San Miguel Mountains

Range TypeMountain range with well-recognized name
Highest PointMount Wilson (14,246 ft/4342 m)
CountriesUnited States
Area2,062 sq mi / 5,342 sq km
Area may include lowland areas
Extent64 mi / 102 km North-South
57 mi / 92 km East-West
Center Lat/Long37° 56' N; 108° 25' W
Map LinkMicrosoft Bing Map

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The San Miguel Mountains, often considered separate from the San Juans, are a high, rugged, and compact range to the west of Lizard Head Pass. From just about any vantage point, they are a powerful group of peaks, with three 14ers (plus one almost-14er) close together, all combining to create a majestic panorama many consider unequalled in Colorado. The Coors brewery, trying to trade in on the Rocky Mountain mystique of its beer, has featured the fantastic view of the San Miguels from Telluride very prominently in much of its advertising.

The San Miguel peaks are among the most difficult to climb in Colorado. Mount Wilson is a strong contender for the title of "most difficult 14er", and Lizard Head Peak is widely considered the most difficult single peak in Colorado to climb, requiring YDS 5.6 rock climbing skills.

Navajo Basin is the high bowl in the center of the high peaks of the San Miguel group, and it has a semi-permanent snowfield sometimes called Navajo Glacier, impressive at this latitude, overlooking the deserts of the southwest.

Map of San Miguel Mountains
Click on red triangle icons for links to other ranges.

Note: Range borders shown on map are an approximation and are not authoritative.
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Other Ranges: To go to pages for other ranges either click on the map above, or on range names in the hierarchy snapshot below, which show the parent, siblings, and children of the San Miguel Mountains.
San Juan MountainsLevel 4 (Parent)
         San Miguel MountainsLevel 5
         West-Central San Juan MountainsLevel 5 (Sibling)
         North-Central San Juan MountainsLevel 5 (Sibling)
         La Plata MountainsLevel 5 (Sibling)
         Needle MountainsLevel 5 (Sibling)
         East-Central San Juan MountainsLevel 5 (Sibling)
         La Garita MountainsLevel 5 (Sibling)
         Southern San Juan MountainsLevel 5 (Sibling)
         Tusas MountainsLevel 5 (Sibling)

Major Peaks of the San Miguel Mountains

Ten Highest Peaks
RankPeak NameftmRange6
1.Mount Wilson14,2464342 
2.El Diente14,1594316 
3.South Wilson14,1104301 
4.West Wilson14,100+4298+ 
5.Wilson Peak14,0174272 
6.Gladstone Peak13,9134241 
7.Peak 1352013,520+4121+ 
8.Peak 1349813,4984114 
9.Dolores Peak13,2904051 
10.Middle Peak13,280+4048+ 
Sub-peaks are excluded from this list. List may not be complete, since only summits in the PBC Database are included.

Photos of Peaks in the San Miguel Mountains

Mount Wilson

Mount Wilson is the leftmost major summit in this view of the San Miguel Range from the Telluride ski area (1989).
El Diente
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
El Diente and Kilpacker Creek (1989-08-13). Photo by John Vitz.
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Wilson Peak
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West face of Wilson Peak (1990-08-01). Photo by John Vitz.
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Lizard Head

The sheer pinnacle of Lizard Head is often called the most difficult peak in Colorado to climb (1989).

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