Lizard Head Wilderness, Colorado

Telluride Colorado
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Lizard Head Wilderness

The Lizard Head Wilderness is a vast swath of land near Telluride known for its three jagged 14,000-foot peaks and wild forests brimming with white-barked aspen trees. Read More

  • The Lizard Head Wilderness area is nearly 42,000 acrea of land mostly above 9,000 feet.
  • Three 14,000-foot peaks, known as the Wilson Range, are popular summits but also very dangerous.
  • Most of the land is inaccessible November through April because of winter conditions.


The numbers speak for themselves. The Lizard Head Wilderness is comprised of 41,500 acres of land mostly above 9,000 feet. Three peaks reach their summit at more than 14,000 feet. Only one major highway is in the vicinity, but the area is home to more than 40 miles of trails. Feel like getting lost?

Location & Information

The Lizard Head Wilderness area is 10 miles southwest of Telluride and 40 miles northeast of Cortez. The best access is found with Forest Service Road 535, which is about 50 miles from Telluride on CO-145. Large areas of the wilderness land are inaccessible from late-October through April because of winter conditions.

Climbing 14ers

The three 14ers—Wilson Peak, El Diente and Mount Wilson—draw the majority of visitors to the area. Most come with hopes of reaching the iconic summits of the three famous peaks. The routes up are rugged and dangerous, however, and should only be attempted by knowledgeable and experienced climbers.


The rest of the area is scattered with sparsely used hiking trails and off-road trails. Navajo Lake is in a beautiful alpine basin and is a good day-hike or overnight trip. Turn right on Dunton Road off of CO-145 and follow the signs to the Navajo Basin trailhead. The hike is 8.8 miles and climbs 2,600 feet. You’ll know you’re there when you stop and stare.

Other Lizard Head Wilderness Resources

Utah White Canyon

Spectacular and remote canyon in Southern Utah.