Explore the most popular trail running trails in Collegiate Peaks Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Summited this pretty late in the season. The trail was easy to follow below treeline. Traces of snow but mostly dry and clearly marked. Most everything above treeline was snow-covered to the point that I lost the trail and ended up scrambling to the summit. I had no sense of where the trail was for the last quarter mile. Views from the top were incredible, though! Definitely a difficult hike but well worth it.

Not an easy trail in spring weather, snow was soft and not stable. Still doable for determined people. Had to change between spike to snowshoes to often. Made it to the top an it was all worth it. Views are stunning!

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.

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.

I reached the summit at 12:00 pm on 3/21/2018 with only micro spikes, snowshoes were not needed. The trail was lost and I followed snowshoe tracks that went directly straight up through the tree line. I was a bit tough to get up but once above tree line it was easy to find the trail. Just be weary, there are a ton of tracks that go to dead ends. Once above the tree line head towards the saddle and you are bound to find the trail. This was my 3rd 14er of 2018 and I found it to be pretty safe, as for avey danger.

cross country skiing
2 months 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.

As others have stated, the most challenging part of the trail is above the tree line. Challenging but well worth the views at the top!

7 months ago

Hiked this trail in late October. Had wanted to get to CO to hike a 14'er a month or two ago, but work got in the way. Picked this 14er due to the fact that it has a South approach, and most North approach 14ers have much more snow now. From San Antonio so the elevation was a challenge. Read somewhere about pressure breathing, and it did seem to help. Started at 7:30am, summitted at about 12:30. 5 hours up, 3.5 down. Trail is more like 4.9 miles one way though. Tough trail (for me), but the views are spectacular. Once I got to the saddle, the last ~100-150ft are just sheer boulders. I considered stopping at the saddle because the trail to the top is barely visible. Probably made up my own trail the rest of the way, but decided "I came all this way, why quit now". Totally worth it. Barely any wind. It was probably in the high 30's at the top, but was still stripping off layers due to the strenuous work. Definitely recommend.

Hiked this trail on October 2nd. There was a good deal of snow above the tree line. Many drifts were knee high. Would recommend spikes. Very windy as well, still worth the view from the top

Hiked this mountain yesterday with my dad. Was my 12th and his 28th fourteener. Definitely a harder climb than any other mountain I've done. Started the trail at 5am with headlamps through the forest. Gets pretty difficult when the trail gets above tree line. Lots of steep switchbacks leading to the saddle and then boulder field beyond. Scrambling was super fun leading up to the summit. Overall, awesome views of the Three Apostles, Mt. Harvard, Mt. Columbia, and Mt. Princeton. Took us a little over 3 hours to summit but worth every second.

Great hike. It's definitely difficult in terms of steepness-- 4.5 miles and 4,500 feet. The last bit (maybe 500 meters) is a full scramble to the top. Gorgeous though, and it helps that the trailhead is so easily accessible. Perfectly paved roads all the way to the trailhead.

Camped out Sunday night at a pretty good spot a couple miles past the trailhead. Still managed to get a late start in the morning, but it didn't matter because the weather was perfect. Beautiful, but steep hike through the woods with great views of the changing aspens. However, as most have stated, Yale saves the toughest parts for last. The elevation gain is no joke. Well worth it for the views, and my 6th 14er!

Starts with a beautiful hike through the woods, with a soundtrack of running water from the creek right along the trail. Above tree line, gorgeous views. A long and challenging hike that requires some endurance. We accidentally got off trail and did some precarious scrambling over boulders near the top - don't stray too far from the sandy trail. That said - the sandy trail/loose rock does get slippery and makes it tricky to keep your footing on the descent. We started at 9am which is too late for this 14er, especially at our slow pace - we finished at 8pm, just as it got dark! Lesson: start at sunrise.
Overall - this is a GORGEOUS and CHALLENGING hike.

My first 14er! Great experience. Loved the green forest area with the running creeks, dirt smells and cooler air. After the tree line I felt very exposed. Quite a steep hike until we reach the rocks. I gotta say I loved scaling the rocks. Takes me back to childhood and growing up around the desert buttes of my he Mohave desert.

I will definitely do it again.

Probably the most rewarding 14er I've done so far. Steep for the majority of the route, but the trail is well marked and gorgeous through the treeline. Above it was quite difficult for me at least, the steepness wearing out my legs. But the views from the top, and really throughout the whole hike, were to die for. I take away a star because there's no way this is 8.7 mi round trip, poor estimate.

A little over seven hours round trip in perfect weather conditions. Left the trailhead at 6:15am. Last 200 yards to the top a real challenge. The trail below timberline was awesome!

9 months ago

Excellent. This was my first 14er, and took me about 8 hours to do. Things I should've done: start earlier (plan to be on the trail 15-30 min before sunrise), and spend an extra day acclimating.

Great hike yesterday. Dry conditions. Trail is easy to follow until you get to the last 1500 feet then you need to look for the best route between rock cairns.

This was a great 14ier! The trail is well marked till you get to the rock pile. Then you scramble through the rocks. Beautiful scenery through the trees

My first 14er. A good all day hike with steep climbs, especially at the end. Don't let the relatively short distance fool you, this is a strenuous hike with a big climb in altitude. Not technical, but not easy. A lot of "mountain goat" scrambling across rocks to get to the top. Great views, quiet, not too many people (on a Tuesday morning), nice wildflowers. The trail is well marked for the most part, but easy to lose in a few places.

Attempted to summit Yale yesterday. Started in the rain at about 6:30 and ended in the rain at 11:30 The trail is well maintained, and the views were stunning with the fog hanging at tree line among the peaks-a rare view for an early morning hike in Colorado. We made it to about 13,000 ft then turned back because the cold rain had soaked and exhausted us all. The trail was busy, even for a rainy day. Will be back for this one on a bluebird day in the future!

10 months ago

7/27/17 Hiked this today! Was my first 14er and it was awesome. It was way harder then expected. It took my brother and I about 8 hours. We took a lot of breaks. The trail is decently marked the whole way up. Make sure to try to use the bathroom before reaching the alpine zone/clearing. There aren't many good spots after that. Also, once you reach that, be prepared for the hardest part. Lots of stepping/climbing up rocks in the switchbacks which takes awhile till you reach the summit. Well worth the hike!

Definitely a strenuous hike--the elevation gain is tough, but the scenery and views at the summit are unmatched.

10 months ago

This 14er was awesome! Our first! The views once you get above the tree line are amazing. Definitely save your energy for the back end where the switchbacks are crazy hard. Once you get to the saddle you are basically there and have made it passed the hardest part. The boulder field at the end is more fun than hard just make sure you follow the markers so it isn't unnecessarily hard. We went up on a Sunday and it was VERY crowded so I recommend not doing that. Other than that it was awesome.

First 14er for me to climb. Beautiful and well marked trail all the way to the ridge. The switchbacks as you get to the top are definitely difficult. To reach the actual summit you have to climb across a lot of boulders. Very difficult to maneuver and not marked.

Fabulous. The drive up is long and bumpy. Figure an hour and a half from Aspen to the trail head. The hike to Anderson Lake is relatively easy with only moderate elevation gain. It winds up through pine forest and tops out just above tree line. The continuation on to Petroleum Lake is more strenuous with more elevation gain in a shorter distance. It winds up through outrageous wild flower fields into the tundra with the lake hidden behind the last steep pitch. There a several small wet creek crossings and the trail is still patchy wet with running water in places. Spectacular scenery far from the madding crowds.

10 months ago

Amazing hike very well worth the work. It is a tough one for sure but the views at the top are second to none. Trail is in great shape well distinguished at lower elevations and Marked well with cairns at higher elevations. This is a no joke hike the gain is 4300 feet from the trailhead. I recommend staring early. We started at 6:30 am and summited around 1. The most pica and marmot I've seen on a 14 er yet well worth the work.

10 months ago

This is NOT 7.8 miles like indicated here. It's more like 9.4. A big portion of the top is scramble thru big rocks.
The road is paved all the way to the TH.
The trail runs next (and across several times) a river so there is plenty of water for refill (will probably need to treat it)
Crossing the river over logs can be fun .. or not! :)

10 months ago

In Colorado on vacation from Michigan and wanted to do one big hike so we decided to do Yale. After summiting and completing I can honestly say it was one of the coolest things I've ever done, along with the most challenging physical wise. I'm 18 years old and work out regularly and this hike kicked my ass, so be ready to push your limits especially in the final stretch. I recorded the hike to be about 10 miles long from the Denny creek trail head. Overall amazing experience, itching to do more!

Great long hike!! Holy crap, my wife is still tired from the trail a couple days ago. We started at 3:30 and made good time. Excellent trail, but be sure to use gps to figure out which streams to cross, there are lots of side trails.

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