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Mount Blue Sky

 West Ridge from Summit Lake
Difficulty Class 2 
Risk FactorsExposure: Moderate
Rockfall Potential: Moderate  
Route-Finding: Moderate  
Commitment: Moderate  
Start12,850 feet
Summit14,268 feet
Total Gain2,000 feet
RT Length5.50 miles
Last UpdatedSep 2023
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Take Exit 240 at Idaho Springs on Interstate 70. Drive south on Colorado 103 for 13.5 miles to Echo Lake. Show your reservation and drive 9 miles up the Mt. Blue Sky road (Colorado 5) to the signed Summit Lake parking area.


From the Summit Lake parking area, walk north past an old rock building to locate the start of a trail that heads toward the north end of the lake - 1 and 2. Hike to end of the lake and locate a signed trail that ascends 13er Mt. Spalding's east ridge - 3 and 4. Do not take the lower trail that goes left around the lake. Hike up through some rocks to reach easier terrain on the ridge - 4 and 5. Near 13,200', stay left below the ridge crest to bypass rough terrain up to the right. Near 13,300', head back toward the ridge crest - 7. Taken from the summit of Blue Sky, 8 provides an overview of Spalding's east ridge. Pop out on the ridge near 13,400' to reach easier terrain - 9. Cross a small trough and continue along the rocky ridge to reach summit of Mt. Spalding - 10, 11 and 12.

13 is a good look at Blue Sky's west ridge. Follow cairns and/or trail segments south down to the Blue Sky-Spalding saddle at 13,600' - 14. Follow cairns south toward the end of the west ridge - 15 and 16. At 13,800', reach the end of the ridge. From here the remaining hike is a bit slow going. Continue toward a hump on the ridge ( 17) and reach a notch before the hump.

Drop to the right slightly ( 18) and follow the cairned trail east. The trail stays below the ridge for most of the remaining hike. From the hump on the west end of the ridge, it's almost 1 mile to the summit. 19 shows the summit from a prominent bump called "West Evans" and 20 is the view when you get closer. Hike to a corner of the summit tourist trail and follow it toward the summit - 21 and 22. Descend via the same route.


IMPORTANT: This route enters the Mount Evans Wilderness area. Wilderness areas have special regulations and restrictions for party size, dispersed camping, campfires, etc. Also, dog owners should read the wilderness information carefully because some wilderness areas prohibit dogs to be off-leash and/or limit how close dogs can be to lakes and streams. If you have questions about the wilderness area, please contact a U.S. Forest Service office for the National Forest(s) listed above.
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