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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Lizard Head Tr to Black Face 12k' Ridge, CO

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Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CO > West
Rated
4.7
4.7 of 5 by 3
 
0
Statistics
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 3.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 10,252 feet
Elevation Gain 1,868 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,222 feet
Avg Time One Way 3.5-4.5 hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 10.8
Interest Seasonal Waterfall, Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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8  2018-07-26 friendofThunderg
80  2013-06-14
Colorado Trek - June 2013
Randal_Schulhaus
70  2012-07-26
Colorado Tales 2012
Randal_Schulhaus
1  2007-07-21 Grasshopper
Author Grasshopper
author avatar Guides 42
Routes 458
Photos 8,104
Trips 508 map ( 5,318 miles )
Age 74 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep → 9 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  5:59am - 6:09pm
Official Route
 
0 Alternative
 
Water
Named place Nearby
..Surrounded by 13k' &14k' Peaks..
by Grasshopper

Likely In-Season!
Overview
The Lizard Head Trail #505 traverses north around and then up onto the rugged Black Face Ridge within the Lizard Head Wilderness. This popular day hiking and backpacking trail providing a border route between the Uncompahgre National Forest and the San Juan National Forest. During prime season numerous varieties of wildflowers abound for the first mile along with large aspen groves. Spectacular views of the Wilson Mountain Range welcome the hiker as the trail winds along the ridge of Black Face. From this higher vantage point one can also see great distances into the San Juan Mountain Range to the north and south.

Warning
The Black Face ridge top traverse (above 11.7k') is extremely exposed in poor weather conditions.

Hike
Initially this lush green forest Lizard Head Trail #505 contours in from Lizard Head pass southwest under rugged Black Face Ridge. After crossing talus slopes the trail begins to climb and overlooks the Lake Fork Valley and Trout Lake. The trail switchbacks steeply up through large conifers onto Black Face Ridge and soon reaches timberline at around 11,700 feet. From this point the trail follows the spine of the scenic ridge up to and over the summit of Black Face at 12,147 feet where this hike description ends.

Take time to take-in all the spectacular short and long distance views of the numerous high peaks and lush meadows that now surround you including Wilson Meadow to your north. Also view posted 7/21/07 GPS track with identifying key waypoints noted of the surrounding 12k' to 14k' peaks including the most unusual- "Lizard Head Peak" at 13,113 feet partially in view to the NW from the Black Face Ridge highpoint and located further in on this same trail.

Water Sources
Seasonal creek and drainage water flows within the first 1.5 miles in on Trail#505. Perennial Wilson Creek is available if camping in Wilson Meadow (2 miles in to Wilson Meadow on Sheep TR#212).

Camping
Two miles in on TR#505 to intersection with Sheep Trail #212 then two additional miles to backpack camping locations in Wilson Meadow.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2011-08-30 Grasshopper

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Lizard Head Tr to Black Face 12k' Ridge
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Colorado Trek - June 2013
    Colorado Trek - June 2013

    For those that know me, I’m in the habit of booking a quarterly “wilderness adventure” months in advance so I can work my schedule around the dates. One of my Phoenix Coyotes’ season ticket partners has left me a standing offer to use his Colorado Cottage on the Dolores River plus a physician friend has been bugging me to come visit him at his Telluride retreat. So a 4-day weekend in the San Juan Mountains was the crux of a plan to escape the Valley heat. Memorial Day Weekend is a traditional “stay at home, avoid the holiday madness” mark on the calendar, so the real plan was to target the following weekend (or the following after that…). I got the F-150 prepped a week in advance with oil change, inspection, 2 new tires, placed the never-used spare on the specialty rims, and given that I had to put a new tire on the rig back in early April due to an repairable puncture, I effectively had 4 new tires (foreshadowing – take note of this…). Unlike my 2 previous treks into the San Juan Mountains (check out :next: http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=21834 and http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=20996 ), this trip was primarily a getaway with the wife and dogs with a menu list of potential destinations.


    DAY #0 – Thursday 6/13 After a full day at a strategic planning event, got on the road a little later than I wanted at 6:30pm. Destination was 6 hours and 31 minutes away per Google Maps – the dog friendly Best Western Turquois Inn at Cortez CO (check out :next: http://book.bestwestern.com/bestwestern ... Code=06009 ). We arrived at 2:30am local time (forgot the 1 hour time change between AZ and CO), exactly 6 hours and 31 minutes’ drive time once you add in the 30 minute stop in Flagstaff for coffee and burgs.


    DAY #1 – Friday 6/14 After purchasing some groceries at the City Market conveniently located across the street from our hotel, Lynn and the dogs and I arrived at the Danzl Cottage along the Dolores River between Dolores CO and Telluride CO at mid-morning. After some quick unpacking and locating all the hidden padlock keys (Ralph had only equipped me with only the door keys) for the pump house and electrical panel, I had instructions to leave the cottage and outbuildings all unlocked for “Dustin the well specialist”. Dustin had installed a new pump and water system from the well earlier in the season and things weren’t operating 100 percent (more foreshadowing – take note…). Our plan was to head up the West Dolores Fork towards Dunton CO via Route#535/Dunton Road and take the FR611/Black Mesa Road 4WD road towards Black Mesa and Beaver Park and connect onto FR18/Fall Creek Road over to Woods Lake (a primo spot I visited on our last trek :next: http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=287874 and http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=16913 ) and Hwy145 near Sawpit. We stopped along Dunton Road for a couple of photo ops prior to intersecting with FR611 near the village of Dunton. Heading up FR611 a couple of miles, I spotted a meadow full of wildflowers and open views to Dolores Peak – a suitable place to stop for lunch (and we did! Check out :next: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.790201 ... 1&t=h&z=15 ). We continued along FR611 making multiple stops along the way at assorted beaver ponds, waterfalls, and babbling brooks. At Beaver Park, turned onto FR618/Fall Creek Road and started to climb. Had to wonder if Beaver Park (check out :next: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.899392 ... 8&t=h&z=15 and http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=17810 ) was an old logging camp and FR611 an old railroad bed – will have to dig into some history. As we were climbing the switchbacks of FR618 I hit the brakes as there was a recent windfall aspen blocking the road. As I hit the brakes, my ”LOW TIRE PRESSURE” sensor was tripped. Well the aspen was too heavy to move and I could hear air pissing out of my passenger rear tire. Since we were on a notable grade, decided to make a 20 point turn and head back to the intersection of FR611 at Beaver Park. Flat tire changed – tire I had replaced in April was remarkably worn since the start of this trip – got to give factory original Goodyear Wrangler SR-A P275/65R18 a major “thumbs down” for durability! Looked like a center tread puncture from a sharp rock – yikes! Disappointed, but unfettered, we altered our route to take FR611 west to its terminus at CR-M44 and head east and then north joining onto Hwy145 just west of the Hwy62 junction near Placerville. Our detour was rewarding given the multiple elk and deer sightings, plus a close-up mother bear and cub encounter. Pulled into Telluride early evening to find out where I could get a new tire on Saturday. Telluride Tire & Auto Service located off Ilium Road was suggested by the locals (along with a “Good luck” and a smile). A “shout-out” to the gas station at Hwy145 and Telluride Road (with the Minersaurs :next: http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=287932 ) for solving my lost reading glasses problem by donating men’s readers that were sitting in their lost-and-found for a couple of years. Arrived back at the Danzl Cottage a couple of hours after sunset, yet it still seemed quite well lit outside. BBQ steak with mushrooms and asparagus plus a couple of Kilt-Lifter’s to end the day. Ralph indicated that if Dustin resolved the pump problems, water would be running in the cottage. Nothing when I flushed the toilet… Fitbit mileage = 8.44 miles, 65 floors (650 feet AEG).


    DAY #2 – Saturday 6/15 Got up early to drop off the flat tire at Telluride Tire & Auto Service only to discover the doors locked and the hours on the door noting open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. With cell phone reception in Telluride, also called Ralph to find out the status of the cottage pump per Dustin. The prognosis is not good – problem with electrical service box (extreme voltage fluctuation) requiring local power company to fix – no running water for our visit. With no running water at the cottage, I needed to pick up half a dozen gallon jugs of drinking water. Also, with no spare tire, our off-roading would have to be of the conservative nature. Scratch “Plan A” to head up to the glacial lakes (Clear Lake, Island Lake, Ice Lake; check out :next: http://adventr.co/2012/08/clear-lake-ice-lake-basin/ and http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=12991 and http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=12990 ) at the end of FR585/South Mineral Creek Road and revert to “Plan B” to head up CR#7 off Hwy 62 to explore a couple of primo sites from last visit (check out :next: http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=287910 ). Once on Hwy 62, made the requisite stops at Dallas Divide and Double RL Ranch (check out :next: http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=287873 and http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=287871 ) to see if I could match up my fall colour photos to this year’s late spring photos. No giant hay rolls along CR#9 so we headed east along the highway to CR#7. We made our way through a couple of rain showers before stopping at the beaver dam meadow just before the Blue Lakes TH and terminus of CR#7. This time I was able to find Jason Hatfield’s (check out :next: http://www.mountainskyphotography.com/ ) exact “Teakettle and Cirque” photo location – fence line towards the restroom (large camp was set up at this location last year so I didn’t venture down to this spot). Set up lunch at this meadow and then explored the various beaver dams and side ponds along the East Fork of Dallas Creek (check out :next: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=38.048501 ... 1&t=h&z=12 and http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=17811 ). We packed up late afternoon checking out the Blue Lake TH and Blaine Basin TH (check out :next: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=17812 and http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=16199 ) for future hiking treks before heading back the way we came (Hwy62 to Hwy145) while making a stop in Telluride to walk the main streets checking out the shops plus a slight detour around Trout Lake to check out the railroad remnants – water tower and trestle – along FR626 following the old railway bed (check out :next: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.811513 ... 1&t=h&z=18 and http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/images/P0 ... 81Page.htm and http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/images/P0 ... 74Page.htm ). Lots of elk in the meadow as you enter Telluride. Arrived back at the Danzl Cottage a couple of hours after sunset (again), yet it still seemed quite well lit outside (again). BBQ dogs with mushrooms and asparagus plus a couple of Sam Adams in cans to end the day. Fitbit mileage = 7.45 miles, 21 floors (210 feet AEG).


    DAY #3 – Sunday 6/16 After stopping in Rico CO (check out :next: http://www.ricocolorado.org/vis/documen ... -30-06.pdf ) at the Mercantile Store for some light groceries, headed towards Alta ghost town and Alta Lakes along FR632/Alta Lakes Road. Given I didn’t have a spare, I thought this would be a safe road to take – just before Alta ghost town (check out :next: http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/co/alta.html ) my ”LOW TIRE PRESSURE” sensor tripped. Now I’ve been getting a ”TIRE PRESSURE SENSOR FAULT” ever since I changed the flat tire on Friday (assumed flat tire with no tire pressure to sense would trip the fault message), so this message is thought to be real. Get out and check the tires, nothing notable, but not wanting to tempt fate, head into Telluride to check tire pressures and air up. Tire pressures all measure 35 pounds (as they should), I air up to 38 pounds to see if the sensor message is reset. Scratch “Plan A” and revert to “Plan B” – Lizard Head Trail (check out :next: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=16211 ) with a busy TH parking area at Lizard Head Pass. We have our morning hike cut a little short as a thunderstorm comes in from the east over Sheep Mountain and Yellow Mountain. Back at the windy TH, no apparent tire pressure issues, so we decide to head downstream along the Dolores River and have lunch at the Bear Creek TH (check out :next: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=17813 ). Trailhead lunch and an afternoon hike along Bear Creek Trail #607. I was surprised by the mountain bike and horse encounters along the trail – never encountered anyone along the other trails the past couple of days! We arrived back at the Danzl Cottage a couple of hours before sunset (just for a change). BBQ dogs with corn and asparagus plus a Kilt-Lifter and Sam Adams in cans to end the day. Fitbit mileage = 10.49 miles, 78 floors (780 feet AEG).


    DAY #4 – Monday 6/17 Getaway Day – back home to the Valley heat in Ahwatukee with some minor stops along the way. Quite the contrast being treated to 4 days of 75degF Hi and 45degF Lo in the Colorado San Juan Mountains… Fitbit mileage = 5.32 miles, 14 floors (140 feet AEG).




    MUCHO GRACIAS to the Danzl Family for the use of their Colorado Cottage on the Dolores River

    4-days in the San Juan Mountains

    Many elk and deer, plus a mother bear with cub

    No TV, internet, or cell phone reception

    1 problematic flat tire and tire pressure sensor

    1 problematic electrical box at the cottage

    2 people learning to flush a toilet without running water

    235 images on 2 cameras (68 on 7D, 167 on Rebel XT)

    Fitbit totals of 31.70 miles and 178 floors (1780 AEG) [8.44+7.45+10.49+5.32=31.70 and 65+21+78+14=178]

    Added 1386 miles to the F-150 odometer [451+141+193+97+504=1386]

    Practice for August in the Kashmir Himalayas

    Priceless!

    :) :) :)
    Lizard Head Tr to Black Face 12k' Ridge
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Colorado Tales 2012
    Colorado Tales 2012

    5 days
    1296 miles
    65 gallons of gasoline
    379 digital images
    1 relatively trouble-free drive
    Clean, crisp mountain air
    Vintage railways
    Ghost towns
    Choice eats and beverages (Colorado microbreweries!)
    No work distractions
    Priceless!

    The Plan => Thursday 7/26 rendezvous at the Danzl residence in Sedona AZ, truck pool, and hit the road to the Danzl Colorado Cottage along the Dolores River between Dolores CO and Stoner CO in the San Juan Mountains.

    My 2012 quarterly wilderness adventures have been limited to "Anza Borrego California Tales 2012" (check out => http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=18664 ) and "Oregon Tales 2012" (check out => http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=20147 ), so with X consecutive days of 100degF Valley weather, a trek to the high country seemed in order. The Colorado Rockies would certainly satisfy that requirement, so my Coyotes' season ticket co-holder, Ralph Danzl suggested his Colorado Cottage as a base camp to escape the heat. With no definitive plans, other than our base camp, we hit the road and ended up at the following destinations;

    A. Ahwatukee AZ - ground zero, home
    B. Sedona AZ - rendezvous at Danzl's Bell Rock Blvd. residence
    C. Kayenta AZ - stop at the local Burger King
    D. Monument Valley AZ/UT - first visit for the Danzl's (check out => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=857 and http://www.americansouthwest.net/utah/m ... e-map.html )
    E. Bluff UT - stop for gas
    F. Hovenweep Ruins UT - also "Canyon of the Ancients" including Painted Hand and Lowry Pueblo (check out => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=12961 )
    G. Dolores CO - base camp at Danzl Colorado Cottage off Hwy 145 on Road 37 (CR36 on map)
    H. Ophir Pass CO - off-roading with side treks to Crystal Lake and Lookout Peak (check out => http://www.narrowgauge.org/4x4/html/ophir.html )
    I. Silverton CO - Silverton Brewery for eats (check out => www.silvertonbrewing.com )
    J. Animas Forks CO - off-roading to ghost town (check out => http://www.coloradopast.com/index.php?c ... as%20Forks and http://www.narrowgauge.org/4x4/html/sil_af.html )
    K. Durango CO - a drive on the "Million Dollar Highway" (check out => http://www.rmpbs.org/byways/sjs_map.html )
    L. Dolores CO - Dolores River Brewery for eats (check out => http://www.doloresriverbrewery.com/ ) and base camp at Danzl Colorado Cottage
    M. Dunton CO - along FR535 and West Dolores River valley trekking to Lizard Head Wilderness (check out => http://www.visittelluride.com/things-to ... wilderness )
    N. Telluride CO - Smuggler Joe's MicroBrew for eats (check out => http://www.smugglerjoestelluride.com/or ... mmary.aspx and http://coloradobeer.org/brewers )
    O. Rico CO - ghost town (check out => http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/co/rico.html )
    P. Taylor Mesa CO - wildlife spotting along FR545
    Q. Dolores CO - supplies and Galloping Goose Museum (check out => http://www.gallopinggoose5.com/ ) plus base camp at Danzl Colorado Cottage
    R. Mesa Verde CO - for future reference (check out => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=13496 )
    S. Tuba City AZ - pit stop on the road home
    T. Sedona AZ - collect my wheels at the Danzl residence
    U. Ahwatukee AZ - home again...



    DAY 1 - Thursday 7/26
    Ahwatukee AZ to Sedona AZ
    129 miles
    2 hrs 19 min 1-way per Google Maps

    Rendezvous at the Danzl residence off Bell Rock Blvd and hit the road early morning for the Colorado mountains....



    DAY 2 - Friday 7/27
    Sedona AZ to Dolores CO via Monument Valley and Hovenweep Ruins
    341 miles
    7 hrs 17 min per Google Maps

    On the road to Danzl's Colorado Cottage along the Dolores River between Dolores CO and Stoner CO with stops at Monument Valley and Hovenweep Ruins. Exited Monument Valley just as a deluge hit. With a side trip into uncharted territory (that would be Hovenweep UT, check out => http://www.nps.gov/hove/index.htm ), we discover "Canyon of the Ancients" and signage for some vaguely familiar ruins (Cutthroat Castle, Painted Hand Pueblo, Lowry Pueblo, etc). I'm filing this for a future trek (check out => http://www.nps.gov/hove/planyourvisit/u ... rMap-2.pdf and http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/nm/canm.html ). Our plans to pick up supplies in Dolores CO are thwarted by the time zone change as we arrive into town at 8pm local time only to discover all the grocery stores closed! Good thing we have some ground beef in the cooler and we're able to pick-up some buns at the local gas station. We arrive at the Danzl Cottage in a light rain. Ralph gets the water turned on while Brian and I get the old-school BBQ fired up with briquettes and mesquite chips. Burgs and beverages to put a bookend on the day...



    DAY 3 - Saturday 7/28
    Dolores CO to Ophir Pass to Animas Forks and Durango CO return
    188 miles
    5 hrs 21 min per Google Maps

    Into the really high country with side treks to Crystal Lake and Lookout Peak near the crest of Ophir Pass. On to Silverton where we caught the narrow gauge railroad (check out => http://www.durangotrain.com/ ) waiting to take on passengers. 4WD trekking up to Animas Forks checking out all the mining relics and ghost towns along the way. I regret not climbing up to higher vantage to snap an image of the entire Animas Forks ghost town complex - next time! Refreshments at the Silverton Brewery and off along the Million Dollar Highway to Durango CO. In Durango, we pick up steaks, fresh picked corn-on-the-cob, mushrooms, onions, etc. for an evening feast back at Danzl Cottage. Interesting light show back at the cottage as a summer monsoon rumbles through the Dolores Valley...



    DAY 4 - Sunday 7/29
    Dolores CO to Lizard Head Wilderness to Telluride CO to Taylor Mesa return
    153 miles
    4 hrs 53 min per Google Maps

    More high country trekking checking out beaver dams along FR535 and the West Dolores River plus a leg stretcher into the Lizard Head Wilderness. Refreshments at Telluride Brewing Company and Smuggler Joes' Brew Pub in Telluride. Up to the Bridal Falls overlook and on the road towards Rico ghost town and primo wildlife spotting on Taylor Mesa. Plenty of elk and deer spotted. No bears - disappointment since Ralph indicated he's seen bear here every time he's visited. Back at Danzl Cottage for another summer monsoon light show and time to fire up the BBQ for some choice tube steaks...



    DAY 5 - Monday 7/30
    Dolores CO to Mesa Verde CO to Tuba City AZ to Sedona AZ to Ahwatukee AZ
    461 miles
    8 hrs, 21 min per Google Maps

    A chance to check out the Galloping Goose and Dolores River Brewing Company before hitting road for home. Conversation along the road included setting a time for a return visit with fall colours being the choice excuse. Maybe a last week in September, first week in October future trek (check out => http://www.narrowgauge.org/4x4/html/autumn.html ) may be in the cards...



    And that's my Colorado Tale 2012!
    Lizard Head Tr to Black Face 12k' Ridge
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Ten wonderful days in western/southwestern Colorado (7/13 to 7/22/07) with 8 full days of hiking and 10 different hikes in the Ouray and Telluride areas.

    This last 7/21 hiking day was a transition day from Telluride to Cortez to spend this last Colorado night before departing on 7/22 back to Arizona.

    South of Telluride on this transition day, a planned stop at the Lizard Head Pass TH for this last and most excellent "five star" hike. A great way to end a most enjoyable hiking vacation in this beautiful area of Colorado :D

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Telluride,CO: Drive south on Hwy 145 from Telluride, past Trout Lake to the top of signed Lizard Head Pass; Turn west (right) at the south side of this sign; Follow entrance road to Parking and TH Start for Lizard Head Trail#505; Pit toilets are available at this parking area;
    page created by Grasshopper on Aug 30 2011 9:30 am
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