Mt. Elbert  
Report Conditions Information   Photos  Comments       
2016-01-04  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2016-01-04, By: screeman57
Info: There is currently a bootpack superhighway going up Elbert‘s winter route. Perfect weather and condish today. Beware of false trenches below treeline. The most-travelled path is correct. 
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2015-12-14  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-12-17, By: bdz132
Info: There is a lot of snow below treeline, and not much above it. I used snowshoes between the 2WD trailhead and about 11,750‘, switching to crampons above that. 
2015-12-06  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-12-07, By: mikefromcraig
Info: As easy as it gets in December! Sun was out and we got a late start (7:30) from the 2WD TH and STILL didn‘t posthole until 14,000 feet and even then only 5 or so times. Trail through treeline was very well packed in. Never even thought for a second about putting on snowshoes but microspikes are recommended. Checking the forecast it looks like the next couple days could be even better. 
2015-11-12  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-11-13, By: dweiss2
Info: An inch or less of snow coverage from the beginning of the 4WD road. Snow gets deeper at about 11,400. Would only want snowshoes between 11,400 and 12,300. Probably not worth bringing snowshoes, since its pretty wind scoured above 12,300. Definitely need microspikes though. A 4WD, good clearance vehicle could make it to the upper TH. Broke trail most of the way, and fairly easy to follow now. Follows the summer trail almost all of the way. 
2015-11-09  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2015-11-09, By: KTMSteve
Info: Trail was in good condition all the way from the parking lot. Clearly defined and easy to follow all the way to the summit. Below tree line the trail is packed powder on all north facing aspects and 50/50 melting snow and clear trail on southern exposures which weren‘t too many. Above tree line the trail was still simple to follow although there are one or two trails that always seemed to meet back up. Snow was still relatively firm at 11 am. I carried snow shoes up but never used them. Post holing was pretty much kept to a minimum but would definitely suggest using gaiters. I would not say traction devices are required for the feet as there were 2 up there without any but I used my micro spikes and felt justified especially on some of the icy steps coming off the mountain, kept things faster. Depending on where the storm Wednesday hits, this report may already be obsolete. 
2015-11-07  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-11-08, By: capetrekker
Info: Saturday‘s climb of the East Ridge contained prime Fall conditions. Snowshoes were brought, but quickly stashed. The route until treeline was melting quickly on our descent and could very well be muddy and snow-free by now. Above treeline to the summit, snow existed anywhere from slightly bare to waste deep in spots. Much of the actual trail is deep under snow above 12,400‘. 
2015-10-24  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2015-10-24, By: DaveG1952
Info: Recent snows have turned last week‘s fall conditions into winter conditions. Few of the 20 climbers today were able to summit, most turned back between 13,700 and 14,000. Snows above the treeline were 1-3 feet deep. The trail was covered, so climbers made their own paths, many with frequent postholing. Recommend winter gear, with face mask, gloves and liner, insulated hiking boots, gators, and poles with snow baskets. Deepest snows at the top. 
2015-09-26  Route: Passing through the area
Posted On: 2015-09-26, By: WillRobnett
Info: Fall colors from the South Elbert Trailhead are peak and some what coming to an end. Independence Pass is holding fall colors better than Elbert. La Plata has good colors at lower elevations. Most of Independence Pass is holding good fall colors. Maroon Bells (Maroon Peak/N. Maroon Peak) and Pyramid are the best fall colors Leadville to Aspen right now. 
2015-09-19  Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2015-09-20, By: Wolfman_CO
Info: Fall colors are near peak on Elbert! The southeast ridge is in great condition, very easy to follow trail. Descended via Bull Hill which was a lot of fun and made a great loop back to the Black Cloud Trailhead. The crowds are diminishing as well, which I appreciated very much. Great Fall day in the mountains. 
2015-09-12  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-09-28, By: wbuck
Info: The 4x4 road was very passable in my 93 Explorer. Great hike but it was slow going for me as I had a girl from Seattle in my party. Took about 10 hours round trip which (for my level of hiking) was probably about 3 or 4 hours too long (started at about 0700, summit at 1300, back to the car at about 1530). Other than that, it was a great hike on a very easy trail. The top gets a little steep but we took it slow and had no problem! We stepped off of the summit and scattered the ashes of my buddies dad while I played taps on my trumpet (he was Navy) and I greatly appreciate the respect that was shown for an unannounced ceremony like that. Huge S/O to anyone who was up there on the 12th! 
2015-09-06  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2015-09-07, By: Craig Jones
Info: Although this route is overall in excellent condition, it is worth noting that some of the steeper pitches are developing parallel social trails that are killing the tundra. Part of this is because the main trail in places has gone to patches of loose cobbles that are difficult to walk up, part just the shear heavy use of this trail. Might be the sort of situation where a small intervention soon would avoid a much bigger reworking of the trail later. 
2015-08-25  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-08-26, By: nursemmy
Info: Made it to 4WD trailhead in a stock 2015 Tundra TRD. Lightly scraped the bottom a couple of times. 
2015-08-16  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2015-08-18, By: Wandering31
Info: Arrived at the Northeast Ridge trailhead at 6:30am from Denver, NOAA weather stated 20-50% change of storms by 2:00pm. Began ascent by 6:45am and reached summit by 10:30am with perfect conditions. Began descent around 11:15-30am with dark clouds in the distance but storms never developed over the summit from 6:45am - 2:30pm. Always be aware of weather, 4G service is available throughout the entire hike. If you don‘t have it already download the NOAA app for your smartphone. 
2015-07-17  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-07-17, By: Brimstone10
Info: Drove to the upper TH in a Jeep Grand Cherokee with no issues. Trail in good condition with one very small snow crossing up high that wasn‘t an issue. 
2015-07-11  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2015-07-13, By: mbnat
Info: Summer conditions all the way up, and completely dry on the trail. A few snow patches are left off trail. Enjoy! 
2015-07-10  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2015-07-10, By: Sunshineof1985
Info: GEAR (to bring): GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat (didn‘t use, but could have), day pack with water sack, food, sunscreen, lip balm. Great all the way up! Windy and cold, but the trail is straight forward. Make sure you don‘t go on the continental divide. This is my 11th peak this summer and I plan to climb them all. Check out my blog at for more details. 
2015-07-03  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-07-04, By: thill
Info: Was able to drive all the way to the upper trail head in a Toyota Tacoma. There was one place where a stream is flowing through the road but was able to drive through it. Trail was dry. About three places where we had to walk through snow, but was not a problem. We made the entire hike with just hiking boots. About 3/4 of the way up, most of the hikers lost the trail. To stay on trail, you have to cut across a snow field that is about 30-40 yards long that takes you around to the south. 
2015-07-03  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2015-07-04, By: plasticman
Info: Route is almost completely snow free and largely free of water at this time. You can take trail shoes at this time- the only snow is on the summit ridge and is easily avoided by walking on the rocks. The route is in great shape- the steep and dusty section at the crux is dry. 
2015-06-30  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2015-07-01, By: shoenfeld13
Info: Snow patches beginning at the top off the ridge, around 13,500. I thought more were avoided by staying on the north side, by Box Creek/Canyon side, not following the true east ridge trail. Some postholing on the way down at 10am. 
2015-06-20  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2015-06-21, By: Flock14
Info: In summary, the trail was dry until about 13,000 ft. At this point, there was light snow that could be crossed on the path without any equipment. However, my friends and I brought microspikes and walked beside the path in the snow field where a few other tracks were seen. We ascended this field around 8:30a and descended around 11:45a with no post-holing. Any later than noon and you probably would have been post holing. But you definitely could stay on the trail and not post hole or need any gear. See blog page for pics of my hike. 

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