I am planning on hiking Elbert in early September. My initial plan is the north trailhead is this what people consider upper? I want to camp out the night before is there a place at the base of the trailhead or should we go up the trail aways? I've read a bunch of trip reports but there is almost too much info. any other tips appreciated as I am from the east so our mountains are smaller and different thanks
You could try the east ridge route, about the same difficulty as others, and there is a camp ground right at the trail head. Also, not being the standard route, there are far fewer people. Also try 14ers.com for beta
I did the East Ridge route this past week. You can A) camp right at the trailhead, B) at any of the multitude of campgrounds on the road in, or C) as far up the rail as you want to go (there's even a few rock wind barriers on the summit like the boulder field on Longs if you want to camp on top).
If it's a day with nice weather, you won't be lonely, regardless of what route you pick. At 9am there were about 75 people on the summit and you could see people ascending various routes on their way up.