This is the easiest route to the summit of Eldorado Mountain. The tracks of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad are avoided. Also, an unofficial trail leads to an elevation of 7500 feet.
Getting ThereStart at Rattlesnake Gulch Trailhead.
Route DescriptionStats: Class 2, 4.7 miles (round trip), 2275 feet of elevation gain.
From the trailhead, follow the Fowler Trail for 0.2 miles to the point at which the Rattlesnake Gulch Trailhead switchbacks to the right (west). Follow the Rattlesnake Gulch Trail for 1.2 miles to the Crags Hotel ruin. From here, the Rattlesnake Gulch Trail forks, with one branch heading south and another west. Take the west branch for 0.25 miles to another fork. Going straight (north) would take you to the Continental Divide Overlook. Instead, take a sharp left (southwest). After an additional 0.05 miles, you will see an unofficial trail that leaves the main Rattlesnake Gulch Trail to the southwest. Follow this trail as it travels up the north ridge of Eldorado Mountain. The trail may perform some switchbacks that you can follow. When you reach an elevation of 7240 feet, make sure that you have left any switchbacks behind and are heading straight up the ridge. This unofficial trail that you have been following will take you up the north ridge to an elevation of 7500 feet, at which point various rock outcroppings on the ridge will require intermittent scrambling and route finding all of the way to the summit. Stay on the ridge and you should not have a problem in reaching the summit. When you get to the summit plateau, be sure to head west for 0.1 miles to reach the true summit.
Trail Profile and MapThe trail color represents the class of that portion of the trail.
Green = Class 1
Blue = Class 2
The vertical unit is feet, and the horizontal unit is miles.