Climbing El Diente Peak and Mt. Wilson from Kilpacker has become more popular in recent years because El Diente's south slopes route is more stable than the north slopes. However, if you're planning on getting Wilson Peak along with El Diente and Mt. Wilson, it may be best to use the Navajo Basin approach instead.
From the trailhead ( 1
) hike west through large meadows and into the forest - 2
. Hike northwest and north for 2.25 miles to reach a trail junction near 10,300' - 5
. Turn right. Hike another 0.5 mile and cross Kilpacker Creek ( 6
) to reach a meadow with an impressive view El Diente - 7
. If you're camping
, there are places to pitch a tent downhill from the meadow.
Continue northeast on the excellent trail ( 8
) to 11,000' where you can see a waterfall off to your right - 10
. This is a beautiful place and worth the hike, even if you don't plan on continuing higher. Pass through more trees and traverse through talus below El Diente's west ridge - 11
. Near 12,200', hike past some bumps at the top of a headwall - 13
. Traverse across more talus ( 14
) and turn a corner to reach 12,600' on a talus run-out - 15
. There should be cairns here to mark the turn-off for the El Diente Route. If you're climbing Mt. Wilson via its southwest slopes route, you won't find much of a trail as you continue east but you may find cairns.