Peak(s):  Wilcox, Mt  -  13,408 feet
Date Posted:  11/25/2020
Date Climbed:   06/07/2020
Author:  Chelsea
Additional Members:   13erRetriever
 Wilcox via Silver Dollar Lake  


Mount Wilcox (13,408′) | CO Rank: 315/637

Front Range | Arapaho National Forest | Georgetown, CO

06/07/20 | 7.47 miles | 2,564′ gain | Class 1 & 2


20870_02

While 2020 has “blessed” us with many a dumpster fire, an early start to summer was something to be truly happy about, especially after the very short summer of 2019! I’m never one to complain about a snow-free route, so I was more than happy to meet up with my friend Allie for our first “summer” hike of 2020. (It was technically still spring.)

Mount Wilcox is most easily accessed via a very popular Silver Dollar Lake Trail. This trail is open year-round from the 2wd trailhead off Guanella Pass, but if you have an appropriate vehicle (and the snow is melted) you can drive another 0.7 miles to the upper trailhead. Thankfully, my Crosstrek easily made it, saving us 1.4 miles of road-walking.

We arrived at 6:45am, early enough to beat the crowds. The trail starts in the forest but soon reaches treeline at Naylor Lake, the first of three lakes along this trail. Naylor Lake is on private property, so make sure you stay on-trail through this area. There were a few remaining snowfields but they were all trenched in.

20870_03
Allie & Harper in front of Naylor Lake & Mount Wilcox
20870_05
Our first view of our route! Mount Wilcox is on the right.
20870_06
We spotted a number of fox along this hike.
20870_07
Another view of Naylor Lake

The trail was super easy to follow and we soon found ourselves at Silver Dollar Lake. Now that we were nearing the end of the trail, we really needed to scope out our route. I had an approximate route downloaded, but there is always some route-finding to be done in person.

The trail continued past Silver Dollar Lake but was covered by snowfields. We were able to walk around the snow, avoiding the steepest sections. (You may be able to see a glissade track in the below picture, near center. This was our route down.)

20870_08
Silver Dollar Lake
20870_09
Cool ice on Silver Dollar Lake
20870_10
Silver Dollar Lake
20870_11
Naylor Lake

We picked up the trail again above the snowfields and quickly made our way to the third lake, Murray Lake. The trail crosses the outlet at an old dam. There were rocks to step on but it was really windy so I did get a wet foot here.

20870_13
Murray Lake
20870_14
Outlet crossing – after this, I ascended the grassy slope to the far right, just right of the snowfield. Allie ascended the gully to the left of the snowfield.
20870_15
A closer look at the crossing

The trail slowly faded into the tundra, and we began to plot out our route. There were a few different options here, but a grassy ramp seemed to be the easiest. Allie liked the look of an adjacent gully better, so we separated briefly and met at the top. Her gully turned out to be worse than anticipated, so we both took the grassy slope on our way down.

20870_16
Grassy slope
20870_17
Lady shows the steepness – 14ers Mount Evans & Mount Bierstadt in the background


20870_04
20870_12
20870_28

Once back together, we crossed a small stream and ascended grass & rock slopes. The farther left (west), the more gradual and less rocky the terrain. We picked a line that looked good to both of us, and climbed to the ridge.

20870_18
We ascended the grass just right of center
20870_19
A better look at the options up Mount Wilcox’s south slopes. Our ascent route is out of frame, but we descended a slightly steeper and rockier route on the left. Anything goes here.
20870_20
Looking towards Bierstadt & Evans

Once on the ridge, the wind picked up a bit. We followed the ridge all the way to the summit.

20870_21
Cresting the ridge – looking towards 13er Argentine Peak
20870_22
13er Square Top Mountain with Murray and Silver Dollar Lakes below
20870_23
Leavenworth Basin
20870_24
Heading up Wilcox, a bit rockier now
20870_25
The summit!
20870_26
Summit views
20870_27
Zoom of Evans & Bierstadt
20870_01
Me & Lady

This was such a fun hike and a great first 13er of “summer”!


My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28


 Comments or Questions
Sbenfield


Awesome
11/25/2020 13:26
I orphaned Wilcox while hiking some of the other peaks over there. This TR makes me eager to go back!


Jay521

Nice one, Chelsea!
11/26/2020 09:57
Great report as always! Another fun one near Wilcox is Otter Peak - a 12er - if you get up that way again...



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.




© 2021 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.