluride.
Mount Wilson is the third and final fourteener of the Wilson Group, the closest group of 14ers near Telluride. It’s another difficult and dangerous class 4 climb, one of the hardest fourteeners in the state to ascend safely. Take proper precautions for this high summit, as it has taken lives before and will again. While you can climb it using a number of trailheads, I recommend the Rock of Ages trailhead. Click here to view my route guide for Mount Wilson.
Mount Sneffels is one of Colorado’s most famous and well-known fourteeners, appearing on the back of the state Driver’s License. While the peak is just a short distance from Telluride as the crow flies, reaching the trailhead requires a long, roundabout journey that adds to the distance significantly. Regardless, it’s the fourth closest peak of the 14ers near Telluride and a fantastic class 3 climb. Click here to view my Mount Sneffels route guide.
Wetterhorn Peak gets its name from a similarly shaped mountain in the Swiss Alps and is a spectacular Colorado 14er. There are many people who say that Wetterhorn Peak is as close to the perfect fourteener as we will ever get. It has solid rock, exciting class 3 climbing, a short approach hike, and an accessible trailhead. If you can only climb one of the 14ers near Telluride, I would make it Wetterhorn Peak. Click here to view my Wettterhorn Peak route guide.
Uncompahgre Peak is a unique-looking mountain due to the layers of sedimentary rock that make up the higher sections of this 14er. It’s a relatively easy class 2 14er, making it the easiest of the 14ers near Telluride. If you haven’t climbed a fourteener before, I would recommend starting with this one during your stay in Telluride. Click here to view my Uncompahgre Peak route guide for a safe and successful summit.
14ers Near Telluride: Now You Know!
Telluride is a fantastic basecamp for fourteener hiking, with six great options to choose from within a 2-hour drive. Regardless of which peak you choose to climb, be sure you bring the ten essentials and leave your plans with someone dependable back home. This will help ensure you have a safe and successful fourteener summit. Safe travels on the trail, and enjoy your visit to southern Colorado!