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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
Start:10,400 feet
Stop:13,000 feet
Total Gain:2,800 feet
RT Length:8.25 miles
Duration:User Climb Times
Author:BillMiddlebrook
Updated:8/2021
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:156 reports
Cell Signal:9 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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Trailhead

From Ridgway, leave U.S. 550 and take Colorado 62 toward Telluride. Drive over Dallas Divide, down to Placerville and turn left onto Colorado 145. Drive 6.7 miles and turn right onto the Silver Pick road (dirt). From here, it's 8.5 miles to the trailhead. Drive 4 miles to an intersection and turn right onto "59 H" which is also Forest Road 622. Continue 2.3 miles, turn right onto FR 645 and continue 2.2 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 mid-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) road/trail as you ascend through the basin - 5, 6 and 7. Near 12,100', the road turns left and goes around a small hill to reach a dilapidated stone building. Walk past the building and look for a rugged trail on the left - 10. Follow it east onto talus before turning south toward the broad, steep slope at the end of the basin - 11. Grind up steeper terrain as the trail swings right and then left toward the Rock of Ages saddle - 12. Carefully staying on the established trail, continue southeast to the saddle - 13, 14 and 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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