Mount Lindsey

 Northwest Gully
Difficulty Easy Class 3 
Risk FactorsExposure: Considerable
Rockfall Potential: Considerable  
Route-Finding: Considerable  
Commitment: Moderate  
Start10,700 feet
Summit14,055 feet
Total Gain3,500 feet
RT Length8.25 miles
Last UpdatedOct 2022
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For summer 2023, all routes above 13,000 feet on Mt. Lindsey have been closed by the landowner. The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI) and other organizations are still working with landowner to reopen the routes. This closure started in late 2021.


  • At 7.0 miles, the road turns to dirt.
  • At 11.8 miles, stay left on Forest Road 580.
  • At 15.7 miles, stay left at the entrance to the Singing River ranch. The road becomes narrow, but usually still 2WD.
  • At 16.7 miles, pass the entrance to the Aspen River ranch.
  • At approx. 20 miles, reach the the west side of large, landslide area where the road was re-routed in 2016. After this point, there's a steep section that requires 4WD.
  • Continue 2 miles on the rough, narrow road to reach the Lily Lake TH. There are many dispersed camping spots along the way.


WARNING: Once the snow has melted out of the gully used in this route, consider using the Northwest Ridge route instead. The ridge is steeper, more exposed and requires plenty of Class 3 scrambling but it's much more stable. However, if you are freaked out by exposure or don't think you're up to scrambling on steeper rock, stick to this route...

From the parking area, take the Lily Lake trail south through the trees and down to a large meadow - 1. Walk 1 mile to a trail junction where the Lily Lake trail turns right - 2. Continue straight on the main, unmarked trail. Hike another 100 yards, cross the Huerfano River ( 3) and continue south. Over 0.1 mile after the river crossing, the trail begins to climb left, away from the river. Zigzag through the forest to reach a boulder field , near 10,800' - 4.

It's time to gain some ground. Starting on the right side of the boulder field, climb approx. 600 feet through the forest to reach a gully/stream, near 11,400'. Continue along the left side of the gully and cross it near 11,600' - 5. Hike south up a hillside to reach tree line, near 12,000', overlooking a high basin - 6. Drop slightly and walk toward the east side of a basin. Ascend to 12,200' ( 7) before following a small ridge ( 8) to reach a 13,000-foot crest - 9. Maneuver through a boulder field and onto the 13,150-foot saddle between 13er Iron Nipple and Mt. Lindsey - 10.

Lindsey's rugged north face is ahead and you can see the crux of the route - a steep gully just left of the northwest ridge - 11 and 12. Hike southeast along the ridge and near 13,200', the trail turns east and starts across the face. Continue to the base of the gully - 13. The route from here is semi-steep, loose and more difficult. Hike up the gully and try not to get the rocks moving. When possible, use the more stable rock along the upper edge of the gully. Near the top of the gully (~13,600'), there are some narrow areas where some easy Class 3 moves might be necessary unless it is filled with snow - 14. At the top of the gully, pass through a small notch ( 15) and traverse east across several more shallow gullies as you gradually gain elevation - 16. If you take your time, you should be able to find some cairns and trail segments. Above 13,800', the route remains steep ( 17 and 18) until you hit Lindsey's summit ridge, near 14,000' - 19. Hike southeast for nearly 0.2 to reach the summit - 20, 21 and 22.


IMPORTANT: This route enters the Sangre De Cristo 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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Caution: The information contained in this route description may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this route description provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the route description author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

Please respect private property: supports the rights of private landowners to determine how and by whom their land will be used. In Colorado, it is your responsibility to determine if land is private and to obtain the appropriate permission before entering the property.
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