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dblack Mt. Wilson Trail


1.0 mile 1.5 kilometer point to point
Extremely Difficult


Ascent: 1,868' 570 m
Descent: -8' -2 m
High: 14,144' 4,311 m
Low: 12,276' 3,742 m


Avg Grade: 37% (20°)
Max Grade: 97% (44°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Tyler Prince

A loose, rocky trail with hard moves near the summit of 14er Mt. Wilson.

Tyler Prince

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

The road below the Kilpacker and Navajo Lakes Trailheads is generally closed far below the trailheads.

Dogs can make it up most of this trail, but may trigger small rock slides. They will not be able to make it up the summit block, and you probably won't be able to carry them.


For design-your-own-hike purposes, this trail is mapped from bottom to top. You'll descend this trail if doing the Wilson Group featured hike.

From the top of the Navajo Lake Trail, turn south. Cross the stream and continue up some grassy, rocky slopes at 12,300 ft. There is no clear trail here, but there is the occasional cairn. Around 13,000 ft the grass fades out and gives way to ledges of gray rock, loose and lichen-covered. Throughout this portion of the route, there is a shallow drainage slightly to your left. Don't cross it - the rocks there are even looser.

Around 13,600 ft, reach a flat area with similar rocks. This plateau often holds snow, even as late as August. Above this point, the terrain is mostly class 2+, but absurdly loose. Every rock you step on (and there's nothing else to step on) will shift. Be careful. Continue up and slightly to the right, hiking up a shallow gully with similar terrain, reaching the ridge along the Wilson Traverse at 14,100 ft.

From here, the summit is up and to the left. Scramble up class 3 rock for about 100 ft to reach the summit block. Alternatively, descend slightly down the other side of this ridge and summit via the Wilson Traverse route.

Once at the summit block, scramble around the left of the large boulders to reach the summit. Alternatively, go around to the right and up a class 4 chimney with 300+ ft of exposure.

Once on top, head back down or over the Wilson Traverse.

Flora & Fauna

There are some stunning alpine fields in the basin, but once you're on this rocky trail there's nothing but marmots and pika.


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