Mount Elbert East Ridge Trail

HARD 22 reviews

Mount Elbert East Ridge Trail is a 11.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Twin Lakes, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until September.

DISTANCE
11.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4845 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

The highest peak in Colorado. The east ridge can be accessed from Leadville CO. Beautiful views from the summit. Cold in May. The East Ridge is the easiest route from the others routes. This route is classified as a Class 1 route. Beautiful views of Twin Lakes and other mountains at the top. Make sure to check the weather conditions prior to going.

hiking
15 days ago

Amazing views. Definitely requires some athletic ability, although it's definitely worth it.

Started at the trailhead at 0715 and made the summit at 1005.

hiking
24 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful hike. The map I followed doesn't utilize the Colorado Trail very well, so we ended up following the road from the lower trailhead to the top of Mt. Elbert. This is a LONG one though, started at 0450 and summited at 0952, then left at 1054 to arrive at the lower trailhead again at approximately 0230. We were exhausted, but happy to complete the trail today.
- Beautiful wildflowers most of the way up
- Tons of aspens would make this a gorgeous autumn hike
- Nice views of Mt. Massive, La Plata, Leadville, the Twin Lakes, and countless other peaks
- Take a ton of water, don't try the 4WD road if you only have a 2WD, and make sure that you pace yourself. You can burn yourself out pretty quickly if you aren't careful about your energy expenditure and have poor breath control.

Happy hiking!

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great hike! There are amazing views of Twin Lakes along a lot of the route. It is fairly strenuous at some points, especially the last little bit to get to the summit. But the views at the top are incredible and are well worth the hike. Some say Elbert is one of the easiest to climb, but when you're walking up 4,500 feet it's really no joke. It was my first 14er but I'm sure there are other "easier" hikes in terms of length and elevation gain.

I did the trail with my dog and he was a champ, but he's used to walking 6+ miles/day so keep that in mind. Someone at the top had booties on her dog that I'd recommend considering if your dog isn't used to walking or is prone to blistering.

Also, don't rely on my recoding time as I forgot to stop it at certain points (when I was hanging out at the summit and when I got back to my campground). I left a little further than the start point at 5 am and hit the summit around 9 (not taking into account some no -hiking breaks, like figuring out how to ford the stream/river before the main trailhead). I camped along the forest road and was back at my campsite around 11:30. I didn't see too many people on my way up, but passed a lot on my way down. I'd suggest starting early so you don't have to turn back when the afternoon thunderstorms come about and miss the summit.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

4 months ago

Very beautiful trail with gorgeous wild flowers along the way, a lot of switch backs and several false summit, but overall a nice graduate incline. First 2 14ers ever in 2 consecutive days to celebrate my 1 month of moving to Colorado!

hiking
5 months ago

So this is listed as one of the "easiest" 14ers.. be forewarned, this trail is nothing but easy. I thought that Quandary and Bierdstadt were way easier then this. I think they listed it as easy because the trail is easy to follow and there's no scrambling or bouldering. The elevation gain and amount of time you need it what will get you. This took us 12.5 hours and it was our first 14-er. We were lucky that there wasn't a chance of rain or storms at all, otherwise we wouldn't have made it. We started at 6am at the trailhead. Very tough hike.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Friday, August 05, 2016

hiking
Monday, June 27, 2016

Mixed feelings on this one. For a non hiker it is a total butt kicker. If you have been hiking it may not be as tough but man it goes straight up in places and that made me not like it as much as I wanted to. Bottom line: train before committing to this beast.

hiking
Friday, August 21, 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

hiking
Friday, April 24, 2015

Great camping and hiking with a great group of friends. Long day of hiking, but that made the campfire all the better!

hiking
Monday, December 29, 2014

Great trail! WIfe and I hit this on 4th of July weekend 2013 and made a day of it! Can't wait to run this trail again. The experience and views are beyond words!

hiking
Friday, August 29, 2014

9 hr RT hike for us but all 4 of us made the summit. Amazing views for sure....definitely want to pace yourself on the way up especially if your not in great shape like me. For a novice hiker the hike up was not as bad as I expected. ..it was the walk down that really did a number on my knees and feet. With that being said if you do not have great knees, I would def think twice about doing this hike or take extra precautions. ...I was sore for a whole week...lol

hiking
Saturday, June 21, 2014

If your looking for an epic hiking experience as well as a mental and physical challenge, then hiking Mount Elbert (East Ridge Trail) is definitely for you. I (moderate shape) hiked this trail with my older sister (in great physical shape), and my father who just turned 60yo (moderate shape). We traveled with a guide up the mountain, which was the best decision we could’ve made as the trail above the tree line had many snow fields that we either walked through or around. It took us longer than expected to get to the top, as we were still becoming acclimated to the elevation. Beware, it was very cold at the top this time of year. We had wind chills that were about 20 degrees and the weather rolled in as we were walking down (we walked through grapple, snow, and rain). However, the views above the tree line were incredible and the experience to the top was unforgettable. There’s no better feeling than conquering the highest mountain in Colorado and testing your limits. I highly recommend this hike for an experienced hiker and if your not so experienced like myself then take someone who is with you! Go in the summer months and wear/pack layers.