Uncompahgre from Matterhorn, San Juan Mountains.
It is hard to find, at least for many of us here in the Four Corners, such a concentration of mountaineering splendor as in the San Juans. This range is comprised of the Needles and Grenadiers and these two areas form the core of true backcountry mountaineering; the other sub-ranges are the North San Juans and the West Needles. The Grenadiers, a row of proud sentinels, are also known as the Quartzite Peaks, while the Needles are a haphazard mix of peaks and passes, culminating in the Sunlight-Windom massif.
The easiest and quickest way to get into the heart of these peaks is to take the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge railroad from either Silverton or Durango to Elk Park or Needleton. Alternately, and depending on which areas one intends to visit, one could approach from Beartown, American Basin, Andrews Lake, Molas Switchbacks, Vallecito, Purgatory Flats, etc.
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38 Total Routes
['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',17],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in San Juans
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for San Juans:
Featured Route For San Juans
Index by FA Route 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a CO
: Alpine Rock
: ... : The Index
From the bottom of the tower, climb 7 feet to a ledge that accesses a less than vertical handcrack (5.5, 15 feet, #3 Camalot). Belay off boulders just above the crack. Hop 50 feet around the base of the first tower and either rappel or downclimb (5.2, 30 feet) a gully to the east between towers 1 and 2. Set up a belay with medium stoppers. Climb easy fingers to hands to blocks to top of second tower (5.6, 60 feet) and belay off a slung boulder with a relic piton. Rappel to saddle betw...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
Local Information for San Juans
Latest Regional Forum Messages
By Matthias Holladay
From: Durango, Colorado
Mar 5, 2012
The Guardian, Animas Mtn., The Index, Jagged, Knifepoint, Sneffels, the numbered peaks, Pigeon, Storm King, Silex, Vestal, West Needles, The Trinities, Sunlight, Windom, etc. all belong here, some with some sub-groups...This area also includes other subranges, not yet mentioned here on MP, like the San Miguels AKA Silverton West, as well as the areas around west of Lake City and the Rio Grande Pyramid.
By Nic Harnish
From: Durango, CO
Mar 7, 2012
These mountains certainly deserve their own page.
Jul 19, 2012
I think we need a little organization here. I've noticed a lot of misinformation and scrabbly writing on these San Juan pages, especially for the grenadiers/needles. The Mount Silex page should be re-done.