Explore collegiate peaks wilderness - 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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hiking
9 hours ago

Easy trail, great views, somewhat crowded. Stop at the tunnel and eat lunch. maybe fish Hangerman Lake. More noise than expected from the pass road.

Had a great hike yesterday - sunny, windy at times and on the cooler side. This would be a great starter hike for the less-experienced. Interesting mine ruins and fantastic views. A fun stretch of ridge on top leads to a broad and flattish final stroll to the top. You won’t regret this super hike!

Very exposed hike which is obvious from the photos of the overall trail. The math doesn't lie!! 4700 ft gain in 4.55 miles equals 1,000+ ft per mile. That's steep.
Maybe it's just 2018, but Elbert is a very dry hike. Not that many wildflowers and no water for dogs past the only creek crossing at .25 miles...
Trail is well defined all the way and not very narrow along the higher elevations.
If you want easier, look at longer hikes where the overall elevation gain is spread over more mileage. Mt Massive is an amazing experience!

backpacking
15 hours ago

Harvard was a great hike. We hiked up to near the tree line the day before and enjoyed great temperatures in the trees. The elevation change is mild up until the last 2.5 miles. After this it was challenging and quite steep. The only problem we had was that the trail was a little confusing at points. Look for the rock piles to guide you. The last 300 yards require you to scramble and the most obvious route is not the best and if you go
A little to the right it is easier. The way down does not require trekking poles but they do help. Great views of many small lakes and a picturesque stream. Great hike with a small overnighter

Incredibly steep but short hike with rewarding views at the top. Gorgeous lake, and despite the busy trail we still found ourselves alone at the top for most of the morning on Saturday.

hiking
19 hours ago

I took my mother who is visiting from the east coast on this hike as an intro/easier hike at altitude so she could acclimate. We started around 8:30am on a Sunday morning and there was no one around. For the duration of the hike, we only saw 4 people total, which is rare for this time of year and type of hike.

Specific directions and tips:
— If you don’t have a high-clearance vehicle, I would park at the base of the road and walk up the 0.9 miles to the sign reading “3 Elk Trail.” I have a Honda Accord and didn’t want to risk it.
— Nowhere on the hike will you find any signage saying “Harvard Lakes trail.”
— At the sign reading 3 Elk Trail, turn left and continue along the logging trail.
— You’ll cross the creek a few times and meander through the woods, before the trail intersects the Colorado Trail. This is about 1.7 miles from the 3 Elk Trail sign.
— Turn left (West) onto the Colorado Trail, and you’ll hit the first, smaller lake on your right. Continue along the trail and you’ll soon see the second, larger lake on your left.
— There’s an unofficial trail that loops the lake, with a few remnants of campsites.

There weren’t many wildflowers along the trail since the climate has been so dry. Still a wonderful, beautiful hike. I recommend getting an early start since it gets hot quite quickly.

hiking
20 hours ago

Pretty easy 14er. From the gate to the summit is 2.45 miles. It took us 2 hours and 50 minutes round trip but we stopped at the top for about 15-20 minutes. It was pretty windy in the saddle. The road to the trailhead is rough! Don’t bring your Cadillac.

We made it to the trailhead in our rented minivan without any trouble, though we took it slow and easy. Three dads and four youngsters, ages 11 to 14, made the climb without any difficulty. We’re all from the East Coast and handled the elevation by stopping about every 100 feet of vertical climb. We began our hike at 9:30am last Thursday morning and reached the summit at noon. The summit is pretty flat and our weather was outstanding, so we hung out at the top for a while. The hike back down took about 1h15. We could have applied more sunscreen, but otherwise the trip was perfect.

hiking
1 day ago

The road is actually not very rough compared with Mt Democrat. Any pickup or SUV can make it to the 12000 gate easily and there is room for an easy turn around at the gate. Beautiful views and the easiest 14er I’ve done so far. Some smoke in the air from wildfires at the start this AM. Clear up top. Fireweed, Indian paintbrush, asters and other composite flowers abound. Could not find the bench mark. Anyone seen it?

Beautiful lake at the top of a short, steep hike! Great hammock spots!

Wow! My 1st 14er! Diverse trail, rock stairway to the heavens, mountain goats and an incredible 360 degree view!

A nice hike with some fun scrambling when you get close to the lake!

Easy and short for a 14er, would be a good intro peak for someone new. Good view at the top. Road up to the trailhead is rocky and rough, but plenty of 2WD vehicles made the trip.

Incredibly strenuous hike. The loop accesses three 14ers in the San Isabel National Forest. Mt. Missouri (14,067), Mt. Oxford (14,153) and Mt. Belford (14,197).

Word of caution: this is closer to a 17 mile loop, NOT 12. I don't know where All Trails sees a path on the eastern slope of Missouri, but it is non-existent. Instead, you have to take a mile longer (but probably safer and less severe) route and come from the west. From there, the mileage is still off.

We arrived at the parking lot at 4:50am on a Saturday and it was already full. We camped nearby, and there are plenty of spaces. Most of the hikers head to Belford, but for this loop you want to take Missouri first. You'll do this by following the path towards Fikhead Pass. As noted above, you'll come up the western side of Missouri. You have to come back down this way and up the pass to access Belford/Oxford.

We were going to hit all three but storms came in at noon and we had to hike out, only hit Missouri and Belford. Normally, you'll want to be off the mountain by 2. Our storms hit at noon.

You can view the hike we made here: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2869855938

Beautiful trail, light traffic. Next time I’ll bring a hammock and lunch

I’m going tun

Easy for a 14er. Ridge near the top is a little dicey but easily doable with minimal skill. Great panoramic views at the top. Road to the trailhead is one of the worst I’ve ever driven - you really need high clearance, tons of potholes and rocks.

This is one of the prettiest bikes that I have done in Colorado. It is a long drive back in and it a 1 lane road when you get back closer to trailhead. I would recommend a 4wd once you past the first trailhead parking for Mt. Massive. Our GPS reading showed that it was 6 miles not 5.4. Well worth the drive.

hiking
4 days ago

The moderate trail rating is very accurate. The majority of the trail is hiked in the woods. The trail opens up to bogs and meadows as you get close to the lake. We hiked in late July and the wildflowers were in full bloom. The lake is small but very scenic. Later in the day, on our way down, there were a good number of backpackers setting up camp around the lake. We hiked an additional 35 or 40 minutes past the lake towards Browns Pass. This portion of the trail was strenuous but afforded some really great views of the lake and meadows. The additional effort was worth the views.

So windy holy cow! Be careful I heard it’s like this all the time.

So beautiful and my favorite 14er so far! The wildflowers were so pretty and there was a water fall to the right as your hiking up to summit. Nice clean non rocky trail the most of the way. Then just 5 to 10 minutes before the summit was boulder field.
Amazing and recommend for a first 14er!

Fun trail that takes about 4 hours for an average hiker. If you’re here for the lake views, you can stop at the Interlaken buildings. The second half of the trail is largely out of view of the lake. Elevation is relatively steady with only brief climbs and falls. Can be pretty busy on a nice day. If google maps tries to take via Lost Gulch Drive, ignore it, most of that road is privately owned. Continue on the highway and turn off near the dam.

Had the best time hiking this today! This was my tenth fourteener and probably has been my favorite so far. Not super hard and the trail was very well defined and easy to follow. Views were some of the prettiest I have seen! It also isn’t as popular as Elbert which I did last summer so it was nice not having the trail be super crowded. Saw some mountain goats as well. 10/10 recommend!

We hit this trail on a very cloudy and wet day! It was a pretty peaceful hike with very little traffic. I am a 40 year old man who never hikes and we made the lake in just over 90min. No fish is what they say but I didnt break out the rod to test the waters. Here is a quick video. https://www.facebook.com/WPUNDERGROUND/videos/2115173798724641/

First 14er I ever did. Trail was easy to follow, lots of other hikers going up that day. Had to stop often to catch my breath.

Great camping along the road to the trailhead, both free dispersed and pay sites w bathrooms. You must have good clearance probably 4WD to get to the trailhead undamaged. A few Subarus were up there but I guarantee they bottomed out on a few spots. There is a gnarly drainage/culvert about 1/4 of a mile before the trailhead. Some butt was parked right before it when i was leaving and only left a crappy line down in my 3in lifted FJ that I still bottomed out.
Hike is awesome, pretty easy for a fourteener. Lots of rocks, hard on the feet, ankles and knees coming down. 2 or 3 false summits, be prepared. I went through 5L of water, applied sunscreen twice and definitely bring bug spray for the first part.
Lots of really cool views both of the Elk Range and of Leadville and the surrounding lakes and scenery. Spectacular views of the Halfmoon lakes and valley on your way up.

Pretty easy hike (for a 14er). The ridge was awesome but a little scary ( make sure ur on the right side of the ridge. On side is tough and one side is safe.

Was awesome!! Done 11 and this was my favorite.

This hike is amazing! Very strenuous and long, we started at the trailhead at 5 am and finished around 2:30 pm. The elevation change is very difficult; we did the hike without trekking poles but I definitely recommend them. There are some spots where they would've been very helpful. Make sure to bring alot of water and take some breaks, 16.5 miles is no walk in the park.

nature trips
6 days ago

A nice hike overall. I would recommend it for a day hike. It was pretty crowded by my standards. Lots of dogs on and off leash at the top. A guy smoking pot at the top too. But I managed to find a nice quiet rock to sit and each lunch and stick my feet in. The top of the hike is where you gain all of your elevation which not the best. At that point the trail is a bit eroded. It could use some basic maintenance, but manageable.

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