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Tough loop for me. Clouds rolled in on Spalding, almost turned back but as fast as the clouds appeared they disappeared.
Great hike, a little Cairn hunting on the back side of Mt Evans but nothing too bad.
The scree trail down is treacherous with out poles.
The thin air from the altitude is immediately noticeable.

49th 14er, easy class 1 with amazing views of collegiate peaks. No scrambling towards the summit. Very good maintained trail. Start early to beat the crowds! Took me 5 hours round trip, started at 6am back to the vehicle at 11am. Spent only 10-15 mins at the summit.

Pretty easy hike for a 14er until you get to the saddle, then it gets a little technical. We went really slow with this one for a total of 10 hours. Started at 630 and was off the mountain still in plenty of time. If you get a nice weather day in the fall I would highly recommend, the Aspen trees were some of the most beautiful I've seen. Of the 12 14ers I have hiked, this was one is up there as far as a good hike and beautiful views. Enjoy!

Rocky covered with scree a d talus. Trailhead at about 12000, well above treeline. Easily accessible from hwy 285 just south of Fairplay north on County Road 18. Travel on this dirt road until a closed gate parking along the road in front of the gate where ever available. Parking is suitable for a weekend crowd. The dirt road is flanked by a healthy forest of limber and bristle cone pines. There is a short trail called Limber Pine Trail along the way that flanks a creek filled with willows. Great for possible moose sightings. The hike from the closed gate to the summit of Mt. Sherman is about 2.5 miles and about 2100 feet elevation gain. There is a very short area of exposure along the ridge near the top as well as strong winds.There are two false summits as well. Like any alpine peak, the view from the summit dismisses all experiences of wind rocks and fatigue. Great hike for a first 14er. It was considerably easier than most of the other alpine hikes I did this past summer. Sadly, I missed the wildflowers on this peak due to the lateness of the season.

Great hike with amazing views from the summit. It is a long hike with false summits. Just keep hiking until you can see 360 deg panorama view (also you can tell it’s the peak). Took 4 hrs up and 2 coming down(had poles which saves an hr coming down!!) poles also save time on climb also!! Once you get out of the forest , the views are great the whole way to the top ! There was snow on top of mt and it was windy and cold so take layers! I was surprised there was not a rock scramble to the peak. There is a good trail from the base to the peak which makes this 14’r easier from technical standpoint than most. It is a long hike but not very difficult . I left at 7 am and didn’t see but 1 person going up. Coming down I saw 20 plus! If you want solitude, go early!!
Fun 14’r- take plenty of water and good shoes as it is a long hike! My gps showed just shy of 10 miles but vertical is just short of 4500’ which is a full day

hiking
19 days ago

We arrived around 8am and there were still some spots in the lot. We beat the gates opening, so we only had to pay $5. Keep in mind, the drive to the lake/parking lot is very high up and narrow. It's not for the faint of heart.

We had been watching the weather, but it was an absolutely perfect blue sky, Colorado day. The fall foliage was absolutely stunning. There wasn't much wind at the top.

The hike to Mount Spalding wasn't too intense. It climbs in elevation quickly, but if you take your time, you shouldn't be impacted by the altitude. There was only one area where we had to lift our pups up, just because there wasn't a good way for them to scale the rocks.

When you finish with Mount Spalding, you go down in altitude, before beginning your hike up to Mount Evans. While at a high altitude, it didn't climb quickly as you scaled the side of the fourteener. Be prepared to make your way across rocks without a visible trail in some areas. The dogs did great and it was a good first fourteener for them.

Use All Trails to find the route down after Mount Evans. You'll definitely miss it, if you don't. It's very steep and pebbly. Our pups were not fond of it on their paws.

Overall, a great fourteener with beautiful views and some challenging areas.

Roommate and I completed the trail in ~4.5 hrs, which we feel pretty good about considering how out of shape we are. No snow yet, but a lot of the trail is loose gravel/scree, and by the end I was wishing for my knee brace. It was extremely windy up on the ridge but calm at the summit. My little '07 Honda Fit made it all the way up to the trail head just fine -- can't say I'd recommend it, but if your only option is a low-clearance vehicle, it's doable.

Beautiful views, great for hiking in off-season (late fall/winter). Not anything gnarly like other 14ers, but it’s a great first one.

As part of an Outward Bound course, I carried a 65 pound pack over the top of Mt Elbert, as we did not return the route we ascended. That was 38 years ago. I plan to try it again as a day hike at age 65.

Absolutely perfect day for the hike. Hiked on 9/23 spots throughout the hike were pretty windy but once you get to the top extremely calm. Make sure you have some layers as the temperature changes throughout and something for your ears.
Views were spectacular!

9/22 - Not a cloud in the sky, pretty windy but otherwise perfect conditions. Large, flat summit with amazing views! Easy for a 14er, just some pretty loose rock so be careful. The road to the trailhead can be a bit rough, but it’s far better than the Grays/Torrey’s Road. Would recommend highly as a first 14er or just a plain beautiful hike.

We arrived at the parking lot around 8am and there were still a handful of spots. This means we also got to skip the Echo Lake pay station (opens at 8am) and only had to pay $5 at Summit Lake (there were park rangers checking the fees when we finished the hike, so yes, they do check).

We hiked this trail clockwise, which is the opposite of what is listed. I really enjoyed getting the uphill portion done quickly and having most of the hike be downhill after that. The turn off of the road onto the trail is not very obvious so the AllTrails App was helpful for that. It was very windy at the top of Evans, but the views were great and there were few people since the road already closed at Summit Lake for the season. The wind died down afterwards thankfully. We had a great time following the ridge over to Spalding and back to Summit Lake as it was just a gradual downhill hike while maneuvering through the rocks. This did require conscious foot placement to avoid tripping and following cairns as trail markers. We enjoyed this, but it is something to be aware before going of if you don't enjoy that in a trail.

Overall, a great experience and beautiful views with only a handful of people at the summits!

first 14er!

off road driving
26 days ago

Broke a rear locker and still worth it!

The dirt road was kind of a bumpy ride. But the trees are all yellow! It was a sight for me being from Houston. This was my first 14er and I had to take a lot of breaks. I took my time drank lots of water. My bandana helped a lot by breathing into it. It was hard but not imposible. The trail is soooo rocky, there was times when I couldn’t help but slide down. Watch your step. Don’t reinstall an ankle. I think I finished in 5 something hours. I run a lot in Houston so I think that helped me a lot. I felt really sick on the drive down. Could have been car sickness mixed with dehydration. I drank a lot of water and got really good sleep and felt brand new the next morning.

I came from 5 feet above sea level - I live in New Orleans- to do my first 14er. I did 4 hikes in the 3 days before to acclimate. Seemed to work well. We maintained a planned pace with built in rest breaks. If you are looking at your altitude, the false summits aren’t really false. It is hard if you don’t hike at altitude regularly, but doable.

It was simply awesome. The comradery at the summit was really cool with about 20 people all just kind of hanging out. So glad we picked this hike.

This was by far the hardest hike I have done. Such a mental and physical challenge. I would bet more than half the people hiking up did not summit the day I was there. Do not take this lightly. I started at 7am and finished at roughly 5pm. Spent about 45mins-1hr at the summit taking in the hard earned views. The views and the accomplishment are enough to make it well worth the struggle. I did not taking hiking poles and was just fine. My Apple Watch did clock it in at longer than all trails states - ~11-12 miles for what that’s worth. I did not think the false summits were as bad as everyone said. Aspens were golden and gorgeous and the weather conditions were great. Don’t forget sunscreen, I have a burnt nose to prove it! Don’t under estimate this hike, seriously! Though it is ranked one of the easier 14ers as far as the class of the climb, climbing this much elevation this quickly is TOUGH!! But so so worth it if you can grit through it!

Great and challenging, quick trail. Went last Friday (9/14) and I got to Echo Lake before 8a so I didn’t have to pay an entrance fee; but I did have to pay when I hit Summit Lake at the pay station ($5 so no biggie). The lot was open and not too many cars parked. I started the trail with my dog at around 7:30a and we finished around 11:00a even after we took the road down to the lot. The road up to the summit of Mt. Evans is closed so no one was on it. When I came back the lot of filled and overflowing with cars so definitely recommend getting there early. I also HIGHLY recommend abiding by the rules and KEEPING your dog on a leash and there are some spots you may have to hoist your dog up some rock or direct them on the rocky paths with the carins. Not to mention there are some steep drops close to the sides of the trail and many squirrels living in the rocks - so don’t risk letting your dog off the leash and having them take off on the side of the mountain!

arrived at 6am, car park half full. Heavy going for someone from sea-level....! follow the cairns to stay on track, lots of helpful hikers along the way to help the tourist from London; needless to say, absolutely stunning scenery, memorable sunrise from Mt Spalding. Tips: take toilet roll for the restrooms, headscarf/earmuffs to prevent earache from the howling wind, poles if you have them, get there early if you want any chance of parking in the Summit Lake car park. Thank you Colorado!

Did his yesterday. And phew! We got about 9.5 miles up and back. Prefect fall leaf peeping weather but lots of sun exposure so put sunscreen on a few times. We did it in about 5:45 but it was exhausting ! Pèrfect fall weather , emptied our camelbacks and wish we’d had a little more water so bring a bunch . Saw several people not equipped and with kids as small as 3 at treelike late in the day and they looked miserable. I would advise NOT bring smaller children too far up as they all were crying and miserable. Some having to try and carry kids (or asking strangers to carry their kids down?!) down on rough terrain. Make sure you have an older, tough kid for this if you go past tree line!

Great hike and worth the amazing view at the top! I started at 5am and it took me 6 hours to summit and 3 hours to come down - slower than the average person and I stopped a lot, especially on the way up. I had no storm threat today so wasn’t stressed to go fast. Coming down also took some time because it was very slick due to loose gravel on steep downhills, and the additional feel of legs turning to jello. Don’t let the “class 1, easy to follow, only 10 miles” fool you. Shorter trails = steeper. If you prefer less steep but longer routes are good for you, check the other “class 1” route to the top. I haven’t done that route but heard several good comments about the other route. this trail is well marked and no concern starting before dawn, assuming you have a flashlight. My two devices clocked in at 11 miles and 12 miles respectively. When actually on this route, I wouldn’t judge your time left based on miles left, but rather remaining elevation climb. As everyone already said, false summits are no joke and mess with your head.

A lovely day, weather was great when I hiked this on Sept 10, 2018. Trailhead was easy to find. It was a Monday in September so there were no crowds. Enough other hikers to make you feel safe, but no congestion at all.
There are spots near the top that are quite steep but totally doable and still Class 1. It was really windy at times, so wearing my rain jacket even though it was sunny worked out well.

Nice easy 14er if you're doing this route. It was a beautiful day and I got some really nice views. It took me 2 hours even, but I'm acclimated so I'd allocate a bit more time if you're not.

The first false summit is ok, because you know it’s coming. The third false summit is fine, because you can see the top from there. That second false summit though...
Still, 5 stars, especially now, because all the leaves are changing colors.

Overall, wasn't that bad. No big rock scrambles, some steep portions. My group read that this was 15 miles up and down...we recorded somewhere around 11-12. started at the trailhead at 5am, above tree line by 6:30 for the sunrise, summit before 10am. It did have the false summits people talk about, but they're not really false if you're watching your altitude via an app, right? it was windy at times, but nothing more than what you'd expect at 12k+ feet with exposed terrain. Probably wouldn't try this if you can't walk up a few flights of stairs, or get winded walking your dog. Honestly, this was not that bad as long as you know what you're getting in to. highly recommended.

Beautiful Fall Day!

I’m not sure how much I can add that hasn’t already been reviewed...start early, lots of water and snacks, two false peaks, 2nd highest peak in the continental U.S., yada yada. This was an ambitious undertaking for me as it was my first 14er. I’m a southern boy accustomed to living life at less than 2000 ft above sea level. I came out a day early for a warm-up hike to acclimate to the altitude. The impact from altitude is real; I never experienced altitude sickness but being short of breath and elevated heart rate definitely impacted my hike. Pack appropriately...I did this hike in August and wish I had packed gloves and a winter beanie as it was upper 40’s above the tree line with 40 MPH winds. The first false summit is the toughest, so don’t be discouraged. Once you make the first false summit, you’ve knocked out the hardest part. This hike is brutal at times, but pace yourself nice and slow, take breaks as needed, and soak in this amazing gift from God. Be prepared for an emotional tsunami when you do summit. Take a few moments at the summit to enjoy your accomplishment.

What a great trail! Perfect 14er to start with. Took about 5.5 hours since my friend was a little out of shape. First part is a killer and the last part will be rough on knees. Amazing views!!

This was me and my husbands first 14er that we've done! We definitely enjoyed it and were surprised that the altitude didn't really bother us. We made it to the summit in 1 hr and 35 min which I think is pretty good. As the other reviews state, the road is bumpy at points but I have a truck so it wasn't a big deal for us at all and made it from fairplay in about 20-30 min. Only negative for me was the people who had their dogs off leash. Couldnt control their dogs when we hiked pass with ours on leashes. I'm sure it was just those few people though as others were thanking us for having ours on leashes. But, the view is worth it!!

My first 14’er! Albeit an easier 14’er, this hike was hard.... bring lots of water, and do not let the false summits fool you! Honestly, even coming back down was a challenge - what is steep walking up is also steep going down. Got to the trailhead at 5:30-5:45AM and summited about 10:30AM; there were about 30 people at the top. The views are absolutely stunning and ~2/3rds of the hike is completely exposed.

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