Stanley Mountain Trail

MODERATE 82 reviews
#23 of 146 trails in

Stanley Mountain Trail is a 7.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,788 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
3 minutes ago

This trail climbs gently up through forest for a short time before breaking treeline and traversing the tundra on a smooth dirt singletrack trail. Beautiful views, and not a lot of effort! The parking lot is huge so getting there at 7:00 on a Saturday was not a problem at all.

The direction of the wind today however meant I could easily smell the smoke of nearby fires (and the smoke was very visible). If you're worried about that then maybe hold off on this trail until another season/year.

hiking
2 days ago

Wonderful hike. Used the alternate route starting at the Jones Pass (Butler Gulch) parking area. Same distance as the Berthoud Pass trail head - just a steeper ascent and more forest until you hit tree line. Insanely beautiful wild flowers. No snow or mud. Fantastic views.

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike - nice practice for higher altitude hikes. Did it today, there was no snow on the trail and plenty of wildflowers. The series of switchbacks at the beginning are the toughest part, then most of the hike after that is gentle rollers on the ridge line. Great views, and not crowded, especially after the first two miles in.

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful trail! Completely free of snow and wildflowers are blooming

1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Trail below treeline is still covered in knee high snow at some points but managed to get up to the ridgeline where it opened up. Beautiful. Will be back later this summer when the snow melts more.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this from 5 - 7:15am this morning, still no cars in the lot when I returned. Turned around after the switchbacks. Getting to the first ridge is definitely the hardest part. There's a trail most of the way but it isn't defined near the top and you will do some postholing. I felt silly putting on gaiters at the trailhead, but was glad I did. I had microspikes with me but never put them on.
After the first ridge it's easy going. I'd recommend going in the early morning to minimize postholing. It would have been pretty hard in the afternoon.

1 month ago

Just did this trail today. Difficult getting above trendline given still deep snow but then trail opens up and is easily hiked to the top. Windy along ridges so dress in layers for wind chill temps. Beautiful 360 views. Well worth the time.

7 months ago

Did this hike 2 weekends ago. Conditions were still very good. Most of the snow was encountered before the treeline in the first 1.25 miles. Leaving early when the temps are down can save you some postholing with firmer snow, otherwise you may struggle. Still, I wouldn't say snowshoes are necessary right now because once you gain the ridge there is little to no snow the remaining 2.25 miles.

Expect cold temps and strong winds for this portion, pretty standard for 12k feet on December. Views are incredible - see pictures.

Overall I loved this hike and feel it is often overlooked, like the Berthound Pass area in general. Highly recommend! Follow me on IG @seesienza for more colorado trail pictures.

hiking
7 months ago

Outstanding trail most of which is above the tree line. When I went in October, I only ran into 4 others (2 of which were through hikers). The solitude at that time and that elevation was just what I needed. Not too bad after reaching ridge. 360 views are a real treat!

This trail is so beautiful! The first 1.5 miles are gradually steeper and steeper until you get to the ridge, with many switchbacks. drink lots of water and takes lots of rest breaks! Once you are on the ridge (for about 5 miles) you have 360 degree views the whole way. Being up on the ridge for that long made the trail seem longer than it was ( we clocked it at 8 miles round trip). You can't even see the Stanley peak until you are well into the hike, many little "false summits". It was gusting 40-50 mph winds for 2/3 the ridge which also made it seem longer. Nevertheless the payoff is great, this was our first "summit" and we loved it. Took 3.5 hours round trip with plenty of breaks. Watch weather very carefully you do not want to be on the ridge if the weather goes south! Start early in the morning to avoid this. Saw only 3 other people on the whole hike, fabulous. Our dogs loved it too and did great.
*** flatlanders: this hike is above 12,000 feet for 5 miles. Be cautious. I did get altitude sickness, it wasn't fun! (Still worth it in the end).

hiking
10 months ago

**No park entry fee** We decided to turn back about half way through the trail, but we saw enough for a 5 star. The smoke from the NW fires have really taken over the mountain, the haze limited visibility to maybe a half mile out (which is a real bummer on a hike focused on long distance views). Couple that with large gusts of wind the higher we went, we decided to turn back and come back a different day when the views are more favorable. I can deal with difficult weather if I'm still able to experience the views. There were several hikers we saw continue on past the half way point but I would recommend saving the trip for when the smoke has cleared up. Can't wait to go back!!

10 months ago

Cute trail, but a little crowded for my taste. I can see why -- this would be a good way to get used to higher elevation climbs. Nothing too strenuous, but nice views the whole way.

10 months ago

Love this trail.

11 months ago

Pretty hike. Hard beginning. Not the most rewarding views but a really fun hike along the ridge line.

hiking
11 months ago

beautiful hike with unbeatable views! bring a light puffy and winter hat for up top bc it gets windy (and chilly).

11 months ago

Stunning views above tree line, wildflowers on the forest trail. The switchback trail was not as hard as it looked and well worth getting to the plateau at the top for the views. Windy on the exposed ridges and at the top today, so bring layers. Great hike!

hiking
11 months ago

Great day hike. I wouldn't consider it hard, maybe because the views made it so easy to keep going. Would highly recommend this to anyone wanting to get a look at the mountains. Wildflowers were beautiful as well! It's windy and colder at the top (48F) so bring layers. Keep in mind the majority of the hike is above tree line so keep an eye on the clouds.

11 months ago

This is my second time doing this hike. The elevation was in stages with some ascends and descends. Beautiful views from the top.

11 months ago

Absolutely beautiful! In total, the hike is roughly 8.5 miles but worth it!

hiking
Friday, July 14, 2017

Amazing hike. The trail is completely clear and the switchbacks will give anyone a god leg workout.

hiking
Monday, July 10, 2017

Beautiful hike! The trail gets above tree line quickly, with gorgeous views all the way to the summit.

hiking
Sunday, July 09, 2017

Pretty views for such a short chunk of the CDT. Thru hikers in the area this time of year--share your goods! Stanley mountain itself is rather unassuming--just a pile of rocks off to the side of the trail. Seemed to be lots of poop (and subsequently flies) at the top. The ridge line can be windy.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Awesome hike!!! The views were gorgeous and tons of wild flowers to see everywhere. Great hike for dogs too.

hiking
Monday, June 26, 2017

Loved this hike! Only a small amount of snow, definitely easy to hike through it without poles or other gear, but it was difficult to follow the trail for a bit in the snow covered area. The switchbacks are pretty tough but the reward is worth it-stunning views! I think this is a good hike to prep for a 14er.

hiking
Saturday, June 24, 2017

This is an amazing hike. There is still some snow as of 6/24 that makes the trail difficult to follow at times, but once you get above that the trail is easy to follow. There is a pretty strenuous switchback part, but after that it's a piece of cake. I had lunch on the throne of Stanley Mountain and then headed back. Took only like 3 hours total. Highly recommend it!!

Dogs are allowed, (even off leash) so my pup and I were happy

hiking
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

directions led us to the top of berthoud pass (coming from empire the restrooms and parking lot were on the right) trailhead on the left of the pass. Lost the trail pretty quickly because of snow but managed to scramble up to the ridge and then it was visible the entire way. One part was a steeper incline but it had switchbacks so no complaints! Amazzzzinnnnngggg views. Decided we were at the end when we came to this rock throne structure.

hiking
Monday, September 05, 2016

8/20/2016: Super windy and cold along the ridge. Definitely bring layers and water. Beautiful long distance views, anticlimatic end. We weren't sure we got to the end until we checked GPS later.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Beautiful views...!

hiking
Thursday, August 25, 2016

confirmed that this is darn near 9 miles RT. Absolutely beautiful hike with amazing views!! One of my favorites so far...

hiking
Sunday, August 21, 2016

grab a light windbreaker, it is slightly windy and cold.

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