Mt. Elbert

Northeast Ridge - Standard

Stoke Meter


9.2 Miles

Highest Elevation


Lowest Elevation



4,465 ft.


Class 1


Colorado’s highest peak, and the 48’s second tallest peak. Mt. Elbert is a popular climb just outside of Leadville and offers a straightforward trail with views of alpine lakes, Turquoise Lake, and Twin Lakes. On a clear day, you’ll see across the Sawatch Range and into other ranges as well!

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Trail Directions

From the Mt. Elbert parking lot on Halfmoon Road:

Start the well defined trail from the parking lot. You’ll come to a junction almost immediately – stay left, and off from the Colorado Trail. You’ll quickly cross a stream on a bridge. At mile 1 the trail will split. This time, stay right. (At any intersection, avoid going onto the Colorado Trail, which is marked.)

At mile 1 you’ll begin a steep climb and quickly rise through the trees near mile 1.7 at 11,900ft. The incredible team at Colorado Fourteeners Initiative spends extensive efforts maintaining the trail above treeline. As always, keep it beautiful by not walking on the fragile alpine grass.

Continue the climb up numerous switchbacks. Leadville and Turquoise Lake will be in the view behind you, and you’ll see an alpine lake down to the left as you near mile 3.3. You’ll hit a couple of false summits on the way to the top. You’ll reach the real summit at mile 4.5, characterized by a rocky ridgeline. Enjoy the panoramic views of the Sawatch Range, Twin Lakes, and Maroon Bells Wilderness in the Distance. Descend back the way you came up.
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Training Plans for This Adventure

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