• Activities:

    Hiking, Rock Climbing

  • Skill Level:

    Advanced

  • Season:

    Summer

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    9 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2805 Feet

Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Summiting this peak definitely requires a sense of adventure, but the payoff is incredible. 360 degree views of the gorgeous Cimarron and San Juan Mountain ranges!!

Drive up Owl Creek Pass until you reach West Fork Basin (if you do not have four-wheel-drive, then that will add a couple miles to your day). Starting at 10,760 ft., you will hike up and over West Fork Pass, and around through Wetterhorn Basin. Continue on until you see the sticks planted into the ground, marking the game trail that will lead you up to the base of Coxcomb. In between two pillars on your left, will be the route up. Roping up is optional for this pitch, but since you lugged the gear up, might as well use it! The first 15 meters is rated about 5.5, followed by a quick 5.6/5.7 move, and then starts to get much easier 10 meters up from there. Once you reach the belay anchors, it is an easy class 4 scramble to the top. 

To reach the true summit, you will have to walk the ridge, rappel down a break in the ridge line, and climb up the other side. Then continue to the eastern side of the ridge, where you will find the summit log. 

There are two options for descending. If you only bring a single 60 meter rope, you will be returning the way that you came. But if you bring two 60 meter ropes, there is a rappel route down the front of Coxcomb, so that you avoid walking back around through Wetterhorn Basin and over West Fork Pass. Just depends on who's willing to carry the rope..

Enjoy the views, the fresh air, and the solitude, for not too many people make it up this unique mountain at 13,565 ft!

Pack List

  • Water (recommend two nalgenes)
  • Snacks and Lunch
  • Sunscreen
  • One or two 60 meter ropes (depending on your descent preference)
  • Slings/Webbing for possible rappel replacement (was dependable August 2016)
  • Harness
  • Carabiners
  • Small rack of medium-large nuts
  • Hiking Boots
  • Rock-climbing shoes
  • Helmet - very loose rock!! 
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Leave a Review

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Piper Wolters

"Don't live the same year 75 times and call it a life." Hiking. Climbing. Skiing. Kayaking. Sailing. Adventure..

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

6 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves