Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,119.00 ft (341.07 m)
Trail type
7.50 mi (12.07 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Unique peak vista. Solitude.



Trailhead Elevation

10,275.00 ft (3,131.82 m)


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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