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Rock of Ages Approach
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Difficulty:
 Class 1 
Risk Factors:Exposure: Moderate
Rockfall Potential: Low  
Route-Finding: Low  
Commitment: Low  
 
Trailhead:Rock of Ages (S. Pick)
Start:10,400 feet
Stop:13,000 feet
Total Gain:2,600 feet
RT Length:8.50 miles
Duration:User Climb Times
Author:BillMiddlebrook
Updated:3/2019
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:141 reports
Cell Signal:7 reports
Sheriff:San Miguel: 970-728-4442
Forest:Uncompahgre
Wilderness:Lizard Head
Quad. Maps:Log In to View
Camping:On Google Maps
Eats:On Google Maps
Downloads:Log In to Download
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? (WINTER) HOLD ON! If you don't have much high-elevation, winter climbing experience, be careful in your planning and take a partner. All 14er routes are more difficult and more dangerous in winter.

Trailhead

From Ridgway, leave U.S. 550 and take Colorado 62 toward Telluride. Drive over Dallas Divide and down to Placerville and turn left onto Colorado 145. Drive 6.5 miles and turn right onto the Silver Pick road (dirt). It's over 8 miles from here to the trailhead. Drive 4 miles to an intersection and turn right onto FR 622. Continue 2.2 miles, turn right onto FR 645 and drive approx. 2 miles to the Rock of Ages trailhead, near 10,350'. Notes: After 1 mile on the FR 645 road, you must cross the stream in Big Bear Creek which usually isn't too bad by early July. Also, there are some designated camp sites along this road.

Route

From the trailhead, hike south on the Rock of Ages (#429) trail. Shortly after leaving the trailhead, stay left - 1. After walking over a mile, turn left to begin your ascent out of Elk Creek Basin - 2. Follow the trail northeast ( 3) over the ridge separating Elk and Silver Pick basins and enter Silver Pick Basin, near 11,400' - 4.

Once in Silver Pick, stay on the designated (and hopefully signed) trails as you ascend through the basin - 5, 6 and 7. Near 12,100', leave the road on the right and follow a trail up to the right - 8 and 9. Turn back to the east ( 10) and hike to the center of the basin, passing above an old, crumbling rock house. Please stay away from the rock house since it's on private property. Continue east a bit farther and turn right to reach the south end of the basin. Follow the trail up steeper terrain as it swings right, toward the Silver Pick Mine area - 11 and 12. At 12,600', near the mine, turn sharply back to the southeast and traverse a steep, rocky slope ( 13 and 14) to reach the Rock of Ages saddle, at 13,000' - 15.

Notes

IMPORTANT: This route enters the Lizard Head Wilderness area. Wilderness areas have special regulations and restrictions for party size, dispersed camping, campfires, etc. Also, dog owners should read the wilderness information carefully because some wilderness areas prohibit dogs to be off-leash and/or limit how close dogs can be to lakes and streams. If you have questions about the wilderness area, please contact a U.S. Forest Service office for the National Forest(s) listed above.
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