One of my first 14ers, back in 1994 or 1995.
Bluebird day, 8:00 AM start, summit by noon, back down by 2:00 PM. After the beautiful aspen grove, the trail was steep. My friend was not a fan of this route - he couldn't make it beyond the east ridge of South Elbert, and he started back down the mountain while my dog and I continued on to Mt. Elbert.
I have to admit morale was low when the alarm clock rang at 3:15 am and I found myself crammed sidewise across the back seat of my rental car in the North Trailhead parking lot with rain drumming on the roof. That implies I was sleeping, but I wasn't.
Despite the rough night, I made it to the summit, and without seeing another soul. The crux was my sea-level-shriveled lungs panting out the last 600 vertical feet. Even with the panting it was only three hours up.
We were able to drive up to about 10,500, just short of the official 4wd TH for the south TH. The route is straightforward, very scenic, our second Colorado 14er on a 4 day peakbagging visit from California.
What a great way to be introduced to Fourteening in Colorado. A nice easy walk up. This one I could do in the dark. Gorgeous views of Mt Massive and the Mosquito Range. Being very watchful for thunderstorms, takes a while to get the handle of how often it rains in CO. Great for starting. Did Columbia the next day. Compared to Sierra 14ers, which all have long boulder field approaches, this is so easy. The Sawatch Range is very interesting.
Quick up and down trip. We arrived just after sunrise and didn't meet too many others on the trail going up but the trail was packed on our way down.
Nice scenery, probably stayed on summit longer than it took to get there. A little snow but not enough!
Nothing but a steep hike. A few other hikers that day, all alone at summit.
Did this 1984. Not as many people there then. Great hike.
Saturday of the Leadville 100 bike race, so the mountain was packed. Perfect weather...
I made this a two-day climb, hiking to 11,650' the first day and camping in the snow. The second day I reached the summit by noon and then hiked out. There was deep snow below treeline requiring snowshoes.
I left after work from Salt Lake the day before and arrived at the trailhead area around 1 am. Found a great place to car camp a couple miles before the trailhead. I was hiking in the clouds in the early morning but by around the 12,000' mark broke through and the views were awesome. Fun start to a Colorado 14er weekend.
Flew out to Colorado from Pennsylvania by my lonesome back in 2013. Hiked up to the summit of Pikes two days earlier, and then decided to give Elbert a go too.
The weather on this day was rather lousy, with storms rolling in as I was heading up top. I started at around 8 am, and made the summit before 11 am. I was back to my car by 12:30 pm.
In my opinion, this was a pretty easy hike. The warnings of it being a 5 hour ascent (there is a sign along the trail with a carving saying 5 hours to the top) were WAY overstated... It took me about 5 hours round trip. Regardless, it was awesome to stand on top of Colorado!
Tougher than I thought for a class 2, similar to hiking stadium steps or Red Rocks amphitheater.
This was my first 14er back in 2012 and I loved the easy hike with nice views.
unbelievable really. first co 14er and what an experience.
Very very windy but beautiful clear day. Wonderful first 14er!
Anyone climbing Mt Elbert this weekend? august 22nd or 23rd?
Lucked out last Sunday--perfect weather. Could have stayed at the top all day. A far cry from 2003 when my wife and I were nearly struck by lightning on an unsuccessful attempt!
Did the north trail. About 6 hours round trip. I'd recommend the south trail if you have a 4x4 (you don't need the 4WD, but you need the ground clearance--I made it to the creek just before the upper trailhead, but bottomed out BIG TIME).
You never see Elbert on the north trail until you hit the last false summitt (the huge rock cairn) about 1/3 mile before the top. Plus, the scramble part on the north trail blows.