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“Tough hike but worth it!”
Review of Mount Elbert

Ranked #1 of 37 things to do in Leadville
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed July 8, 2013

My Dad had this crazy idea to hike a 14er (his first one) and so I decided well why not join him. Once we got to Leadville it took us a day to get used to the elevation with lots of water. We went in mid May and with the weather this year they had just gotten a huge amount of snow the week prior, so we had no idea what to expect. The locals were great we asked their opinion and they never looked at us like we had a bad idea they said yea give it a try! We did have to rent snowshoes since they said the top half was covered in snow. We set out early for the hike and it started out great with a well marked trail and it was a nice day at the town elevation. As we were getting higher we could feel the elevation and heavy breathing, once we got to the "fake summit" it started snowing and you could see the clouds getting like big snow clouds but then it would clear up so we continued. Once we were able to see the summit it was a complete white out the last mile up! But we were so close! Snowshoes were key at this point because otherwise your boots would go right down and make it harder to walk. There wasnt much of a view because it was a white out but we did enjoy the hike. On the way down we had sideways snow pellets at our face and blowing wind but once we got to tree level it was nice and sunny again. You gotta bring layers and be ready for all four seasons. It was a great experience and I would reccommed it to anyone who loves to hike. Leadville is a great town and we enjoyed the places we stayed and the company. Maybe next time I will try it later in the year.

1  Thank Mary Kate D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"highest peak"
in 12 reviews
"great hike"
in 10 reviews
"hiking poles"
in 6 reviews
"false summit"
in 6 reviews
"round trip"
in 7 reviews
"highest point"
in 6 reviews
"start early"
in 4 reviews
"tough hike"
in 4 reviews
"afternoon storms"
in 3 reviews
"bring lots of water"
in 2 reviews
"low altitude"
in 2 reviews
"twin lakes"
in 7 reviews
"well worth the effort"
in 2 reviews
"take your time"
in 2 reviews
"colorado trail"
in 3 reviews
"views are spectacular"
in 2 reviews
"rocky mountains"
in 2 reviews

92 - 96 of 108 reviews

Reviewed May 30, 2013

I hiked Elbert last summer with two friends. Being from MS, I know nothing of elevation. When I got off the plane in the Denver airport I was light headed, so hiking to the summit of this beast was a chore to say the least. When we arrived in Leadville we went to the local market to get some snacks and I knew I was in for it because I was winded just walking to and from the car. We took the main trail head, and it was a very clear, well marked path all the way up. Oh and this was the first week of September that we hiked. I'm not gonna lie hiking at this elevation is Hard Hard Hard for someone that lives at sea level. Once we got above the tree line I could only take a few steps at a time before I had to stop and try to catch my breath. I would sit and rest at various points and the views were beyond words! There were many people along the trail and people coming back down offered many words of encouragement, which really did help alot. One girl even gave us a can of beer to crack open at the summit in celebration:). We finally reached the edge of the peak and I saw the summit right there about 75ft away. My friend started filming with his cell phone as I mustered up all the energy I had to sprint to the summit. In my head I felt as if I was running to the top but after watching the video later I realized a turtle would have passed me:) The view from the summit and the unbelievable satisfaction from achieving the hike made it all more than worth it. So much so that next month I will be attempting my next hike in Colorado. I did need a year to forget how hard the first hike was though:)

5  Thank jaswan79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013

Cold - bad, skiing down - great! Be prepared if you're going to do this hike in the winter. The weather can be extremely cold once above the timberline.

2  Thank Meac T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

What an amazing area! We recently moved back to Colorado after being in WA State for 6 years and are reminded of the incredible beauty in the Leadville area.

1  Thank Pat M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 6, 2012

I visited Colorado with my daughters in late October and Mt Elbert was one of the places we planned to hike among other places. We traveled from Canyon City after visiting the Royal Gorge and reached Twin Lakes, CO just a few miles south of Leadville, CO at about sunset prior to the day we wanted to hike. We stayed at the Win Mar cabins which was a decent place and we were lucky to get a cabin three days before arriving given that it was hunting season. We then drove to the Independence Pass just as the sun was setting so we had to take some pictures with the 'Continental Divide' board being lit up by our car's headlights. Someone told us there would a meteor shower that night between 11pm and 5am (Oct 22 2012) but we could keep ourselves awake as we had to get a early start on our hike up Mt Elbert. We didnt stay up for the meteor shower but nevertheless overslept a little bit and hurriedly got ready to get to the Elbert Creek Campground where we would park and start our hike. I took a wrong turn while getting there and got to the parking lot at the Elbert Creek Campground pretty late. (1030am).

We chose the North Mt Elbert trail as it was rated a 'Class 1' trail to let my 9 year old twins take a up a mountain climbing challenge which was also not too hard on them the first time. But it was not that easy for them although I was pretty amazed at how good they did. There were no technical climbs but the trail was steep. We knew it was about 4 miles to the peak so the distance was not a surprise. What was surprising though was how soon we got tired climbing the trail. I was carrying back pack loaded with food, water and other supplies and a couple of thick coats for my daughters. I wanted them to hike as light as possible so they didnt have anything except their layered clothing.

The trail although seemed long and arduous was nevertheless enjoyable. We took breaks whenever my DDs needed it and frequent food/water breaks as well. I knew we got started a bit late and we may not make it to the peak during that day although the weather was so kind and absolutely gorgeous that day. Bright sunny and warm whenever we were in the sun.

We met several hikers coming down and I was losing hope fast that we would make it to the peak. After about 3hrs we reached the treeline and picnicked there for sometime watching the sky, the beautiful land around the mountain and just taking in the beautiful views and weather. It was about 230pm and I knew it was atleast another hour or so before we got to the peak. I decided to turn around in the best interest of my daughters and started our hike down. We reached down at about 5pm about 1hr faster descent than our climb.

Overall, it was a good first mountain hike for my daughters although we all wished we made it to the top. It was my fault as I mismanaged the time on the morning of the hike. We decided to come back another time and get to the peak. The sights along the way were very pretty. The beautiful tress, the birds, the rocks, snow covered trails etc were just gorgeous.

My suggestion to parents who plan to bring their young children (8+) is that although the trail is rated as 'class 1' it is long, steep and arduous at time but not impossible for a healthy young child. Just make sure you let them hike as light as possible (meaning you will be carrying their food/water/coats etc) :) It is still a very enjoyable hike and like many other ones provides a very good environment and opportunity to strengthen the bonds between loved ones.

18  Thank gr8ergud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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