National Park Service Visitor Information.

Backcountry Hikes

Telescope Peak Trail

The highest summit in the park, Telescope Peak crowns the range at 11,049 feet. Its windswept slopes are home to ancient bristlecone pine trees, some as old as 3000 years.

Trailhead Mahogany Flat Campground
Length   7 miles one way
Elevation gain   3,000 feet
Time Required   7 to 9 hours round-trip
Topo maps   Telescope Peak 7.5 min. quad or Trails Illustrated map
Vehicle access   Graded gravel to Charcoal Kilns; final 1.5 miles to Mahogany Flat are rough, gravel road OK for 2WD high-clearance vehicles; may require 4WD in winter & spring.
Cautions   No water available at the campground or along trail; may be snow covered and icy from December to May; dogs and horses are not allowed.
   

From the trailhead at 8,133 feet elevation, the trail climbs steadily as it winds around the east slope of Roger's Peak through woodlands of mountain mahogany, pinyon pine and juniper. At Arcane Meadows the trees become scattered and the trail levels out as it meanders across a broad open saddle leading to the final ascent of Telescope Peak. Gnarled ancient bristlecone pines are mixed among stands of limber pine where the trail switchbacks up the east face of the peak. The summit is reached after a short scramble along a narrow ridge. Telescope Peak earned its name from the vast area visible from the summit on a clear day.

Snow and ice usually make this trail too hazardous for all but well-equipped climbers during winter and spring. For safety, it may be necessary to avoid the final switchbacks and stay on the ridge. Winter climbers should be experienced and equipped with ice axe, crampons, winter clothing, boots, and ropes. Be prepared for subfreezing temperatures and sudden weather changes.

Cottonwood/Marble Canyon Loop Hike
     
Telescope Peak
     
Wildrose Peak
     
Suggested Backpacking Routes


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