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El Diente Peak is a 11.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Rico, Colorado that offers scenic views and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until September.

Length 11.2 mi Elevation gain 4,202 ft Route type Out & Back
Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Views Rocky
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (28)
Photos (32)
Recordings (24)
Completed (44)
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Brian Dally
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Hiking

Long day! We set out with head lamps at 5:15am from Kilpacker Basin Trailhead. After a few miles of flat dirt trails, the fun began. Get ready for lots of risk and scree fields up and back. The summit is very technical and we were glad to have a guide to help us navigate it. Coming back is tough through all the rock fields. We slipped several times, and felt fortunate to avoid serious injury. Helmets are required here.

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Simon Guérard
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Hiking

That is a cool 14er! Class 3, and fairly difficult route finding (at least for me - I'm pretty sure I didn't come up the way you are supposed to). Read about it on 14ers. I also added Mt Wilson, but did not do it through the traverse. Great view, great challenge, real fun! Although I'd say going in and out on both gets annoying regarding the huge talus/rocky field to cross...

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Ron Winn
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Hiking

Only climbed El Diente and Mount Wilson. Both were absolutely stellar. Did the ridge traverse from El Diente to Mount Wilson. Solid class 4. Watch your step. Loose rock and plenty of exposure. Descended Mount Wilson via the “bowl” and it is loose as hell. Didn’t hurry through any of the trip, spent some quality time on the summits (45 minutes on each), and it was almost 11 hours car to car.

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Kirsten Chesney
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Rock climbingNo shadeOff trailRockyScramble

We summited El Diente from the Navajo Lake side instead. So this review might not be applicable to those coming from Kilpacker Trail. From the Navajo Lake side, there are 3 ways up to El Diente and Mt Wilson. Two of them are class 3 and one is a class 4. We were going to choose one of the class 3's but had heard there was still snow and ice covering the trail, so we decided on the class 4. Very unstable rocks and difficult route finding. There are cairns but they are widely spaced and hard to spot among the rocks. Pikas provide a cute break from the rock scrambling, if you can spot them! Do bring a CLIMBING HELMET and CLIMBING GLOVES. The gloves are definitely going to be used (hopefully not the helmet). Views are breathtaking on the ascent. But it's impossible to look around you while you're climbing since it takes focus to find the route, step on stable rocks, and pull yourself upwards. There is a section near the top that requires you to scale very large boulders that are sitting nearly vertical. It will look impassable and we nearly turned around. However, this is the correct path according to our hiking guide book. My highest note of caution: WEAR ANKLE-HIGH HIKING BOOTS AND WATCH OUT FOR SHIFTING/FALLING BOULDERS!!!! I had one boulder break loose and careen down the mountain, narrowly missing us. Further on, I stepped on an unstable boulder, which fell onto my foot, BREAKING MY LEG (fibula and tibia both). I had to be helped down the mountain in extreme pain and lots of blood. It's an epic story for another time. But please BE CAREFUL with the rocks!! I would recommend an alternate way up El Diente than from the Navajo Lake side. The snow in the class 3 areas remain most of the year (they were still there on Labor Day), and the class 4 trail is just too unstable and unpredictable. Try the Kilpacker Trail to the summit! It sounds a bit more doable!

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Jeff Bennett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2019
Hiking

The San Juan’s had record snowfalls in 2018/2019, so we knew to expect unusual amounts of snow, but amount was even more than we expected. We parked at Kilpacker Basin Trailhead and got on the trail at 4:45 AM. We made good time and hit the first snowfields a little ways above tree line. From that point on we were in snow for about 70% of the next 7+ hours, and in and out of our crampons 7-8 times for rock and snow conditions. We summited at 11:15 AM with perfect blue skies and a wonderful 360 views. The down-climb wasn’t bad, at times there were some route finding challenges, although there was no relief from the sun, so that did add to our fatigue. We made it back to the car at 5:30 PM for a 12 hour and 45 minute day and I was exhausted, it was pushing my limits at 56 years old.

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Taco Cat
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Hiking
First to Review

El Diente and Mt. Wilson late-spring solo ascent 07 July 2019 https://youtu.be/D1tXDyrbdNk

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Scott Nichols Jr
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Hiking
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Paul Fischbach
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Hiking
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David B
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Hiking
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Richard Waterman
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Hiking
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Cody Yonis
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Hiking
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Richard Jobson
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Hiking
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Nathan Doty
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Hiking
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Matthew Rushing
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Hiking
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Brian Hill
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Running
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Michael Gash
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Hiking
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Andrew Rosen
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Hiking
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Jordan Moore
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Hiking
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Zach Feickert
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Hiking
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Chad Gordon
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Hiking
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Spiro Skartsiounis
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Hiking
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Dylan Cornish
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Hiking
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Correen Branson
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Hiking
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Matt James
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Hiking
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Chris Baldwin
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Hiking
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Eric Blossey
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Hiking
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Brian Krueger
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