Named for three columnar stone shafts that resemble the tail feathers of an eagle, the feature attraction of the Eagletail Mountains Wilderness is rock. There are trees, to be sure, and other types of vegetation; an interesting botanical phenomenon, in fact, is a relict, low-elevation population of juniper and oak on the north slope of Eagletail Peak. But rock—sawtooth ridges, natural arches, towering spires, buttes, monoliths—is what brings many backcountry enthusiasts, including technical rock climbers, to this wilderness.
The wilderness includes fifteen miles of the Eagletail Mountains ridgeline to the north and Cemetery Ridge to the south with a large desert plain in between. Rock climbers head for Courthouse Rock or Eagletail Peak. It’s not great rock, climbers will tell you, but the faces are huge and offer numerous routes. This trail guide covers an area with 24 miles of trails.
© Tom Dollar & Jerry Sieve/Westcliffe Publishers. All Rights Reserved.