Colorado 14ers: Uncompahgre Peak and Wetterhorn Peak

This backcountry trek to two classic San Juan summits, serves up vertical scrambles, formidable ridges, not to mention miles of stunning scenery.
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This backcountry trek to two classic San Juan summits, serves up vertical scrambles, formidable ridges, not to mention miles of stunning scenery.

-Mapped by Lisa Ganz

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 18.6

Waypoints

UWP001

Location: 38.0233459472656, -107.492561340332

From the Matterhorn Creek trailhead, follow 4WD road to the N

UWP002

Location: 38.030460357666, -107.491218566895

Pass 4WD parking area and continue heading N along Matterhorn Creek

UWP003

Location: 38.0389671325684, -107.49333190918

Turn R @ 3-way and climb E up steep slope

UWP004

Location: 38.0389137268066, -107.491569519043

Turn sharp L; traverse N and enter the Big Blue Wilderness

UWP005

Location: 38.0462036132812, -107.493171691895

Climb through treeline and continue N; Matterhorn Peak looms directly to the N

UWP006

Location: 38.0517501831055, -107.49292755127

To summit Wetterhorn Peak, bear R and leave the trail. Climb NW into a basin tucked at the foot of Wetterhorn. To climb Uncompahgre Peak, stay R on trail and head NE

UWP007

Location: 38.0594711303711, -107.501861572266

Curve to the SW for brief stretch of climb under Wetterhorn's impressive E face

UWP008

Location: 38.055721282959, -107.506607055664

Turn R on small saddle and begin ascent of Wetterhorn's SE ridge

UWP009

Location: 38.0584449768066, -107.509979248047

Continue heading NW. Up ahead: Pass a rock tower called the Ship's Prow by climbing through a notch on the E side of the ridge, then prepare for hands-and-feet scramble up a gully to the summit (route finding required)

UWP010

Location: 38.0606842041016, -107.510925292969

Wetterhorn Peak (14,015 ft.): Unrivaled perspectives overlooking the untouched San Juan Mountains. Look NE along ridge to find Matterhorn Peak; Uncompahgre's distinct, flat-topped summit can also be seen in the distance to the NE. Return to WPT 6 and turn L to climb Uncompahgre

UWP011

Location: 38.0607643127441, -107.486572265625

Uncompahgre Peak comes into view; follow trail to the E for slight descent

UWP012

Location: 38.0592422485352, -107.466781616211

Continue heading SE beneath Uncompahgre's rocky cliffs

UWP013

Location: 38.0577583312988, -107.455062866211

Turn L and head NE

UWP014

Location: 38.0635185241699, -107.45108795166

Turn L; follow worn trail as it curves to the NW along Uncompahgre's S ridge

UWP015

Location: 38.0676689147949, -107.461982727051

Climb N along the ridge

UWP016

Location: 38.071704864502, -107.462120056152

Uncompahgre Peak (14,309 ft.): Relish pristine panoramas of the Big Blue Wilderness from the San Juans' highest peak; return to WPT 6, then turn L back to trailhead