Mount Spalding Trail is a 2.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,003 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

scenic driving

bird watching

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

hiking
8 months ago

Short, but not too easy. Fun 13er. Amazing views.

hiking
8 months ago

This was a great impromptu hike. We didn’t intend to make this home and thus we were a bit in prepared. We did have the right shoes, pants, beanie,, but we forgot the water. Not such a big deal because it was a quick up and down. But, water would have been nice.

hiking
no shade
8 months ago

hiking
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rocky
8 months ago

Beautiful views. Windy so feels colder than temperatures. Wear layers and gloves.

hiking
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

hiking
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rocky
scramble
9 months ago

Stunning views of Summit Lake and Chicago Lakes, and for miles in every direction! Not that difficult except the altitude necessitated more stops than usual to catch my breath. Bring extra layers, as the wind gets pretty cold — even on a hot summer day. If you get there early enough, you can keep going to the summit of Mt Evans. We saw Big Horn sheep and marmots. This is a fun and rewarding hike that doesn’t take all day.

hiking
scramble
10 months ago

hiking
rocky
washed out
10 months ago

Started at Summit Lake. There weren’t many people on the trail. We may have encountered a couple dozen. There were a few scary parts related to scrambling in the boulder field—some slick rocks with much of nothing to grab on to. The trail was difficult to follow at many times and you have to keep a sharp lookout for karins, as even they are hard to locate at times. I was disappointed that Mt. Spaulding doesn’t have an official marker...or at least I couldn’t find one. According to the AllTrails app, where Mt. Spaulding appears on the map there are massive karins which I assumed were the markers. The views are stunning. Is there a 14ner that isn’t worth the work?

hiking
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rocky
scramble
10 months ago

This is a 13er you can complete along with Mount Evans and Mount Spalding Loop Trail which I did today. We got to the trailhead at 7:07am, only 1 parking spot was open(street). Very cold and windy for the first 10-15 minutes but it got better once we go to the top of the Mt. Spalding. No snow gear needed. 07/28/2019 #40

hiking
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rocky
scramble
10 months ago

Great hike today! I’m in my early 60s, preparing to hike a 14er before the season ends, so this was a training hike. We intended to hike only Spalding, not Mt. Evans as well. Therefore, we set off at 9:10am. The parking lot was rather full, but there were a few spaces left. The trailhead begins at Summit Lake, which is a popular place to stop when visitors are driving to the top of Mt. Evans or back down. There is a bit of a scramble at the start. The walking trail incline is steady but not too steep. There are quite a few areas that were slow for me which required very careful and deliberate climbing up rocks along the trail. It took us about an hour and 20mins to reach the summit, and we stayed there only about 15 mins in order to be down by noon. The views are truly fantastic, both at the summit and along the way. It took us an hour to descend. Likely the Hard rating is for the altitude as well as some of the climbing up and over rock that is necessary. IMPORTANT NOTE: Mt. Evans Road will be closed for a cycling event on 7/27/19. Check for other closure dates.

hiking
10 months ago

Loved this hike but dang it was a challenge! I lost the trail a few times which made it more challenging but it was well worth it! My pup loved the hike and seeing all of the critters. It was a great practice hike for a 14er and I plan on going back and completing the Mt Spalding and Mt Evans loop.

hiking
10 months ago

Pulled into the lot around 6:30 (Friday) and parked in one of two spaces left. I expected a lot to see many more people than I did on the trail. The hike will get your blood pumping but It really isn’t too bad. I reached the summit with two other solo hikers. They stopped for a brief photo op and then continued on to Mt Evans. This left me on the peak for almost 20 mins without another soul to be found. Heading back down ran into some late starting groups but overall it was a nice hike with some spectacular views.

Thu Sep 20 2018

On a whim after landing in Denver I decided I needed to see the Rockies. Drove up to Summit Lake (fun drive!) and decided to hike up the trail there. Only learned after that this is the Mt. Spalding trail. Anyhow, being from Boston I definitely felt the altitude but the trail was beautiful and the view was worth the shortness of breath. Also saw long horn sheep and a mountain goat, so that was cool. Trail is listed as hard which I think is less about the trail itself and more about the altitude.

Fri Aug 31 2018

Easy to do in one day if coming from Denver. Much cooler than driving to the top of Evans. Great views of the landscape above tree line. Warning: Avoid this hike if you are squeamish about sketchy mountain roads.

hiking
Thu Jul 26 2018

Did this yesterday along with Mt. Evans for a Sunrise hike. It's absolutely beautiful up in this area! it can be steep with large rocks in some areas you have to step/climb up on. But worth it! It got very busy late morning.

hiking
Mon Jun 18 2018

This 13er is great when you want a good workout and have limited time. Was able to hit the summit in an hour. Park at summit lake to start the hike. This is a fairly easy hike with some holding of rocks to move through a few sections of the trail. Hike across to Gray Wolf Peak, which is another 13er for an extended hike of about 5 miles (parking, Spalding, GMP and return to parking). No snow on the hike and only a few people at the start of the trail. Had the peak to myself at 6:30am and saw only two people coming up trail before hitting parking lot!

hiking
Tue Sep 19 2017

This is a great hike! I would classify it as moderate so long as you stay on the main trail - which you should! Hikers and perhaps a few goats have worn an alternate path which is more difficult and dangerous. You can reach the summit on a number of alternate routes but you will have to climb over boulders which may be loose. Here's how to stay on the route: If you are traveling the loop with the Mt. Spalding summit first, start looking for stacked stone trail markers as soon as the well defined dirt trail ends. There is a permit box near the end of the dirt trail. After you pass the permit box, start looking for the most direct route straight up to the top of the east ridge. You should see the stacked stone markers. Once you are on top of the ridge, it's easy hike to the summit. If you miss the route, you'll see a mess of trails going over boulders along the wall face. If you are climbing over boulders and not seeing trail markers, go back to the permit box and try to pick up the route from there. When descending the route is fairly obvious: Just go east on the ridge as far as you can.

hiking
Sat Jul 15 2017

Beautiful scenery at the summit. Left TH at 1100 and back down by 1300. Fairly simple trail, didn't leave early enough for the loop however. Multiple stops just to take in the views.

hiking
Mon Jul 18 2016

One of my favorite hikes we have done in colorado! We took our 3 kids with us. Great for a adventurous family!

Sat Jul 16 2016

Did the whole loop and went up Mount Evans. Good views gorgeous flowers. Was pretty easy though. I wouldn't classify this as hard.

hiking
Tue Sep 22 2015

Great hike with a pretty easy to follow trail and not too crowded as compared to many of the other front range 14ers. Summit trail is approximately 6.4 miles in length with about 2800 feet of elevation gain on the out and back.

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