1-Day Climb of Wetterhorn Peak
Our 1-day climb of Wetterhorn Peak begins at the Wetterhorn Basin Trailhead in the West Fork of the Cimarron River drainage. From the parking area, the trail climbs gradually to West Fork Pass and then descends a short distance into the remote and wildly beautiful Wetterhorn Basin. Experienced hikers and climbers have claimed Wetterhorn Basin to be one of the most beautiful wildflower locations in Colorado. The basin is broad and expansive with roaring creeks and rolling fields of wildflowers. The pristine beauty of this spot cannot be understated and it is a hallmark of our climb of Wetterhorn. We travel across the entire basin on our way to the Southeast Ridge, where the climbing begins. Once on the ridge, we navigate around gendarmes and rocky outcrops as the ridge steepens en route to the summit. At 14,000 feet, a final headwall of steep, exposed 3rd Class climbing is encountered. We use a rope to protect this section to ensure every move can be savored and enjoyed. Topping out, views of the Uncompahgre Wilderness extend in all directions and a mountainous landscape stretches as far as the eye can see. After taking a moment to enjoy the summit, we reverse our route back to the car. This climb involves approximately 11 miles of hiking and 4400 feet of elevation gain and loss. For most people, a 1-day climb of Wetterhorn Peak will take 10-12 hours round trip.
2-Day Climb of Wetterhorn Peak
Many people prefer to climb Wetterhorn Peak in two days in order to break up the mileage and spend additional time in Wetterhorn Basin. We use the same itinerary described above but we break it into two days with a picturesque camp in Wetterhorn Basin. The camp location is spectacular and spending time here is a highlight of the trip. This route involves approximately 11 miles of hiking and 4500 feet of elevation gain/loss over two days. For most people, this will amount to 3-4 hours of hiking on the first day and 7-8 hours of hiking on the second day.
Coxcomb and Uncompahgre
Coxcomb Peak (13,656’) and Uncompahgre Peak (14,314’) are in close proximity to Wetterhorn and are easy to add-on for a longer, more climbing intensive trip. Coxcomb Peak has several pitches of 5.6 technical rock climbing and is a great choice for those interested in technical rock climbing. Uncompahgre Peak has moderate Class 2 scrambling and is enjoyable for hikers of all ability levels. Either peak can be included on a Wetterhorn trip by adding one additional day to the itinerary.