Mount Sneffels

Featured photo of Mount Sneffels

The Monarch of the San Juans. A steep and beautiful mountain; best climbed with spring consolidated snow to avoid horrible scree. One of the most majestic in Colorado. It typifies the San Juans in that it is surrounded by other enormous peaks (not fourteeners, however, in the immediate vicinity), and has a unique profile. Around the 'back-side,' there is a fairly large basin, while to the north, a broad plateau opens up to provide a terrific view at the summit on a clear day. The most popular route follows an obvious trail into the basin, followed by a scramble up the side in scree and talus to the ridge to the right of the summit. An interesting alternative, if one is up to it, is to follow a narrower, steeper trail to the saddle to the left, and do some class 3 climbing to the peak from the other side. Unfortunately, there is a jeep trail that goes all the way up to the basin, providing for crowded summer hikes. The beauty of the mountain is still there though, regardless.

Additional text submitted by Dirk Summers

Mount Sneffels is the monarch of surrounding peaks, and one of the most majestic in Colorado. It typifies the San Juans in that it is surrounded by other enormous peaks (not fourteeners, however, in the immediate vicinity), and has a unique profile. Around the 'back-side,' there is a fairly large basin, while to the north, a broad plateau opens up to provide a terrific view at the summit on a clear day. The most popular route follows an obvious trail into the basin, followed by a scramble up the side in scree and talus to the ridge to the right of the summit. An interesting alternative, if one is up to it, is to follow a narrower, steeper trail to the saddle to the left, and do some class 3 climbing to the peak from the other side. Unfortunately, there is a jeep trail that goes all the way up to the basin, providing for crowded summer hikes. The beauty of the mountain is still there though, regardless.

Elevation (feet): 14,150
Elevation (meters): 4,313
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: San Juan Mountains
State: Colorado
Latitude: 38.0033
Longitude: -107.792
Difficulty: Scramble
Best months for climbing: May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
Nearest major airport: Telluride, CO
Convenient Center: Ouray, CO

Trip Reports

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

There are 62 trip reports for Mount Sneffels.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #20545 - by Robert Gardner on Dec 19, 2006
    It was another good climb but doing it on a holiday took a lot of the fun out of it. Too many people.
  • Log #19493 - by Terry Mathews on July 04, 2006
    I parked at the Blue Lakes trailhead and signed into the log at the start of the trail. Rangers regularly check the log to make sure everyone who signs in signs out as well. It’s their way of...
  • Log #9243 - by Tery & Linda Teennant on Nov 01, 2004
    Wonderful peak, long scree field with some exposure. Even though view was grand, an afternoon storm limited our stay on top to about 3 minutes! Lost footing on snow field & had a...
  • Log #9179 - by Thomas Bailey on Aug 29, 2004
    Hiked up this one by the Yankee Boy Basin route. Very enjoyable three hours up, two hours back. Met some great people on the way. The weather was outstanding.
  • Log #9180 - by Kara Diamond- Husmann on July 23, 2004
    My husband and I were staying in Tlluride for the week. WE were driving to climb Wilson peak when we got a flat tire. We had to take our car into tyhe shop and we rented a Wrangler. It ws getting...
  • Log #9181 - by J Collier on May 05, 2004
    This was my first ever 14er summit climb. Nice challenge for a recreational hiker with incredible reward for achieving the summit. Being the lone 14er in the immediate area and small summit area adds...
  • Log #9182 - by Frank Konsella on Mar 06, 2004
    2nd time around, climbed and skied the snake couloir via blaine basin. It was a little runneled by this time of year, but still a memorable and rewarding outing
  • Log #9183 - by Steve K on Nov 26, 2003
    Very fun class 3 climb. Took the Southwest ridge up to the summit. Descended the standard route back to Yankee Boy.
  • Log #9185 - by Linda Werner on Oct 29, 2003
    My 1st 14er. I've firewalked and parachuted ... arriving at the summit of majestic Mt Sneffels, with the absolute splendor of its view, was right up there with those peak moments in life. (My new...
  • Log #9186 - by Chuck Nedbal on Oct 28, 2003
    My wife Bennie and I flew in from Houston 7/31/03 and I was concerned about summiting the next day and not having time to acclimate. We were well prepared otherwise and our family does ski, and we...
  • Log #9188 - by Chuck Nedbal on Oct 28, 2003
    My wife Bennie and I flew in from Houston 7/31/03 and I was concerned about summiting the next day and not having time to acclimate. We were well prepared otherwise and our family does ski, and we...
  • Log #9189 - by Herman Schmidt on Oct 03, 2003
    Great Hike! I want to go back for the North lakes route.
  • Log #9190 - by Mike Roth on Sep 28, 2003
    I lived. From the north, Mount Sneffels looked dreadful. Its north facing areas already cased in early snows, my hopes were that the SW ridge would be clear because it spends its day facing the...
  • Log #9191 - by Danny Borrego on Sep 05, 2003
    Trained all summer for it...I am 13 years old and thought it would be funner but it's my first & last 14'r, did not have fun.
  • Log #9192 - by Lory "Maggie" Slade on Sep 04, 2003
    The prettiest and wettest 14'r I have done yet! I hiked to (3 hrs) and camped at the lowest blue lake before waking up for a 0430 departure the next morning. Figuring my way out around the waterfall...
  • Log #9193 - by Meghan Poore on Aug 31, 2003
    WOW! What else can I say?!?! I would gladly climb Sneffels again any day! 19 people from our youth group climbed,and we ALL peaked! Awesome fun!!
  • Log #9194 - by Steve & Michelle Nelson on Aug 30, 2003
    Tremendous challenge up & down the scree fields, well worth the effort. I think the rating of this climb needs to be upgraded, 2+ to 3 all the way up & down. Took us 6 hours round trip with...
  • Log #9195 - by Charles W. Miller Ph.D. on Aug 04, 2003
    With guide who provided 4 wheel drive needed for access from Yankee Boy Basin. A great climb; weather held magnificently. Difficult but only one day.
  • Log #9196 - by Paul Weber on July 09, 2003
    The trip was awesome, it was my first 14er that I climbed and the feeling brings me at a loss of words.
  • Log #9197 - by Mark on July 08, 2003
    Denied! Tried it car-to-car up the South Slopes, parking below the ice climbs on Camp Bird Mine Rd. Too windy, snowy and stormy to summit but a great day anyway. Teeth-jarring post-holing. Saw my...
  • Log #9198 - by PETE HAZZARD on June 30, 2003
    GREAT MOUNTAIN!
  • Log #9199 - by Wade Baxter on Dec 15, 2002
    My 14th of the Colorado Fourteeners and one of the most scenic yet. If this climb doesn't make you crazy for climbing mountains, nothing will.
  • Log #9200 - by Marco on Dec 02, 2002
    Man, what a trip. My older brother and I did a suicide trip to the San Juan's with one goal in mind and that was to climb Mt. Sneffles. When we got there we were like "Yankee boy basin??!!"...
  • Log #9201 - by Gerald W. Scoggin, Jr. on Nov 14, 2002
    I hiked the summit of Mt. Sneffels in 1971 at the age of 10. My family is from the Nucla/Uravan area and my father grew up running cattle and sheep on the lower slopes of the mountain. Back then we...
  • Log #9202 - by Todd Lundberg on Aug 17, 2002
    My first 14er. VERY impressed by the view at the summit, it makes you dizzy. We took the standard route up through Lavender Col, and at this time of the year, there isn't any snow left along the way....
  • Log #9203 - by Mark Chase on Aug 01, 2002
    We took to the scree slope. Not bad but a tad steeper than expected. What really threw us was the steepness and length of the couloir to summit. Arrived on summit at 12:30.
  • Log #9204 - by Mary Beltz on July 26, 2002
    Women of the Wild, a hiking club from Colorado Springs, attempted the summit on glorious July day. After an adventurous Jeep ride to the trail head, seven members began hiking at 8:30 am. The first...
  • Log #9205 - by Jody and Tonya Jones on July 14, 2002
    We climbed with 7 in our group. All seven of us made it up Yankee Boy Basin in one Jeep Wrangler. Two of us made excellent lightening rods for the storm on the way down. This was a tough climb...
  • Log #9206 - by Barry Anderson on July 11, 2002
    Started out at 7:45am and hiked the Southwest ridge via Blue Lakes pass. The Southwest ridge was very exciting but also pretty scary in some parts. I think it's because I got off route a bit and...
  • Log #9207 - by Charles Liu on July 09, 2002
    I HATE scree! I took the standard Lavendar Col route and didn't care for the stretch of scree bed below Lavendar Col at all. Another little tip: when you go up the couloir after reaching Lavendar...
  • Log #9208 - by Andrew Kintz on June 08, 2002
    This mountain peak has great views of the surrounding areas and spectacular views of many other peaks in this range, however; the climb up and the hike down wasn't the greatest part....
  • Log #9209 - by Michael Jake on May 28, 2002
    Hiked in from Yankee Boy Basin. No snow in the Lavender Col. Nice snow Couloir up to the summit ridge. Amazing views in almost every direction.
  • Log #9210 - by Hammer Time on Apr 12, 2002
    i conquered this peak with three fellow outward bounders, it was nuts. i will never forget the feeling of reaching that summit. im getting all emotional now. tear...
  • Log #9212 - by victoria mata on Aug 07, 2001
    mt. sneffels is so far the most wonderful mountain that i have climbed. the views are absolutely beautiful! i started out at the blue lakes trail head. from this trail head, to the pass below the...
  • Log #9213 - by Matthew Murray on Aug 07, 2001
    This mountain was absolutely fantastic....the snow on the way down was not much fun...Potosi peak is a beautiful mountain across the valley, and so is Dallas Pk in the other direction. I recommend...
  • Log #9214 - by Mason C. on Aug 03, 2001
    It was a great peak despite the Jeep trail that went all the way up the basin which lead to lots of crowds. Incredible view from the summit nevertheless.
  • Log #9215 - by janie on July 26, 2001
    i actually only got to about 13,500 and then i experienced minor altitude sickness so i had to stop, but the rest of my outward bound group moved on and i would like to congratulate them. although i...
  • Log #9216 - by Dan Wiedrich on June 28, 2001
    I got an early start and made it the top via the lavendar col. I ended up using crampons on a short stretch near the top of the snow filled couloir. The climb near the top was a neat mix of rock and...
  • Log #9217 - by Mindy Miller on Apr 28, 2001
    This one's for you Sluggo! We miss you!!
  • Log #9218 - by Robert Norris on Apr 12, 2001
    What a fun peak in the middle of some of the best scenery I have ever known. Yankee Boy Basin is very impressive. I climbed the south ridge and found it to be an excelent route, just unnerving enough...
  • Log #9219 - by Barry Stevenson on Mar 04, 2001
    Grew up in Montrose. Why is it that people so rarely visit thier own local attractions? In my case, I grew up looking at Sneffels almost everyday. Never really gave it much thought. Finally, after my...
  • Log #9220 - by Devon McMurrin on Feb 15, 2001
    I am a 15 year old male. I enjoyed this hike alot it is really amazing. My future goal is to first practice climbing on Annapurna then after accomplishing this a few times and i get use to the thin...
  • Log #9222 - by Matt kirk on Feb 14, 2001
    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 #9223 - by Shannon Black on Oct 22, 2000
    Sneffles is an extemely beautiful mountain to climb. Yankee Boy Basin (tailhead site) is also a must see destination. There was quite a bit of snow still on the ground for being June, the climb is...
  • Log #9224 - by Jarrett Luttrell on Oct 03, 2000
    April was still too early for the Camp Bird mine road to be open to the trailhead. The plow stopped at the frist switchback on the shelf road three miles from the sneffels townsite, but it's all good...
  • Log #9225 - by Ted Finnell on Sep 16, 2000
    We left the jeep road about 3/4 miles above the town of Sneffels and followed a trail along starting along the creek to Wrights Lake. From there to Scree Col and left up the Couloir. We left the...
  • Log #9226 - by Mike Kosel on Sep 12, 2000
    Fabulous climb! The approach from Yankee Boy Basin was clear and dry, except for a dusting of snow from the previous night. Climbing the Col was a blast, and not too tricky. Highly recommended as an...
  • Log #9227 - by Ken Whitmore on Sep 07, 2000
    I don't recall the exact date, as it's been so long. If anyone is planning to climb this peak, I'd certainly appreciate them looking up the actual date I reached the summit in the logbook at the...
  • Log #9228 - by an anonymous user on Sep 06, 2000
    My first mountain climb, incredible view, nice day, overall good experience. The snow field gave us some trouble, with a few of us (including me) sliding for a while, but all was ok, and next time...
  • Log #9229 - by Matt Young on Sep 06, 2000
    My first mountain climb, incredible view, nice day, overall good experience. The snow field gave us some trouble, with a few of us (including) sliding for a while, but all was ok, and next time we'll...
  • Log #9230 - by Ron & Linda Van Houten on Sep 06, 2000
    Lots of loose rocks, lots of people (on a week-dat no less), lots of beautiful scenery.
  • Log #9232 - by Brook Laskey on July 04, 2000
    This was the first 14'er for Brook, Sarah and Ty the Beast!!! We left Albuquerque on June 30th and spent the night in Durango, CO. On July 1st, we drove to Ouray and up the 4WD road to Yankee Boy...
  • Log #9233 - by Cops on Top Memorial Law Enfo Team on June 29, 2000
    Summited by "Cops on Top" Law Enforcement Memorial Climbing Team on behalf of Officer Dale Claxton, who was killed in the line of duty in May of 1998 while on patrol in Cortez, Colorado. ...
  • Log #9234 - by Matt kirk on June 28, 2000
    Via Lavender col. This was my EASIEST climb to date. This comes as a surprise since it was so fun and rewarding. Sneffels is very beautiful.
  • Log #9236 - by Amy Hoeptner on June 12, 2000
    Regretting my decision not to do the Snake Culoir, but the Lavendar was great. I'll be back!
  • Log #9237 - by Ron and Susan Pottberg on May 19, 2000
    What a great climb. We are originally from Montrose and always wanted to climb Sneffels. We finally got out chance. We will be back this year to do numerous 14er's and are looking forward to it.
  • Log #9239 - by Brent Wise on Feb 28, 2000
    Finally - a winter ascent of a 14'er!! One of the most beautiful peaks I've ever climbed. Never would have made it without my good friend and primo-partner, Rain Sussman. Also, my first approach...
  • Log #9240 - by Todd Archer on Feb 27, 2000
    This summit of Mt. Sneffels was a scary one for my friend Joseph Tejada. We were on the decent of the saddle when Joe thought that he would slide the rest of the the way on his butt. He popped up in...
  • Log #9241 - by Dan Sutton on Sep 10, 1999
    Beautiful peak, fun climb. Lavender Col route == good clean fun on angled snow, and terrific possibilities for ski or glissade descent. Gorgeous views, Yankee Boy Basin is beautiful.
  • Log #9242 - by Kirsten on July 31, 1999
    I had never even SEEN a fourteener before, and it was incredible. I loved it, but I definitely needed a day to rest afterward!
  • Log #9244 - by Ken Whittenburg on July 08, 1999
    W/ Kirk Mallory. A beautiful and majestic mountain. My first difficult 14er- but really wasnt that hard. Great snow climb up the Kirk Couloir!
  • Log #9245 - by Kirk Mallory on June 03, 1999
    A great climb to a beautiful mountain. Camped on snow in Yankee Boy Basin, then climbed up the standard route. Best views I've seen yet from the summit of a mountain. This was my 35th Colorado...