Mount Solitude is a massiff in the central Gore Range with three 13,000 foot summits. On this trip my roommate Travis and I climbed the highest summit (13,090 ft) as well as the 13,075 ft summit on the Northern end of the mountain (which I have seen referred to as "Vista Peak" on Summitpost).
We started on the Pitkin Lake trail at about 6 a.m. This trail wastes no time in gaining elevation. Hiking up the steep switchbacks first thing in the morning is quite a warm-up. After ascending this first section of trail things moderate and it is a nice hike.
Pitkin Lake Trail
After about 3.6 miles there is a drainage where three small streams merge into one and flow into Pitkin Creek.
We left the trail here, headed east, and hiked/scrambled/bushwhacked up this drainage.
Heading up the drainage
Once we were in the small basin above the willows we located a gully to the North and ascended it on grass, talus, and scree.
Travis starting up the gully
After reaching the top of the gully we headed East up small boulders and talus until we met the ridge crest. We began hiking Southeast on the Northwest ridge towards the summit of Mount Solitude.
Travis hiking the Northwest ridge
The Northwest ridge was an enjoyable hike the entire ways with some easy optional scrambling to stay on the crest in a couple of places. We reached the summit and took in the views.
Peaks L, X, and Z from Mt Solitude
A sea of Gore peaks to the Northwest
The weather was nice so we decided to check out "Vista Peak" to see if it lived up to its name.
We headed down the Northwest ridge the way we came. "Vista Peak" was a straightforward hike on its South ridge to the summit. "Vista Peak" is in a wonderful position right in the middle of the Gore Range and it lived up to its name.
Peaks X, and Z from "Vista"
Peak Q as seen from "Vista"
We descended "Vista" and headed down the way we came.
Travis descending towards the trail
On the hike back to the trailhead we enjoyed the fall colors.
Fall colors along the Pitkin Lake Trail
While not a difficult outing by Gore Range standards Mount Solitude made for a nice day trip and provided a nice vantage point in the center of the range. It's a good way to introduce yourself or your friends to the rugged beauty of this generally ignored range.