Mount Elbert South Trail

MODERATE 10 reviews

Mount Elbert South Trail is a 4.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Twin Lakes, CO that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.2 miles 966 feet Loop

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Can be tough and very windy.

***One thing to note: the vertical rise and mileage on this page is wrong. The hike from this upper trailhead which requires 4WD to get to saves you some vertical rise but according to the maps at this upper trailhead, the total mileage out and back is 7.6. And the vertical rise is not a mere 1000 ft but 3970 ft.***

1 month ago

this was my second 14er. Pretty easy compared to the other one. Trail is easy to follow. like some else said, the false summits are a bummer to see.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing! Relatively easy for a fourteener.

hiking
1 year ago

Being my 1st I've got to give it a five. The hike is long but relatively easy. The only bummer was the 2 false summits. Hate those! Overall it was wonderful. Spent about 30 minutes on the summit then came the weather. It went from 60 to 30 in minutes and then began the hail. We were running for the trees.

geocaching
1 year ago

It was very long. We looked at the trail map and it said 5.5 miles there and 5.5 back. It was so steep that it felt very long. Great views, top is exceptional. Tallest in Colorado!

hiking
1 year ago

Completed this hike as my first 14'er. I expected it to be difficult, and it was. However, the views were amazing and worth it. Only saw about 10 others on the trail and just 1 dog. The last half was pretty steep.

1 year ago

Great views, steep walk to the top

hiking
3 years ago

I flew into CO Springs late Friday night where my H.S. Buddy from 30 years ago picked me up and we went to his cabin near Divide, (9,400') threw back some single malt, wine and shared stories till 2.am. That 6am wake up was brutal. We still had 2 hours to drive to Elbert and did so under a bright sky seeing the range had received snow the night before.

We were on the trail by 10am, a late start but we were not alone at the trailhead so we knew we were in good shape.

First, let me say this, we were there at the most perfect day anyone can remember EVER. The sky was deep blue. The Aspens were golden and red and with snow above 12k, we were treated to amazing visuals out of a painting. The temp was perfect, probably in the high 40s, which when you start the trail you appreciate as you work HARD. I was not overly concerned about this trail because of the distance. You can see why when you get there, it's ALL elevation except for a few hundred feet of flat.

When we hit the snow it all got much tougher. For me, I had not acclimated, and was a naughty boy the night before, so it was taking it's toll. But we were still faster than most others we passed, but the snow slowed me down. At parts it was 2 ft thick. It was like walking up a mountain in deep snow! Hard work, lack of sleep and elevation effects all combined, I reached for my emergency diamox. Thank god I was prepared. It saved me.

We reached the frigid, windy summit, took our pics of the AMAZING view of the Rockies. I knows it's been said here but you are at the top of the North American Rockies and the 2nd highest peak in the contig. US. You feel it. You see it. You will never forget it.

The descent was brutal, like most descents. You just want off the hill and always question why you do these things, but eventually we made it back through the snow, then to the Aspens and after what seemed much longer than we expected, back to the Jeep.

Great experience, would highly recommend it. Would have been easier without the snow. 2 days after, with the pain subsiding, the glory and memories will live forever. That's why we do it!

hiking
4 years ago

Nice hike up to timberline, then steep climb to rocky ascent to summit. Great view of Twin Lakes as you ascend. Very well maintained trail. Summit is the tallest point in Colorado!