Find a large truck entrance at the far east end of Garfield, 0.5 miles east of the Monarch Lodge. The old entrance to the mine roads is still open also, but is very rugged for the first 0.1 miles. You can find the old entrance just 0.1 miles east of the Riding Stables on the north side of U.S. 50 in Garfield. Either way, you will end up on the same, wide road. Because of extensive quarrying going on in Taylor Gulch, the dirt road is in great shape, at least up to the quarry. Follow it to just above the quarries and park. Above this level is a maze of old mining roads. If you’d rather drive than hike, you can probably find a way to reach 12,600’ or higher by ATV or 4WD vehicle. Many people do.
Hike north and west until you get on a ridge below Taylor’s summit. Follow old mining roads when convenient, and at other times you have to beat your own path up the mountain. Most of the old roads are slowly returning to nature, although some are still used. Many are short spurs, and all of them dead end at a mine or prospecting pit.
Once on the ridge, you can see the summit to the northwest. Circumvent the snow field, if present, to the south. Scramble up through some large boulders near the summit.
If conditions are to your liking, traverse the 1.2 mile ridge west and bag Mount Aetna.
Standard day hiking gear is sufficient.
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