Rock of Ages Trail
ElevationAscent: 2,667' 813 m
Descent: -1' 0 m
High: 13,018' 3,968 m
Low: 10,351' 3,155 m
GradeAvg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)
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“A rigorous approach into the Wilsons.”— Tyler Prince
From the trailhead, run south on the Rock of Ages Trail, marked Trail #429. Shortly after leaving, stay left at a junction. Pass the gate and stay on the larger trail, which is wide and makes for easy running. In about a mile come to some talus and follow a large switchback to the left, coming into Silver Pick Basin at 11,400 ft. Continue to follow the road-like trail, coming across the occasional sign. Pass some small hills in the basin, after which the Rock of Ages Saddle (13,200 ft) will come into view. Wilson Peak is to its left, with Navajo Lake Trail on the other side of the slope, and an unnamed 13er to the right.
Continue to follow the roads until you come to a very unclear trail just over 3 miles in, practically invisible if not for its signs, at 12,100 ft. Leave the road and run up the talus to the right. Once you find the trail (Rock of Ages - Vague Ascent Trail) it's not incredibly hard to follow, but consists almost entirely of talus, with the occasional stone step. Follow the trail up and to the left, passing above the ruins of an old stone house. Continue to traverse the talus, heading southeast and up to reach the Rock of Ages Saddle. Wilson Peak Trail will be to the left, with access to other 14ers via Navajo Lake Trail down the other side of the saddle.
Should you descend this trail, as recommended by the Wilson Group featured run, you'll have a very difficult time finding the trail on the talus. It's tempting to simply descend the talus field down to the ruins of the stone house, but beware the loose rocks. If you wind up at the stone house, just follow the roads near it back to the trail junction (12,100 ft) mentioned above. Fortunately, as long as those descending out of Silver Pick Basin stay down and to the left, they will be funneled onto the right route.
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Land Manager: USFS - San Juan National Forest Office