Mount Yale Summit Trail

HARD 30 reviews

Mount Yale Summit Trail is a 9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Buena Vista, CO that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from July until September.

9.0 miles 4056 feet Out & Back

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

From the fork the trail is fairly easy up until around 13,000 feet. From here follow the switch backs up to the saddle around 13,900. This area is steep and probably the most demanding part of the hike. Once you reach the saddle you have about 300 more feet of elevation gain which requires class 2 scrambling with options of class 3.

backpacking
18 days ago

This was definitely no joke, the switchbacks at the end will have you in tears. Lots of tall "steps". Without a doubt though this trail is beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent trail, easy to follow the entire way. Not really any false summits since you can see the actual summit once you leave tree line but don't let the last couple miles of switchbacks deter you. They are brutal but totally worth it once your at the top.

2 months ago

moderate 14er, trail is well marked and simple until you reach the last 500ish feet. super fun one!

2 months ago

Great hike it was though, but the scenery was amazing. Boulders close to submit made it challenging.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Great Hike, Trail is well maintained. Tough one but well worth it. The scramble at the top makes this 14er more than just a long walk.

3 months ago

Very nice path throughout up until the scramble at the top where the path is up to you.

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

My first 14er starting below tree line. Tough hike once past the treeline, very rewarding view.

hiking
3 months ago

cloudy and rainy the whole day. wouldn't have it any other way for my first 14er.

3 months ago

Loved this hike. The climb gets going right away and then levels off for a bit. There were some great views along the trail below tree line. There's a pretty challenging set of switchbacks up the ridge, but once you make it up you're so close! The trail to the summit is a rock scramble among some large boulders. Our 50 lbs dog was able to manage, but needed our help in some spots. It's not the best trail to the summit for dogs, but great for humans who love to climb on rocks. It was a nice change of pace after the steep switchbacks, making the last push to the summit very enjoyable. Fantastic views of other 14ers at the top. Of the 10 I've climbed, this is probably my favorite :)

4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

It's a great hike. I haven't done a 14er before but this felt challenging for sure for someone who doesn't live at CO elevations. 4.5 miles up to the top and 4500 elevation gain which means plenty of pretty steep climbing, especially as you come out of the forest and climb the saddle and on. Well worth it though, great views of some many other peaks. Thankfully a perfect day of weather for it. Really easy trailhead to find too.

6 months ago

Great trail. Sleet at the summit made the scramble extremely slick and much more dangerous than expected.

hiking
1 year ago

This is my 6th 14er. It is not a technical climb at fall from this trail. Good solid hike - your (maybe just mine) knees will feel it at the end of the day. Another book listed this trail sat 8 mi. It was 10.2 based on our time. When you get near the top, follow the cairns carefully. There are several areas where what seems to be a path ... is not. My daughter and I do one of these each year together. This was out September climb for 2015. At this time of year, the t-storms have largely gone away, but pay attention to the weathers s you may get snow or hail instead, neither of which adds to an enjoyable descent. The views are standardly wonderful. If you decide to do an overnight trip, there are viable camping areas about a mile in along a stream (see topo). Check to be sure you are not breaking any rules before you act on this though. Great hike in all. The peak will offer up a challenge just when you think you're done.

1 year ago

My first 14er! It was challenging, fun, and had some fantastic views especially if you get to the trailhead early to see the sunset.

hiking
2 years ago

This was a challenging hike. We tried to make it to the top, but the weather rolled in and we were too gassed to make it.
A difficult hike to be sure, but a beautiful one. Make sure you train for this one, hit the trailhead early and take lots of pictures!

hiking
2 years ago

Mount Yale was a challenging 14er. Cool scramble to the top.

hiking
2 years ago

Great trail - from the start, it's a steady uphill climb with only a few spots that level out. The first 2 - 2.5 miles are through the woods and you get to cross a few log bridges across streams.

For a 14'er, this isn't too tough of a trail; it's very well maintained, and only the last pitch up to the summit is extremely rocky and requires some handwork, but it's nothing more than a class 2.

We did this in late July - no snow, but it did start thundering around 11:30AM on the summit and you could see nearby lightning and rain on Mt. Princeton, so we skedaddled off and down.

hiking
2 years ago

Great trail,and scenery, but there is a lot of snow in May. I wouldn't hike it until at lest June.