Explore 14ers - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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This was my first 14er. Not from altitude, and even with both Tylenol 1g and 400mg ibuprofen I still had a pounding headache above 12.5k. That didn't stop me from loving this hike though.

Really tough. Super short of breath. But the views at the end were absolutely amazing. The hike up varied a lot in terrain, and I loved every section of it. Coming down was hard. Lost my way a few times even with a GPS app since the trail was not well marked.

Would do this again.

Would it be a mistake to drive a Nissan Altima the 1.8 miles to the Upper Trailhead?
I’ve watched videos and the road does not look too bad. On the other hand if I got stuck it would be
bad. On the bright side walking the 1.8 miles would be a good warm up. All comments appreciated.
Thank You.

My first Mountain to hike. Started at 6am and got back to my car 4pm. Beautiful views once above tree line all the way to the top. I took my time enjoying my day alone and was in no rush hung out at the top about an hour. Last August

This was the most brutal hike I've ever been on. Man it was hard. I was 28 and in solid shape at that time, but everything after 13,500f was a struggle. My dog and I made it to the top, though most people we met who started the trail had to turn around. It's worth it though! On the way down a giant piece of rock went flying between me and my dog - we were lucky not to get hurt. Make sure you get on the trail before 7am.

This used to be my dad's favorite area to hike when he lived in Colorado 25 years ago. Growing up in CA it was a person goal to come here one day since I'd heard so much about it from him and see this place. Beautiful area as everyone can attest to. Difficult hike even for the physically fit. I loved it, but it was mentally challenging as you get close to the summit due to the many rock steps that lead to the top. Hard on the knee's as well. Make sure to check the weather. Happy hiking

03/16: Drove from 800 ft elevation in mid west, stayed overnight in Leadville and started hike early morning from south Mount Elbert trailhead parking (paved road from Leadville). Usual south trail was closed for renovations and there was a new trail that shoots off of the colorado trail further north. Follow the posted directions on the Colorado trail. Just wore winter hiking boots for most part of the hike but there was about a mile stretch where I had use snowshoes. At the tree line left my snow shoes and used only hiking poles there on. The wind grew stronger as I climbed further and had to wear balaclava. The views at the summit are just amazing. It was definitely worthy.

3/12/18-- trail was covered in deep snow, if it weren't packed it would be really tough to find. But fantastic views and extremely challenging!

Did this hike back mid September last year. straightforward until 1/4 above treeline. got icy and a bit snowy. had to don microspikes. quads were buurrnniinnngg. vast wind gusts at the top, some shelter but not much. simply amazing views! 3L water was enough. trail was well marked.

cross country skiing
1 month ago

A solid intro to back country skiing. Pretty easy-going. My dad and I did this about a month ago and there was just enough snow to ski, but plenty of snow-shoers and micro-spiked hikers did just fine out there.

Lots of mountain goats

They elevation made this hike more difficult, but the view from the top is definitely worth it. I started hiking around 7:50 in the morning and arrived at the summit at about 11:55. I spent about 2 and a half hours at the summit and left to head down at 2:30. I arrived at the trail head at 5:30. It was challenging but i would definitely recommend doing this hike.

This is a decent trail. There is one rough section just below the first false summit but it’s doable in good weather.

backpacking
4 months ago

Very beautiful and very hard. You have to go over a 1,400 ft elevation gain ridge and then straight back down it before you even start to hike Holy Cross. Bring a TON of water and water filtration to refill at the stream crossing. I burned through 5L on summit day. My friend and I did it as the first backpacking trip of the Summer and it was tough over 3 days and 2 nights. Bring bug spray. Our temps got up to high 70's in the day and high 20's at night in July, reapplied sunscreen like 20 times in 3 days and still got some sun exhaustion. Once you get about 1 mile past the ridge a view opens up of Holy Cross that is the most beautiful view I've seen in Colorado.

this trail is the old trail. it closed summer 2017. visit 14ers.com.for the new trail.

11/26, failed summit attempt... 1) 5 miles before getting to the trail head was cover by snow, challenging and kind of dangerous (have to speed up to go over hills but couldnt see incoming traffic). 2) started at 730am, but heavy snow on the trail before the tree line, have to switch between snowshoes and crampons several times. 3) struggled too much just to get to the tree line (1130) plus altitude sickness, finally gave up at the first false summit (1230). Thanks for people who posted here. I have gotten good information by reading the reviews.

hiking
5 months ago

While moving towards the trailhead you enter a aspen tree tunnel, and as it clears you are greeted by grand views of forest, creeks, and Capitol peak in the distance. The trail as some points I found a bit confusing to follow, due to cattle grazing trails in the area, but it is not hard to stay oriented in the direction you need to go. Beautiful open fields filled with flowers, delicious snow melt creeks, and towering rocks made this an unforgettable hike for me. I just went for the day, but it seems like a great place to stay overnight. Also the road to the trail was under-repair, so it may be nicely paved by now. Cheers

I made it to the top today 11-5-17, it was really windy above tree line, I used micro spikes, gaiters, and trecking poles and had no problems. I would recommend a face mask, the wind and snow gave me an ice beard. I parked about 1/2 mile up the 4x4 road, started at 7:30am made it to the top at 11:30am and back to my truck at 3:45pm. The trail was easy to follow all the way to the top, below tree line there was about 1-2 inches, above the tree line on average it was ankle deep, some spots were wind swept clean other spots were mid shin drifts.

It was an hard hike but it was one of the greatest experience I had, above tree line views are mind blowing.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked this on Oct. 5, 2017 with Jay. We slept in his car at the trail head and started at 3 am. It happened to be a full moon that night so we were super luckily with the light from the moon. Through the beginning wooded area it was ice and it seriously required out micro spikes (we passed most people without them and I don’t know how they did it!!), then once we lost the tree line we hiked through about 4-9 inches of snow the whole way. It was incredibly difficult but the sunrise was spectacular. I did not summit as I am a bit terrified of heights and thought the final stretch vertically to the (*false*) summit looked too dangerous for me, Jay really wanted to get to the top so he made it and there were a few other people already there. The way down was sooo much easier as you just kind of tumble through the snow. Jay got a bit of altitude sickness on the way down but felt much better once we hit the tree line. The weather was gorgeous, barely a cloud in the sky. HIGHLY recommend micro spikes and I personally would never do that hike again unless it was in the peak of summer!
Start: 3 am
Summit: ~830 am
Back to car: 1 pm

hiking
6 months ago

It was challenging! But the weather was not too bad, and the view at last make it all worth it ! :) going again in November on Veterans Day weekend, hopefully the trail is open !

October 7, 2017 | need four wheel drive to get to trail head - we had to park about .5 mi from trailhead due to a large rock and decent amount of water on road. Trail was snow covered most of the way up with beautiful views. saw some elk and coyote. definitely harder to navigate the slush on the way down. Wind was too strong to summit but made it to about 13,500 ft in trail runners. Started at 9ish and turned back at 12ish. Can’t wait to try with snow shoes or next summer!

I'm not used to the altitude so this hike was hard for me, there was also snow on the trail on the last 1000 feet so it was slippery on many parts. The view at the top was worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome experience!

hiking
7 months ago

A beautiful, but rigorous hike. It took me, a 54-year-old male in fairly good shape, roughly 10 hours. The younger guys were doing it faster, but be sure to give yourself enough time. Also, take lots of water. I went through 4 liters in September.

Great day! Saw a mountain goat and missed most of the weather moving in! Pro is if my girls who also made it up both peaks 15,12, and 10!

This is a tough test. From 10,000ft to 14,400 ft in 5 miles is hard going. The altitude will hit you at about 11 to 12,000 ft. It took me 4 hours to hike to the top. Did feel the altitude but pushed on through it
People along the trail did suffer and turned back
After you leave the tree line it's heavy going
It's for seasoned altitude hikers.
A great accomplishment.
Good luck

Busy, gorgeous and well worth the hike to bag two fourteeners. It was my second and third one - they are MUCH easier than Bierstadt. Great way to earn a burger and beer.

Very tough hike. Came from sea level and attempted this beast without acclimatization. Made it to over 13,000 feet but altitude sickness laid me low. Very sick. Was able to make it down. Learned some valuable lessons.

Attention all hikers! The trail on this app is not up to date. There as been a new sustainable trail constructed for the lower portion of this trail, which is located about 400ft down the Colorado trail from where the existing use to be. Please read and fallow the sign that says the restoration is in progress. More signs are on the way and will be made more clear. But DO NOT fallow the route that is listed for this app at least until updates can be made.

Anthony is correct. Two miles up from the trailhead on County Road 24 you will find the old section of trail decommissioned with restoration in progress. This is clearly marked. Checks are installed (not built for hiking safety, but to hold water and soil) and revegetation is in progress. Proceed to the new section. It is complete and offers a more stable corridor.

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