San Juan Backpacking


Dec 2, 2013
My buddy and I are looking at a 30-40 mile 4 day backpacking trip in the San Juans. Top priority is scenery (for photography). We both really like the Wetterhorn area but are not familiar enough with the range to piece together a backpacking trip around that area. Any help given would be appreciated.
If I were you, I'd be looking for a route through the Weminuche Wilderness for that mileage and time...especially if your top priority is scenery.
Because that's too long for that area or not long enough?

The Uncompahgre Wilderness is a much smaller area. You can definitely string a few trails together to make a trip that long, but it would be easier in the Weminuche.

I've seen a trip where someone circumnavigated Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre Peaks in a figure 8 loop and the total mileage was only about 22 miles. You could add the summits of Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre to the itinerary to stretch out the trip a bit.

Hiking the Stock Ridge Driveway across the area would probably be long enough for you, but you would probably need a shuttle vehicle for that.