Wetterhorn Peak

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Featured photo of Wetterhorn Peak

Wetterhorn is a lower peak near Uncompahgre Peak, but is more difficult to climb. The standard route starts at the Matterhorn Creek Trailhead, and includes some off-trail hiking to reach Wetterhorn's southeast ridge. More scrambling is required as the route continues up the ridge, with the crux being a fairly exposed Class 3 climb up a shallow gully directly to the summit. The views from the summit are spectacular.

During summer, it's above the clouds (when there are any). From the summit, on a clear day, you can see practically to Kansas on the East and into Utah on the West. Approach is by dirt road and then 1 or 2 days hike over 2 passes to reach a good base camp location. Glacier may exist on parts of the slope, but probably not on the summit during the summer. Bring your crampons and ice axe. Loose rock characterizes the final approach to the summit. Wear protection and exercise caution both on the ascent and the descent.

Elevation (feet): 14,015
Elevation (meters): 4,272
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: San Juan Mountains
State: Colorado
Latitude: 38.0606
Longitude: -107.51
Difficulty: Scramble
Best months for climbing: Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
Year first climbed: 1906
First successful climber(s): D. Utter, George Barnard, C. Smedley, & W.P. Smedley
Nearest major airport: Gunnison or Durango
Convenient Center: Lake City

Thanks to Kirk Mallory for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 34 trip reports for Wetterhorn Peak.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #21331 - by Patrick L. Lilly on July 04, 2008
    Standard SE ridge route from Matterhorn Creek TH, with daughter Trisha. 4 hrs., 10 min. up, 50 min. on the summit in beautiful weather, 2 hrs.
  • Log #20542 - by Robert Gardner on Dec 19, 2006
    The weather was perfect as well as the climb.
  • Log #20467 - by Erik Packard on Oct 31, 2006
    Me and Lindsay Alvarez started up the Mary Alice Creek drainage instead of the usual Matterhorn Creek drainage. We encountered elk and climbed the unnamed 13ers, then Wetterhorn. Even though it was a...
  • Log #19483 - by Bob Heller on July 02, 2006
    After being blown off this peak by snow and lightning two years ago my partner Clare and I started early from our camp at 12000 ft. We made summit at 09:00, broke camp and were in the truck at 13:00...
  • Log #10961 - by Charles Liu on Sep 15, 2004
    Started from Matterhorn Creek, bagged Wetterhorn first, then traversed over to bag Uncompahgre. Descended down Nellie Creek. Long day, but well worth the effort. FYI, if you want to bag both peaks...
  • Log #10962 - by vance elliott on Aug 29, 2004
    I missed some of the new route through the boulder field, that should have been a hint for what lie ahead, also missed the route to the west side of the rock formations before you get to the PROW,...
  • Log #10963 - by bryan jones/Kathy Clapp on Aug 02, 2004
    During descent we encountered a group of badge-heavy granola-nazis engaged in "trail modification," who thought they would order us back up the mountain after our somewhat grueling ascent,...
  • Log #10964 - by Matt Van Wieren on July 31, 2004
    Matterhorn 4x4 Trailhead to summit in 2 1/2 hours. Enjoyable hike. Never felt in danger on final summit pitch: no need for rope. Great views and fun.
  • Log #10966 - by Jerry Fultz on Apr 02, 2004
    We really enjoyed this unique peak. Wetterhorn does not easily give up its summit. Numerous cairned routes through the scree and talus near the top demand discerning route selection. We had to...
  • Log #10967 - by Steven Cross on Mar 21, 2004
    Great climb. The crux was not as bad as I thought it would be. Really fun and exposed. I was a little disapointed, everybody made it out worse than it actually was.
  • Log #10968 - by Frank Konsella on Mar 06, 2004
    SKIED THE EAST FACE FROM NEAR THE TOP OF SNOW IN THE SPRING OF 2000. WHAT AN AMAZING VALLEY WITH SNOW COVER AND SOLITUDE. AS WITH MOST SPRING APPROACHES, BRING YOUR BIKE- THE ROAD WAS DRY, EXCEPT FOR...
  • Log #10969 - by Jack Weber on Nov 26, 2003
    Great climb on a scenic mountain in the San Juans. Ledges were fun and felt closer to class 3 than class 4, but I'm sure that's due to the exposure. Lightning chased us from the summit earlier than...
  • Log #10970 - by Mark Solomon on Nov 26, 2003
    Started from Capitol City and climbed Uncompahgre first. Nice weather even at 3 PM. The last bit of exposed class 3 was scary but not hard.
  • Log #10971 - by Scott Thompson on Nov 24, 2003
    Took a few days off and went to Colorado. This was not a hard peak, even for an east coaster. I loved the view and Colorado though. Not hard, but worth the serenity.
  • Log #10972 - by Marty Leahy on Aug 11, 2003
    Not being from Colorado and only having summitted Handies and Uncompahgre, this peek was a challenge. The last 1000 feet was difficult to navigate as there were cairns all over the place. The last...
  • Log #10973 - by Scott Anderson on July 26, 2003
    Great solo summit. Summit pitch is exposed class 3 climb. A great climb to get a feel for the other class 3 and 4 routes in Colorado.
  • Log #10974 - by Dan Wiedrich on July 09, 2003
    After climbing Uncompahgre we starting heading towards Wetterhorn Peak. It took us quite a while to hike over from Uncompahgre - we were getting a bit tired. It's definately a good idea to do...
  • Log #10975 - by Jesse Pisel on Sep 20, 2002
    not much but a walk up the ridge to the top some scrambling but nothing too bad
  • Log #10976 - by Mason C. on Aug 06, 2002
    Started from Matterhorn Creek trailhead. Easy hike till the last 1/3, then it got fun. The last pitch is a awesome class three with great hand and footholds. We then tried to bad Uncompahgre but...
  • Log #10977 - by Michael Jake on July 15, 2002
    Really fun hike with some fun Class 3 at the top! Great views of the San Juan 14ers! #29 for me, #9 for Lori!
  • Log #10978 - by John Coover on May 12, 2002
    I questioned whether I should climb it alone, however I sincerely suggest it be climbed alone. The last few feet is somewhat exposed but when I reached the summit it was a sublime...
  • Log #10979 - by Carla on July 23, 2001
    Long and steep at the beginning, but last 1000 feet go rather quickly due to the class 3 scrambling. The last 150 feet to the summit was like climbing a ladder, just make sure you have good hand...
  • Log #10980 - by Gary P. Wilson on July 16, 2001
    I enjoyed sliding down the scree field on the way down. I think I could have made it back to the meadow below in about 10 minutes from the peak.
  • Log #10981 - by Kevin Hart on July 11, 2001
    Great climb! A variety of terrain to mix up your hiking/climbing experience (Alpine meadow, ridges, great rock scrambles, etc.) Word of advice to experienced climbers, YOU DON'T NEED A ROPE on the...
  • Log #10982 - by Michael East on June 27, 2001
    My 6th 14er This is my favorite and proudest climb to date. Since this I have summited another 7, 14ers and none have yet compaired. This offered a great opportunity for a young climber to test their...
  • Log #10983 - by Matt kirk on Nov 03, 2000
    Greetings 14er climbers and enthusiasts. I just wanted to let everyone know that there should be a 14ers forum coming soon at http://www.trailjournals.com. If you have the time, please come by and...
  • Log #10984 - by Bruce Pooley on Oct 19, 2000
    Description is accurate except for the final sentences that talk about the glacier and 1 or 2 days to base camp. You drive to the trailhead and hike from there. Its about 3 to 4 hour hike to summit...
  • Log #10985 - by Andrew Hay on Sep 11, 2000
    Good warm-up climb for the more challeging mountains in the area. Love the view!!
  • Log #10986 - by Ken Whitmore on Sep 07, 2000
    The panorama is magnificent. We climbed on a very clear summer day with unlimited visibility. This peak is not a major challenge for the aclimated, but is definitely not for the casual hiker. Our...
  • Log #10987 - by Ken Whitmore on Sep 07, 2000
    I don't recall the date any more, as it's been a very long time. The day we climbed, the visibility was unlimited. The view from the summit was magnificent. We followed pretty much the standard...
  • Log #10988 - by Jason Halladay on June 28, 2000
    An extremely fun climb. Easy but exposed climbing near the top.
  • Log #10989 - by Victoria Sharp on June 13, 2000
    My first technical ascent. We roped in just 200ft. from the top and climbed the class 3 wall to the top. It was awesome.
  • Log #10990 - by Ken Whittenburg on Aug 16, 1999
    Great peak with a spectacular finish. Awesome views from summit!
  • Log #10991 - by Kirk Mallory on Aug 16, 1999
    A fun climb, especially the gully to the summit. Great views of Coxcomb Peak, Uncompahgre Peak, the Sneffels Range, and the Grenadiers in the distance. This was my 47th fourteener - only 7 more!!