Mt. Elbert
standard Northeast Ridge
 Class 1 
Risk Factors:Exposure: Low
Rockfall Potential: Low  
Route-Finding: Low  
Commitment: Low  
Trailhead:Mt. Elbert (North)
Start:10,040 feet
Summit:14,438 feet
Total Gain:4,700 feet
RT Length:9.50 miles
Duration:User Climb Times
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:588 reports
Cell Signal:43 reports
Sheriff:Lake: 719-486-1249
Forest:San Isabel
Quad. Maps:Log In to View
Camping:On Google Maps
Eats:On Google Maps
Downloads:Log In to Download
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From U.S. 24 just south of Leadville, turn onto Colorado 300. Drive 0.7 mile, turn left onto County Road 11 and continue another 1.2 miles before turning right onto the Halfmoon Creek road. Reset your trip odometer and follow the Halfmoon Creek dirt road for 5 miles to reach the Mt. Elbert trailhead, on the left. There is a large parking area with restrooms.


Taken from the northeast, 1 and 2 show most of the route. Leave the parking area ( 3) and hike south into the forest on the North Mt. Elbert trail. Switchback up a hill ( 4) for approx. 1 mile to reach a flat area, near 10,600'. Descend slightly and reach a trail junction near 10,560' . Turn right and follow the North Mt. Elbert trail - 5.

Hike up through the forest for 1.3 miles to reach a small clearing at 11,600' - 6. Continue for another 0.3 mile to finally reach tree line near 11,900'. After leaving the trees, follow the great trail as it switchbacks up a gentle slope below the northeast ridge - 7. Near 12,700', reach the crest of the ridge ( 8) where you can see the large cirque at the head of Box Creek, up to your left. Continue southwest along the ridge as you approach the steeper terrain - 9 and 10. At 13,400', the route becomes steeper as you ascend right of the cirque. 11 looks back down the ridge. Follow the trail west ( 12) before it regains the ridge near 13,900', at a flat area . This steep ascent from 13,450' to 13,900' is the crux of the route.

From 13,900', easy hiking remains but you still can't see the summit - 13 and 14. Continue to 14,300' where the summit ridge finally comes into view ( 15) and walk southwest to the top - 16 and 17.


#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17

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