Cross Mountain

Distance: 6.6 miles (round trip)

Lizard Head Wilderness Area, San Juan National Forest, near Telluride in Southwest Colorado

View of Lizard Head from near the top of the Cross Mountain trail

View of Lizard Head from near the top of the Cross Mountain trail


A nice hike to the base of Lizard Head Peak, a distinctive 13,113-ft. rock spire towering above Highway 145 just south of Lizard Head Pass.
See Trail Detail/Full Description

  • Distance: 6.6 miles (round trip) to Cross Mountain
  • Elevation: 10,040-ft. at Trailhead
    11,940-ft. at Cross Mountain
  • Elevation Gain: 1,900-ft. to Cross Mountain
  • Difficulty: moderate-strenuous
  • More Hikes in:
    Telluride / Southwest Colorado

Why Hike Cross Mountain

There are two main routes to the base of Lizard Head Peak (13,113-ft.), the landmark 400-ft. tall pinnacle in the Lizard Head Wilderness. Cross Mountain is the shorter and more direct, albeit less scenic, route when compared to the Lizard Head Trail.

The trail can either be done as an out-and-back hike or a loop combining the Lizard Head and the Railroad Grade trail on the return leg. The loop covers 11.7 miles of diverse terrain with a net elevation gain of over 2,700-ft.

Be aware the loop hike follows ridges and crosses high alpine meadows for over 4 miles. These areas are dangerous places to be in the event of a thunderstorm. Pick and nice day and get an early start so that you are down from the high country before the onset of afternoon thunder storms, a frequent occurrence on summer afternoons in the Rockies.

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile of the Cross Mountain Trail

Best Hiking in Southwest Colorado around Ouray, Telluride and Silverton

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Trail Resources

Trail Detail/Full Description / Trail Photo Gallery / Trail Map

Basecamp(s) Information:

Region Information:
Southwest Colorado

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