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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.
38 Total Routes
Browse More Classics in San Juans
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for San Juans:
North Face of West Trinity Peak Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 1100' The Grenadiers : West Trinity Peak
Southwest Chimney 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 80' Uncompahgre/Big Blue Wilder... : Coxcomb Peak
South Chimney 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches Uncompahgre/Big Blue Wilder... : Chimney Rock
Center Shift on Wham Ridge 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 1000' The Grenadiers : Vestal Peak
Featured Route For San Juans
East Face/Dallas Peak 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Dallas Peak
The standard East Face route up Dallas actually starts on the South Face and winds its way around the lower mountain to the right. A very explicit route description is available in Gerry Roach's "Colorado Thirteeners" book. Highly recommended is the variation Roach calls "Stan's Shortcut". Bushwack through the woods following Mill Creek and pass the beautiful waterfall on the right (east) side. Many parties take the shortcut on the way up and follow the trail variation on the way down. A tw...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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