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Wetterhorn Peak Trail #9256

Very Difficult
 5.0 (2)

This trail offers pure world class hiking and scrambling to the top of 14er Wetterhorn Peak.


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Map Key

1.7

Miles

2.8

KM

Point to Point

13,966' 4,257 m

High

11,972' 3,649 m

Low

1,995' 608 m

Up

18' 5 m

Down

22%

Avg Grade (12°)

72%

Max Grade (36°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Matterhorn Creek Trailhead is difficult enough to get to in the summer months. During winter and parts of spring the way is generally closed somewhere along the Henson road, about 10 miles below the trailhead.

While the land manager requests dogs be leashed, they probably don't intend for Fido to be scrambling about the rocks near the summit. Few dogs can cover this quasi-technical terrain.

Description

From Matterhorn Creek trailhead, hike up Ridge Stock Driveway before coming to a junction at 12,000 ft. Turn left for Wetterhorn Peak Trail (turning right will take you to Uncompahgre Peak).

Hike up through the basin, crossing through some rocks while heading left toward the summit ridge. Once through a brief rocky patch, switchback SW on excellent trail before reaching the ridge around 13,000 ft.

Follow the trail, more or less ridge proper, before you reach some yellow dirt on the trail. This brief change in soil marks the end of the easier terrain. The path drops left of the ridge and then becomes unclear. You should be able to see "the Prow," a sharp and jagged rock formation appearing like a fin below the summit. Your goal is to scramble up just to its right. Once at the Prow, you'll come to a V-notch in the rock. Scramble either left or right, then turn left and hike toward a flat dirt area surrounded by rock formations at 13,800 ft. The summit is up and to the right.

Continue north through a notch in the rock before reaching a set of large stone steps to your right. This natural formation makes for a fun scramble right below the top. Some more adventurous hikers may opt to simply scramble around here until they top out. There's plenty of fun climbing and lots of exposure to be had. Stay within your comfort zone! Top out and enjoy the views from Wetterhorn's flat and large summit. This is a great spot for a 14er finishing party.

From the summit, head back down to the Matterhorn Creek trailhead, or head back to the junction with Ridge Stock Driveway to hike Uncompahgre Peak as well.

Flora & Fauna

Just like with other peaks in the area, expect mountain goats, marmots, and pika. The valleys between Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre offer some of the most stunning views of mountains and wildflowers in the state.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tyler Prince

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes

#1102

Overall
  5.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#170

in Colorado

#1,102

Overall
4 Views Last Month
1,931 Since Apr 2, 2015
Very Difficult

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Photos

Somebody's been feeding this guy! A curious marmot in the basin below Wetterhorn.
Apr 9, 2015 near Ouray, CO
Wetterhorn summit block. The steps below the top are about as technical as it gets.
Apr 9, 2015 near Ouray, CO
Pass "the Prow," the finlike rock formation in the distance, on its right.
Apr 9, 2015 near Ouray, CO
A hiker approaches the summit block. The technical formation behind him is not a part of this hike. There are many excellent scrambling options in this area. Have fun, but be careful!
Apr 9, 2015 near Ouray, CO
Coming out of the basin and onto the ridge, much of the remaining Wetterhorn Peak Trail is visible.
Apr 9, 2015 near Ouray, CO

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Check-Ins

Aug 7, 2019
Rusty Ware
Hiked in from site approximately 200 yards above 4WD TH. Trip time is r/t with about 30 minutes spent on the peak. 7.2mi — 6h 05m
Jun 30, 2015
Valerie Norton
Second 14er on 3rd day, backpacking because I haven't got a 4x4: https://valhikes.blogspot.com/2015/06/wetterhorn-peak.html
Jun 9, 2015
MtnDanAz
Awesome route!