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Snowdon Peak Trail



2.1 mile 3.4 kilometer point to point
65% Runnable


Ascent: 1,897' 578 m
Descent: -39' -12 m
High: 13,054' 3,979 m
Low: 11,161' 3,402 m


Avg Grade: 17% (10°)
Max Grade: 61% (31°)


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Trail shared by Kaylee M

A San Juan 13er with great 360-degree views from Purgatory to Silverton.

Kaylee M

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Need to Know

If there is a fork in the trail, always choose the left side. There are fallen trees blocking much of the second mile of this trail.


The run to this trail starts with 1.1 miles on Crater Lake Trail #623 up switchbacks through a pine forest. After these switchbacks, the trail will flatten out and come to a fork; turn left (east). This trail will appear to head straight toward Snowdon Peak through a meadow.

After the meadow, there is some climbing through pine forest. Then you'll reach a clearing where you can again see Snowdon Peak. To the left (east) there is a steep grassy couloir which leads to the saddle and peak (12,628 ft.). The trail here has no switchbacks and is strenuous to run. When you reach the ridgeline, go right (southwest) across the ridgeline toward the peak. There you'll reach a second saddle.

After this saddle, the ascent is mostly scrambling. Keep to the left (southeast) on the ridgeline, and you'll see some cairns marking the trail over the ridgeline. Continue following a cairn-marked trail that will lead off the main ridge and onto the east side of the mountain. This is to avoid some more difficult obstacles farther up the ridge.

Contour across the east face some, losing perhaps a little elevation, and then contour a little more. Begin heading up with some serious ascending, at times on some very steep terrain of combined rock and tundra that requires some Class 3 scrambling. Generally, the specific trail at this point is quite difficult to find, but just keep making your way up.

From the summit, you'll enjoy beautiful views of the Needles, and Engineer Mountain can be seen as well as Molas Lake and Silverton in the distance.

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Jul 19, 2019
Matthew Warriner
You can get all the way to the top without touching an inch of snow. Don't turn back!! Stay slow on the ridge and enjoy. Definitely some class 3 6.5mi — 2h 15m
Jul 18, 2019
Matthew Warriner
Ran the first and last 2mi and climbed the miles in the middle. Stayed left. Go SLOW and enjoy the ridge. Very very technical. Helmet is a good idea. 6mi — 2h 30m
Jul 21, 2018
Kaylee M

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  4.5 from 2 votes
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38 Views Last Month
1,079 Since Jul 21, 2018



This is your reward after making your way through the first stretch of forest.
May 13, 2017 near Silverton, CO
View of Needles from second saddle.
Jul 21, 2018 near Silverton, CO
View from Snowdon summit
Jul 21, 2018 near Silverton, CO
Jul 21, 2018 near Silverton, CO