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Wilson Meadows

Lizard Head Wilderness

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

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Wilson Meadows

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  • Aspen forest characterizes the early section of the Lizard Head Trail near Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • Grassland near the Lizard Head Trailhead near Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • Yellow Mountain North and Golden Horn west of the Lizard Head Trail near Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • Looking toward the Lizard Head Trailhead near Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • The Lizard Head Trail to Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • Wildlife frequents the grasslands at the trailhead near Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • Wildflowers along the Lizard Head Trail to Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • Aspen along the Lizard Head Trail to Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • Fall foliage along the Lizard Head Trail to Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • A rock garden near the summit of Black Face along the Lizard Head Trail to Wilson Meadows, where hundreds of pikas squeak like a herd of chew toys.- Wilson Meadows
  • A small pond along the Lizard Head Trail to Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • Lizard Head from the trail to Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • Wilson Meadows and Lizard Head.- Wilson Meadows
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Wilson Meadows
  • Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • Wilson Meadows and San Bernardo Mountain.- Wilson Meadows
  • Wildflowers in Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • Wildflowers in Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • The view east over Trout Lake from the Lizard Head Trail near Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • Aspen along the Lizard Head Trail to Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • A grasshopper along the Lizard Head Trail to Wilson Meadows.- Wilson Meadows
  • The Lizard Head Trailhead.- Wilson Meadows
  • - Wilson Meadows
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Unique peak vista. Solitude.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
San Juan Mountains, CO
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,119.00 ft (341.07 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer
Total Distance: 
7.50 mi (12.07 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
10,275.00 ft (3,131.82 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Lizard Head is one of the more recognizable peaks in the San Juan Mountains, perhaps rivaled only by the Wetterhorn to the east. Its 13,000-foot rock spire points skyward atop talus slopes like a pinhead poking through yarn. One of the best vantage points to see the peak, aside from striding up to the monster itself with a rope and protection, is at Wilson Meadows, roughly 3.5 miles down the Lizard Head Trail. A wide-open meadow awaits hikers here, where the grass undulates in waves under the wind and a quiet creek winds its way toward the valley floor. Stay here, rest awhile, eat a meal, and photograph the unique peak. In the spring, Wilson Meadows promises to be coated with wildflowers.

Starting from the Lizard Head Trailhead along Highway 145, follow the trail upland along the meadowed flank of Black Face. The grassy slopes here are frequented by wildlife, elk and deer in particular, which bed down in the grasses. Those who arrive before sunrise will be greeted by pairs of glowing eyes throughout the early section of trail. Continue into pine and aspen forest, where the trail begins a slow ascent until switchbacks begin a more aggressive ascent to a saddle on top of Black Face, characterized by a broad rock garden and hundreds of outspoken pikas. The trail levels somewhat here; keep to the right at a junction and continue through conifer forest to a small pond before descending to Wilson Meadows, where the trail ends at its rim.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(30 within a 30 mile radius)

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