Mount Elbert via Mt. Elbert Northeast Ridge

10 reviews #39 hike out of 305 in
4.5 mi
Distance
1 hrs 36 min
Time
terrain
4,327 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

This is a difficult one way trail to Mount Elbert in San Isabel National Forest. Mount Elbert is the highest peak in Colorado at 14,426'.

This trail goes by Emerald Lake.

Getting Started

If the parking lot at the base of the trail is full, you can continue up the road to a second lot. There are also a number of pull-offs before and after the trailhead.

It is recommended to start this hike as early as possible to be safe in case an afternoon storm rolls in.

Taking Children

This is a difficult hike, and children, especially those not acclimated to the elevation may struggle. 4/10



    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    2 months, 1 week ago
    Hike MT. Elbert on 8/13 after flying in from Seattle the night before. First couple miles were chill and ran / hiked them. The last three were more of a hike and the scramble can be avoided by staying right - there’s a path. Lots of people but easy to get around. Worth the views! 3 hours up, 1.5 hour down. Lots of places to camp and bathrooms were clean! Beware - my partner got sick form the dramatic altitude change. Leadville is very high up consider the altitude difference even if you’re just driving out to the trailhead.
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Great hike with very rewarding views of the surrounding mountains once on top. We started out from the trailhead at 5am and reached the top by 8:30am. It's a fairly steady incline the entire time outside of one flat section within the first 1.5miles under the treeline. Getting above the treeline (about 2.8 miles in) before sunrise was worth it if you can get an early start. There is what appears to be one split in the trail, just as you hit the steepest section (around 13,400ft). Stay to the right on the way up! To the left looks like a trail and many hikers were making that mistake only to have to turn around or scramble across the rock field to the correct trail.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 months, 3 weeks ago
    This was an incredible experience for our first 14er. This was anything but the “easy” fourtneener as I’ve heard Elbert described time and again. Non-technical, agreed, but easy? No. Arrived at the parking lot at 5:10am and it was already full (it was Saturday) but we were able to grab one of the first pull-off spots just past the TH parking lot entrance. Hiked for the first hour under headlamp and were struck by the winds in the trees at such a low elevation and so early in the morning. Little did we know what we’d be facing once we got above the tree line. We broke the tree line and were met with sustained winds of 50+ mph, quartering right at us. Gusts every 60-90 seconds must have approached 100+ mph, as we witnessed dozens of people literally get blown over. I had to use my left trekking pole off to my side as a support brace to keep me upright. Many times had to drop to my knees in a tuck to avoid getting rolled. This made for an epic summit bid, as the winds only picked up the higher we got. We stayed at the summit just long enough to snap a handful of pics, as the wind chill must’ve been in the single digits. The descent was equally challenging, as the winds were now at our backs and blowing us down the mountain. Knees took an absolute pounding given the extra “braking” required. Best cold beer I’ve ever had in my life in the parking lot. This was one of the coolest hiking experiences I’ve ever had, being constantly reminded how powerful Mother Nature can be and how big these mountains are.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    3 months, 1 week ago
    It is a difficult hike, but worth every bit of exertion.
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    4 months ago
    Great 14er. Hard.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile stars
    1 year ago
    My wife and I hiked Mt. Elbert on July 10th, 2018. Not being from the area, we got an early start at 5:20 AM after camping just down the road. The trail was clear and even in the dawn light headlamps were not needed. After breaking through the treeline, we started to slow as the altitude got to us. The trail is not as well marked in two locations where scrambling is necessary, so it was helpful to have the GPS. Once on the ridge, the trail levels out a little for the final approach to the summit. Overall, it was a great experience, and one of the best hikes I have ever completed.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 month, 4 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    3 months, 3 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    4 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    4 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


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billypilgrim 5 months ago
North Mt. Elbert Trail
Helman smells bad
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