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2 months ago

Canvyou do this in the winter?

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked 10/27/2018. Did not meet anyone else on the trail today. Snow on the road to the trailhead but still accessible via 4WD SUV (nothing dicey yet, but slow going). Just like the last post, I did not have spikes or snow shoes. Took one hour to the lake and almost as long on the return due to snow. Had poles which helped. Gorgeous area and great for a short dayhike.

Mt. Yale was my first 14'er. I am from the midwest, so not use to seeing or hiking this type of terrain (mainly the elevation). It is not for the faint of heart, that is for sure. But I was in OK shape from running and decided to give it a go.

The river is the first thing you notice at the start of the trailhead. It's refreshing to hear the water rushing down as part of the snow melt. The trail is wide and easy to follow for the first several miles. There was a little ice and snow to deal with below the treeline. I was able to move at 2-4 mph for the first several miles before I decided that I should slow down and conserve energy. Later on, I would realize that was a wise decision.

Getting above the treeline was exciting and you really begin to see the beauty of this trail and climb. The initial part above the treeline is steeper but it "flattens out" for a ways (meaning the elevation gain is not too difficult). The most difficult part that day above the treeline was trying to navigate the trail with large swaths of snow. I lost the trail a few times due to the snow (it wasn't deep and I was up early enough that it was still in the shade, so no post holing). Once you get to the last 1/2 mile or so going up, it moves into a switchback that I couldn't find due to the snow. So, I could see where the false summit was, so I just decided that I was going to start heading up vertical...I did that for ~900' of vertical gain! The most challenging part here was the loose terrain and the fear in the back of my head that I wouldn't make it home to my wife and 3 kids :-) However, I took it slow to make sure I stayed safe.

Once I got to the false summit, it was another 200' up (vertical) having to hop and jump around large boulders. It was also VERY windy. The wind made this part very challenging. But the view up at the summit, seeing so many snow capped peaks, was breath taking. I ate my lunch up there, took it in for about 30 mins, and then headed back down.

One thing I will say, you feel so small when you are on top of a mountain. Great perspective on life from up there. I feel so important most days, but it was a very different feeling up there. Humbling and good for the soul.

The trek down was most difficult for me...didn't realized how much that would pound on my thighs. I had hoped to run down, but decided against it to stay safe. My legs were spent by the time I got down. I took a 3 hour nap that felt like 5 mins!

I'd highly recommend this route...the beauty of the trail is worth all the effort. The view from the top is breath taking. Have a blast!

Loved the trail, amazing views and very little foot traffic (hiked on a Monday am) my GPS said it was 6.7 miles round trip...took over two hours as well...enjoy!!

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice views along the way.

hiking
2 months ago

Snow on parts of upper half of trail. Fortunately for us, someone who knew the trail had preceded us so it wasn’t hard to find the way. Sunny, windy and about 32 degrees at the lake. A beautiful day!

hiking
3 months ago

Short day hike with incredible views! We saw three other people our entire time hiking, so if you're looking to get away from the crowds you'll definitely enjoy this hike!
The road to the trailhead may be inaccessible due to snow, so that's something to consider if you are planning on hiking this during the winter. If the road is inaccessible due to snow, it may tack on an extra 3-4 miles one way.
When we went, the road had a good bit of snow on it, but nothing a Subaru couldn't handle. The snow made the hike a lot harder than it normally is. We did the hike without YakTrax/Micro Spikes or Snow Shoes, but I'd definitely recommend them due to sections of steep rocky terrain that we found difficult to grip in snowy/icy conditions.

hiking
3 months ago

Short but sweet! A real gem!

hiking
3 months ago

Did this hike by accident and WOW im glad i did! Moderate for a coloridian, difficult for a midwesterner like me. Absolutely stunning the way up, both the path and the view of the collegiate mountains. When you reach the top, theres a wooden pole and small plastic box to write your name in. Just a treasure of a trail.

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!

My first 14er. It felt pretty moderate to me, no section of the trail felt hard. Beautiful views from the summit and good colors on the aspens down low. 9-30-18

3 months ago

One of my favorites. The views are amazing. The aspens are beautiful. While the hike just goes up and up, there’s enough variety in the terrain that it doesn’t feel grueling.

lovely and quiet hike. challenging. great drive up...lots to see en route.

hiking
3 months ago

Great views over Buena Vista.

We did this trail in early August with great weather. The trailhead is up the road about a half mile on the left and is easy to miss. There's a great variety of views a long the way, streams, valleys and a beautiful forest below the tree line. A lot of bouldering above the tree line, there's plenty of cairns but it's easy to lose the trail. Amazing but very difficult hike. It took us nearly as long to get down as it did to get up because of how steep it is. Poles highly recommended!

hiking
3 months ago

Loved this hike, Aspens were on in full force and the lake was crystal clear! You can Drive to the farther trailhead if you’re feeling confident in your car, saw a RAV4 and Crosstrek so if you have AWD and clearance I guess you can do it. We didn’t do the full hike, stayed left at the Y to go straight to the lake. So definitely didn’t get as much altitude gain or miles in as the map would say. Also brought my pole up, didn’t catch anything but saw another guy catch one and there was some surface activity

Great for kids. On the lower loop, they have pages of a book every 50 feet or so to keep the little ones going. Great views of the valley.

I would classify this as a moderate hike up to the lake. If you go all the way to the divide, it is hard. Beautiful hike all around. We backpacked in and stayed 2 nights near the lake.

hiking
4 months ago

This is a great combo of two 14ers to hit. You can make it a really nice overnight trip by hiking in to one of the campsite areas just before the split off. The second of the two is nicest and is located right next to a stream for easy access to water.

The leg to get from the summit of Belford to Oxford takes 45-60 minutes each way.

hiking
4 months ago

Some steep sections, but by the time it starts to wear on you, you're already at the lake.
Made it up to the lake in about 40 minutes with a handful of quick breaks to catch my breath.
Beautiful views, especially with the fall colors in full swing!
Saw about 8 other groups of people, including some folks camping on the lake.

Important: the trailhead is up the road a short distance, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 mi on the LEFT next to the green gate (right past it). There are small cairns but easy to miss- look for a sign that says “Attention...” This hike seemed much longer than 8-9 mi, I was with a group of 3 and we all had ~13 mi on our devices. There’s a large boulder field and good deal of scree, which makes the last 2-3 mi pretty grueling. There are also a couple of false summits, so watch for the trail continuing on. I’ve done Huron, Belford, Oxford, and Missouri and this one was the hardest for me. I call this one the beast- such a beautiful beast, though!

One of the best 14ers and trails that I’ve done. Beautiful start through the aspens - the leaves are just starting to change color. There’s a lot of hiking above tree line but you’re on the proper side of the ridge to avoid a lot of the wind until near the summit. A couple of false summits may trick you but the second is almost level with the final summit. A tiny bit of scrambling may be required but the views are well worth it.

3:30AM start on Saturday. Chilly with some frozen precipitation. Summit at 7:20. Warmed up a bit on the way down. No flashlight needed above treeline with a 2/3 moon overhead.

One of the easier class 2s in the Collegiate Peaks, just like most there is a good amount of scree to hike on toward the summit. Made it fun to trail run down after summiting at 8:30Am Aug.31.18, outstanding views of the many surrounding lakes and tallest 14ers in CO. (Massive, Harvard, Elbert) this was my 46th 14er summit as well, thought I should add that as I’ve seen in the past comments it was the hardest one they’ve done..as far as class 2s go I would rank as Moderate. Basically no exposure, and no intense boulder fields just scree piles. Similar climb as compared to Mt. Massive, personally I think Harvard and Columbia are a little more difficult due to the length of the trip. Bring wind gear!

the absolute hardest hike I have ever done. wanted to do a 14er with an incredible view and 14ers.com reiterated the amazing view from La Plata Peak. the hike itself is intense! once you pass the tree line you are basically hiking very steeply on loose dirt and jumping rock to rock. the wind the day we went was about 50-60 mph too (definitely had some thoughts about turning around but we were so close to the top). we started the hike late, around 945 AM and got back to the car around 4 PM so all in all it was 4 hours up and 2 hours down. this hike is not for the faint of heart, it was a mental and physical battle the entire way but the moment you step foot on the summit is one of the most satisfying and breathtaking moments.

hiking
4 months ago

On my way up Mount Belford I was not convinced I would take the second leg of this hike onto Mt Oxford for my 2nd 14er of the day! From the summit of Mount Belford, though, the beautiful saddle leading to Mt Oxford was too inviting to pass up! Not only that, at age 58 I was fairly certain I would not make it back up Mt Belford anytime soon and wanted to take advantage of being 1 hour more from the Oxford summit.

The views from the saddle were gorgeous-making the steep descent more than worth it. Although the opposite side of the saddle was not as steep, with aching legs from the ascent of Mount Belford-I was weary and could feel the fatigue setting in. It took me a little more than one hour to get to the Summit but it was a great feeling to arrive. After quick picture of the geological plate and a bite to eat, I headed back. Gratefully, the accent up the saddle toward the Belford summit was short but was the most brutal part of my all-day hike-with a narrow path, steep incline, and at places, sketchy footholds. With patience and great care-no problem, though.

As I returned via the Missouri Gulch trail, I was grateful not to descend the way I came up on the Mt Belford front. Altogether, 11.2 miles and nearly 10 hours to accent and return to the trailhead. The Missouri Gulch trail brought many varied views not seen on the way up Guilford. It was a delightful return with mountain foliage, a spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. The winding Clear Creek in the valley was beautiful as was the view of Mount Guilford and Oxford behind! A great day hiking in the Rocky Mountains!

Some steep sections but well worth it.

The most difficult I ever done. Started with my wife at 5.50 AM . After a pleasant way in the forest, the trail steep immediately. The real challenge is the last 1.5 mile, with talus scrambling and continues loosing the trail. Same thing going down. The view from the top was excellent. We stay about 30' on the top. The descent took more then the climb, because slippery small rocks. We reached the car at 15.00 PM. Very hard and challenging hike, but it worth. Not recommended for beginners and need some training before to go. Me too recommend to pay attention at the location of the start of the trail, especially in the dark. I think a little more info should be posted at this place.

Got park area at 5.20 AM and leaving at 5.40 with my wife.Pretty cold 30 degrees. Trail start easy, with easy crossing of two streams. The sunrise from Mosquito was stunning with forest start to live. The trail goes up alert 3 miles ,well marked with some steep sections to the saddle at the ridge. Wonderful views all around . The trail remain easy to follow on the ridge paying some attention. Two mountain goats in sight! Passed the false summit quickly we reach the top. Stunning views, even with the smoke from wildfires. Because the nice weather we stay on top for 45 minutes. Back to the car at 15.05 PM. Wonderful hike, strenuous but it worth. We did almost 14 peaks, but this is one of the best at all. We never forget

Such a beautiful hike. Did it as a day trip with a group of 13. The waterfall is absolutely beautiful. Was a great spot to sit and have a snack and rest a bit before continuing to the lake. The 3 miles from the falls to the lake was tough (decent incline and lots of rocks to maneuver over) but so worth the trip. Great place to have lunch before heading back down. I would go back to camp but I would probably drive in from the other side (I'm not in shape enough to pack in on that last 3 miles). So many photo opportunities along the way and you can hear the water flowing for much of the trail. I haven't hiked much this year (nothing beyond 5 miles) so this was a challenge for me but I made it. Bring hiking poles if you have them. We went on a Friday, started at 8:00am and were back to the trail head about 2:00pm. It wasn't busy going in but past a lot of back packers in the way out.

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