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 Peak(s):  Mt. Massive  -  14,421 feet
 Post Date:  08/15/2010
 Date Climbed:   08/14/2010
 Posted By:  DScott49

 Mt. Massive, The Long Way   

Hey all, though Zambo just posted a Mount Massive TR, thought I would post this one from the East Slopes route. I hiked from the Mount Massive Trailhead on 14 Aug (#27 for me). I left Colorado Springs at 0330 and was hiking at 0635. When I arrived, the trailhead was over half full and the overflow lot was mostly filled with a couple big trucks pulling horse trailers. Suggest early arrival for weekend hikes.

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The mountain from a distance


The weather and trail were awesome! Leaving out from the trailhead it starts out steep on the Colorado Trail, but not too bad and it levels at spots for a break. It took me 70 minutes to reach the turnoff (3.3 miles) to the left for the Mt. Massive trail. It is well marked, and cuts off just shortly after the second large stream crossing.

The hike through the trees is very nice and although longer than the route Zambo took, It gives you the chance to enjoy the scenery. Once you clear tree line, you get some beautiful views of the mountains before you.

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Views around tree line


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Views around tree line

I thought climbing up to the saddle was more tedious and difficult than the traverse across the ridge. Both take some effort, but the saddle climb seemed more relentless.

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Hike to the saddle

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Hike to the saddle


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The ridge


It took me just under 4 ½ hours to reach the summit. I am a slow to moderate hiker and had about the same number of hikers pass me as I passed. There were a lot of people at the top so I hiked down off the summit a little before eating some lunch.

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Obligatory summit shot


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Mount Elbert


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Beautiful views!


On the hike down, I shared most of my remaining water with a group from Florida who had exhausted their supply and still had about 1000 ft. elevation to gain. People just don't realize how important it is to keep hydrated! They seemed determined, hope they made the top.

The rest of the hike down was enjoyable and I reached my Jeep after 3 ¼ hours total time. To wrap it up; I would say if you want a fairly long (13.6 miles) but not terribly difficult hike that gives you a little of everything in the way of scenery, Mount Massive's East Slopes route is a good one.

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A big beauty


Take care, and happy hiking!

Dr. Dave

"Never measure the height of a mountain until you reach the top, then you will see how low it was" Dag Hammarskjold



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