Rocky Mountains

Lizard Head Trail

Wilderness With A Dash Of Culture

Above the road between Rico and Telluride, in the remote southwest San Juans, there rises a spectacular spire of rock that reminded its namers of a reptile’s head. Few people drive over the pass from which you can see it, and fewer still stop to partake of the view. If you do so on a summer’s day, you may find your view obstructed by Purple Martins and Black Swifts chasing down flying insects. You may watch a Williamson’s Sapsucker drilling into a trunk in an aspen grove. You may encounter a bear shuffling around the edge of the mountain meadow. And then, if you like, you may drive down the road to the world-famous resort town of Telluride, to relax at a summer jazz concert in the cool of the evening. This loop is full of wilderness, but it has a dash of culture-a combination that is highly recommended.