Trail Run Project Logo

Wetterhorn Peak Trail #9256

Very Difficult
 5.0 (2)

This trail offers pure world class running and scrambling to the top of 14er Wetterhorn Peak.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

1.7

Miles

2.8

KM

44%

Runnable

13,966' 4,257 m

High

11,972' 3,649 m

Low

1,995' 608 m

Up

18' 5 m

Down

22%

Avg Grade (12°)

72%

Max Grade (36°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Matterhorn Creek Trailhead is difficult enough to get to in the summer months. During winter and parts of spring the way is generally closed somewhere along the Henson road, about 10 miles below the trailhead.

While the land manager requests dogs be leashed, they probably don't intend for Fido to be scrambling about the rocks near the summit. Few dogs can cover this quasi-technical terrain.

Runner Notes

The trail is excellent and fairly gradual all the way from the trailhead to around 13,400 ft, after which scrambling is required. This route makes for an excellent run followed by a quick scramble to the summit...an awesome way to break up alpine running monotony.

Description

From Matterhorn Creek trailhead, run up Ridge Stock Driveway before coming to a junction at 12,000 ft. Turn left for Wetterhorn Peak Trail (turning right will take you to Uncompahgre Peak).

Run up through the basin, crossing through some rocks while heading left toward the summit ridge. Once through a brief rocky patch, switchback SW on excellent trail before reaching the ridge around 13,000 ft.

Follow the trail, more or less ridge proper, before you reach some yellow dirt on the trail. This brief change in soil marks the end of the easier terrain. The path drops left of the ridge and then becomes unclear. You should be able to see "the Prow," a sharp and jagged rock formation appearing like a fin below the summit. Your goal is to scramble up just to its right. Once at the Prow, you'll come to a V-notch in the rock. Scramble either left or right, then turn left and run toward a flat dirt area surrounded by rock formations at 13,800 ft. The summit is up and to the right.

Continue north through a notch in the rock before reaching a set of large stone steps to your right. This natural formation makes for a fun scramble right below the top. Some more adventurous runners may opt to simply scramble around here until they top out. There's plenty of fun climbing and lots of exposure to be had. Stay within your comfort zone! Top out and enjoy the views from Wetterhorn's flat and large summit. This is a great spot for a 14er finishing party.

From the summit, head back down to the Matterhorn Creek trailhead, or head back to the junction with Ridge Stock Driveway to run Uncompahgre Peak as well.

Flora & Fauna

Just like with other peaks in the area, expect mountain goats, marmots, and pika. The valleys between Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre offer some of the most stunning views of mountains and wildflowers in the state.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tyler Prince

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes

#937

Overall
  5.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
100%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#137

in Colorado

#937

Overall
20 Views Last Month
1,888 Since Apr 2, 2015
Very Difficult

0%
0%
0%
0%
50%
50%

Photos

Pass "the Prow," the finlike rock formation in the distance, on its right.
Apr 9, 2015 near Ouray, CO
Somebody's been feeding this guy! A curious marmot in the basin below Wetterhorn.
Apr 9, 2015 near Ouray, CO
Wetterhorn summit block. The steps below the top are about as technical as it gets.
Apr 9, 2015 near Ouray, CO
A hiker approaches the summit block. The technical formation behind him is not a part of this hike. There are many excellent scrambling options in this area. Have fun, but be careful!
Apr 9, 2015 near Ouray, CO
Coming out of the basin and onto the ridge, much of the remaining Wetterhorn Peak Trail is visible.
Apr 9, 2015 near Ouray, CO

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

none