North Mount Elbert Trail is a 8.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Leadville, CO that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from May until September. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
An easy non-technical day climb, that is if you are used to the 14,440 ft elevation At 14,440 feet Mt. Elbert is the highest point in the Sawatch Range as well as the state. On this 4,500 foot climb you'll mostly be above treeline so be prepared. You will also be at altitude so make sure you allow yourself plenty of time. Also, make sure to get a VERY early start because thunderstorms always roll in during summer afternoons and it is highly dangerous to be above treeline in an electrial storm.
It's pretty long, which can make it difficult. But definitely a great hike if you want to get to Colorado's roof. If you drive up the night before, make sure to stop in the field just past Leadville to look at the stars
Wow. What a hike and views . Loved it
Like always, START EARLY. We started at 530 a.m. and were lucky to pass a few groups ahead of us to reach the summit first. Slippery with fresh snow after you get above tree line. Three false summits, cold & windy.
Start early, especially if you're traveling from Avon/Vail area; hit the trail head just after 6:00am and finished just after 10:30am, but I'm an aggressive hiker and consider myself in relatively good shape. On my descent, I passed nearly everyone, which made for a peaceful trek back. Views are definitely worth it! May be good to bring a hat and gloves as it gets a bit chilly towards the summit, especially in early morning.
I also brought my 1.5yr old German Shepherd who did great!
Amazing view from the summit!
Beautiful from the summit! The mountain wilderness to the west is magnificent! Go in the morning if you can!
Hiked on 7/31. Beautiful, challenging and long. I recommend starting early as it can be a very long trek. Also, we hiked through 2 hail and electrical storms on our way down. We had rain gear and I would recommend bringing a poncho or rain jacket. I agree with the previous posts about the false summits. It was important for me to get me head around those and keep moving upward. The final ascent to the summit is easy and the views are out of this world.
Mt. Elbert - Northeast Ridge Trail
Climbing up Colorado's 14er is super fun and the views are gorgeous. The false summits can be demoralizing if you're not prepared, so be sure to read up on the trail and what to expect. Start early!
Great trail except for the steep part up the left side of the first false summit which we nicknamed The Devil's Slide. Loose rock made that part miserable both going up and coming down. Agree that this seems longer than the stated mileage and at 4,700 feet elevation gain it's no walk in the park. Still, a beautiful hike if you can steel your mind past the false summits and there's nothing better than standing on the highest mountain in Colorado.
Hiked in late July, and it was snow free. One of the easier 14ers, but it is beautiful.
It was a beautiful hike!
Can't state that enough, it was well worth the effort and an awesome challenge.
Being from Georgia, the altitude hit pretty hard. Muscles ached, had to take quite a few breaks around the false summit/crux portion of the trail.
A few tips that may be helpful.
1. Take more water than you think you'll need.
2. Layer your clothes, it gets hot, then cold with the wind especially at the summit, as you'd imagine.
3. Wear good boots and break them in.
4. Sunscreen and bug spray for the mosquitos, if you're planning to camp. Offered it to some people on the trail as they seemed to be very bothered.
Awesome hike. I started up the trail at 4:45 by flashlight, which put me on the summit at 8:30 and I had the summit to myself for a bit being the first one to arrive. The views on top are incredible and it is certainly worth hiking at least once.
If you read up on this peak from various reference materials, there are a number of 'false summits' that can demoralize you. Alltrails says this hike is 8.6 miles, my GPS track recorded 10.6 round trip. Regardless, it is a long hike, taking me 7 hours round trip with some stops. In my view the hardest part of the mountain is up the last false summit at 13,200 where it becomes very steep. If you can motor past this, wrap around the side and get up on top, you got the mountain beat.
Being prepared is the key to insuring success and no disappointment, so here's my recommendations:
1. Start early. You get better weather, the trail is quiet and you might get the top by yourself! :)
2. Get into shape. This is not a technical climb, but it is still long day at high altitudes particularly if you are visiting from out of state. If you have the opportunity to stay in Colorado for a bit, it will help. Also doing some conditioning hikes days before will make a lot of difference.
3. Wear good boots. Particularly coming down is hard on your feet. This is the most important thing to spend money on.
4. Using AllTrails and/or some other GPS, set 1,000 ft. ascent way points. This helps you forget about distance and think about climbing, which is where the mental game with this hike is and helps you look beyond the false summits.
5. Bring layered clothes. Even though it was July, the wind yesterday got bitter on more than one occasion.
6. Drink plenty of water. It goes without saying!
Good luck and be safe!
It was a very pretty climb and so worth it. My buddy and I hammocked about an hour up into the trail and started early.
My first solo 14er. Not too difficult. View from the top is absolutely amazing. Totally worth the hike.