Mount Elbert via Mt. Elbert Northeast Ridge
This is a difficult out and back trail to Mount Elbert in San Isabel National Forest.
This trail goes by Emerald Lake.
This is the highest point in Colorado and nearby Mount Massive is the 2nd highest point in the state. As with all of the Colorado "14ers", peaks over 14,000 feet, this is a busy trail even when there is snow. The hike starts in the forest then climbs above tree line on a rocky, but wide ridge. There is nothing particularly interesting to the hike except for the expansive views from the top and the fact that it is the highest mountain in Colorado and one of the highest in the lower 48 states.
Many treat hiking up this mountain as no big deal, it's just a trail hike. But many go without proper training and ill equipped for the day. Even on the warmest summer day in the valley below, it can be quite windy and cold at the summit. Therefore it is very important to check the weather as thunderstorms roll in quickly at this elevation, and getting an early start is essential. Also, since these peaks are popular destinations for people all over America, parking can be challenging if you do not arrive early. That being said, there are a couple of places to park near the trailhead, one is just a bit further along from the main parking area. The road in from near Leadville is mostly a good dirt road.
Older children may occasionally be seen hiking this trail. It is only about 10 miles RT, but the elevation gain is hefty.
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