Don't let the name fool you. Engineer Mountain is a beautiful hike full of wildflowers, wildlife and panoramic views.

We were vacationing in the San Juan Mountains for 2 weeks.  A local resident suggested the hike as a great place to see wildflowers.  The "Engineer Mountain" sounded a bit too technical to be a scenic hike but we decided to hike like a local and this was one of the best hikes we did in 2 weeks.  Accessible but still a challenge that we could take our dogs along.  Don't let their size fool you.  These are hiking dogs!

The trail head is located across the highway from the rest area in Coal Bank Pass.  There is plenty of parking and despite the amount of cars we saw very few people on the hike.

Right out of the car you step in to a wildflower field with flowers as tall as you!  Great start to a hike we were hesitant to take.  Flowers give way to a heavily forested trail filled with birds and deer.  Not any lookout points until the top but the scenery along the way more than makes up for it.  As you near the end, the terrain levels off and the "rock glacier" sits at the far edge of the mountain.  This flat area offers wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding ranges and a great place to stop and eat at picnic rock.  After a rest there is a steep incline to follow the trail to the top.  Loose gravel and steep incline make for a slow hike but the payoff is worth it.

Be careful in the final ascent, take plenty of water/supplies and enjoy the views. 

Pack List

  • Day pack
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Plenty of water
  • Snacks or lunch
  • Camera
  • Dogs
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RT Distance 11 Miles
Elevation Gain 2378 Feet
Activities Photography, Mountain Biking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly


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