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Leadville, Colorado, United States

North Mt. Elbert Trail - Highpoint of Colorado

An easy non-technical day climb, that is if you are used to the 14,440 ft elevation

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Difficulty: Difficult
Length: 8.7 miles / 14.0 km
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
Overview: At 14,440 feet Mt. Elbert is the highest point in the Sawatch Range as well as the state. On this 4,500 foot climb you'll mostly be above treeline so be prepared. You will also be at altitude so make sure you allow yourself plenty of time. Also, make sure to get a VERY early start because thunderstorms always roll in during summer afternoons and it is highly dangerous to be above treeline in an electrial storm.

Tips: From Leadville, drive 3.5 miles south on US 24 to CO 300. Turn right on CO 300 and drive 0.7 miles and turn left on Lake County 11 which is a newly paved road. Drive south 1.8 miles on Lake County 11 and turn right at the signed intersection for Halfmoon Creek. Continue southwest past the Halfmoon Creek Campground and the Elbert Creek Campground until reaching the trailhead at 6.9 miles.

No permits or fees required.

Points of Interest


Trailhead Gate

Plenty of parking here. No fees or permits needed.

View Towards Destination

Looking up towards the top above one of the last groves of trees you will pass through before being above treeline for the rest of the climb.

View of the Summit

Looking up with over a thousand feet left to go still.

Almost There!

The final slope leading to the summit.

Top of Colorado

The highest point in Colorado. You'll have great views all around and a cool view of Twin Lakes far below.
Pictures in this guide taken by: JonathanEllinger

Jonathan Ellinger

North Mt. Elbert Trail - Highpoint of Colorado Trail Map

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About the Author

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Although I have climbed over 250 mountains from various places around the U.S. and have hiked in Europe...

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