The wildflowers were beautiful. We had amazing views from the top, but must have gone too early for any wildflowers. Once above tree line, just keep heading up and you will find yourself on top of Elk! to the mountains goes I! Jason answered my call and was accommodating to book us a snowmobile tour for that coming Wednesday. I put Cam's coordinates in google maps and it took me right to the trailhead. Start from the Cathedral Lake trailhead. Biologists used to count over 1,000 head of elk from the air near Vail, Colorado. Also look for the pink ribbon on a tree. Hey Kane, just fyi, this is also called the more generic "Four Passes Loop" by trail runners and is considered to be among some of the most difficult and challenging of trail runs. Beautiful trail. You must make time to visit Maroon Lake when here. The Elk Mountains are a high, rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains of west-central Colorado in the United States. We'll spend much of the journey above … The directions on the app brought us directly to the trailhead. While access can be challenging, the hike itself typically is not. Crystal clear streams, pristine alpine lakes and lush green … Cattle on the road coming in so drive with caution. I have nothing to do for the next four days beyond finding a bit of solitude and treading lightly in body and soul. Could not find the trail head and the roads for the last 12 miles are no maintenance roads. There are breathtaking view of Grand County at the top above the tree line. (10), Additions & Corrections Spectacular opportunity to own the best value in dude ranching found deep in the Colorado Rocky Mountains! After the meadow, turn left and go up the hill to the peak. I found the Elk Mountain Adventure online, called early on Sunday before we left on Tuesday. They moved quickly from the forest and soon … Stunning, absolutely stunning end!!!! There are a couple of slightly dodgy segments on the ridge - bad rock and considerable exposure on the Conundrum side - but it's easy enough to get over to Pt 13,540. Central Colorado. © 2006-2020 SummitPost.org. (2 ), Dawson's Guide to Colorado Fourteeners Vol. This challenging loop takes in both peaks, connecting them via the Wilson River Trail and trail connections on the back sides of both peaks that involve a couple of scramble sections. The I was in love with this hike, one of the best I have been on in awhile. Trail is apparently seldom used and not well maintained. And I did miss the left turn mile and half in at first but went back to it. BEAUTIFUL views on the drive but wanted people to know what they are getting into! Living in Boulder County, Colorado, has its advantages like the drive to Rocky Mountain National Park takes less than an hour. Unbeatable views at the top. View Elk Mountains Image Gallery - 217 Images. Turn left and bushwhack through the trees here as there is no distinct trail from this point. Hiked on Wednesday morning, only one around until decent from peak. We had a little trouble finding the trail. I grew up in Wisconsin where deer rut in November and was surprised to find a bull sniffing around his sixty-plus harem on the edge of Estes Park. Not too hard to find, just drop pin on all trails trail head. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. In the winter, the mountains are covered with virgin snow and winter wildlife. Cool views on the top but the smoke does hinder them. With Wilderness designation, these protected mountains are rugged, steep and aesthetically pleasing. Missouri Lakes. The Elk Mountains and West Elk Mountains, near the ski towns of Aspen and Crested Butte, are arguably the most beautiful mountains in Colorado.The combination of jagged peaks, multi-colored rocks, expansive fields of wildflowers, and vast groves of aspen make these mountains pure alpine eye candy. I know! Sunset in the West Elk Mountains of Colorado. Still some snow on the trail but easily navigable. Elk Mountain Ranch is secluded within the San Isabel National Forest near Buena Vista, CO. A pleasant two hour drive from Denver or Colorado Springs brings you to the heart of the Rockies. West Elk Mountains: Beckwith Pass from Lost Lake Gunnison National Forest 6 mi (RT); 500 ft elevation gain. Hiking trails are a path to destruction for Colorado elk Recreationalists in Vail are having a devastating impact on the local herd. Just FYI the last 13 miles of the drive are all dirt road. Judd Falls Gunnison National Forest 2.3 mi (RT); 300 ft elevation gain. Start at abandoned forest rd 113 about a half mile north on Rd 112. I’d rate this a moderately easy hike. You follow the 4x4 trail up the switchbacks until you reach an open meadow the road travels through. Who knew? The last mile is open and hot in the sun and smoke. Good quick hike to the summit. Elk Mtn Trailhead is not marked - actual location = 40° 10' 17.1876'' N, 106° 8' 19.7016'' W. Parking is best in clearing across CR-21 where old drill site is located. Elk Mountain Resort is a magical place. It's possible to do a slight variant on the route suggested - one that allows you to take greater advantage of the fabulous views from the Cathedral-Hayden ridge. There is cell phone coverage at least for Verizon for most of the journey. Easy incline for most of the way, the last stretch will have you breathing hard though! We tried to hike this one this morning but got 1.5 miles away from trailhead and snow was covering the road :( the road was CO 21. definitely could have walked but we ended up running out of time. Saw 2 bull moose, a herd of deer and a bunch of marmots and chipmunks on the way in. Fairly easy hike for most of the way but it gets a little steep (with loose mud) in the last quarter. all on Map, 44 Our guide was a young man named Blake. COTREX is a project by the Colorado DNR and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. This trail is now fully accessible. It's worth the hike, though - awesome views from the summit! The high mountains of Colorado’s Elk Range are among the finest peaks in the Rockies. The Woods Walk, Lower Loop, and Budd Trail are 3 beginner to moderate trails that access spectacular views of Crested Butte Mountain and Paradise Divide. The majestic brown animals, a symbol of the American west, dotted hundreds of … I parked directly on the 4x4 trail as far as I could drive but there is a parking lot across the main road you can park on if you have low a clearance vehicle. We are planning on doing the hike again when the smoke isn't a factor. The mountains sit on the western side of the Continental Divide, largely in southern Pitkin and northern Gunnison counties, in the area southwest of Aspen, south of the Roaring Fork River valley, and east of the Crystal River. A week at the Elk Mountain Dude Ranch encompasses the best of Colorado all at a great price. Days Required: 1-2 days. Beautiful time of the year to experience fall.  More Mountains & Rocks, Tellurium, A Rugged Peak Whose Summit I Could Not Reach, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness - Willow Lake, Lost Remuda Basin, Buckskin Pass, Four Days in Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness Area, Sensory Overload in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, Fall Break in the Maroon Bells - October 15-18, 2010, Colorado's Elk Range: Four Pass Loop (and More! Elk Mountain Trail is a 4.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. Started at 9:30ish back in the car at 12:30. Elk Mountain Trail is a 6.8 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. Near Kebler Pass in the Elk Mountains, Colorado. The TH is not marked, there are other reviews that have done a better job describing how to access. Next comes the alpine layer, known as the “land above the trees.” Here, you’ll spot a different set of greenery, along with birds, elk, and smaller mammals. You won't be disappointed. It’s perfect for everyone - families, couples, singles and small groups. The days are filled with horseback riding, white water rafting, hiking, riflery, fishing, mountain biking and other activities. The Sawatch and Elk Mountain ranges around Aspen, Leadville, Buena Vista, Crested Butte and Marble, offer the quintessential Rocky Mountain hiking experience with glacial valleys leading to vast alpine expanses sprinkled with glistening lakes amid soaring peaks. One other pair of hikers, otherwise complete solitude. Renowned Elk Mountain Ranch has been the destination vacation for visitors seeking the ultimate dude ranch experience for over 35 years. This trail challenged me but I could do it - for sure that last .5 mile is brutal for someone like me. The trail will be on the right side of the road with what looks like a 4x4 trail. Great views even though it’s incrediblyyyyy smoky. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until January. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. It was still muddy at places along trail up to meadow and a bit soggy coming out of the meadow. The trailhead from the road and transition between the switchbacks and final accent are not well marked, but easy enough to find if you follow the map. You will travel uphill a little ways (about .25-.5 a mile) before you get above tree line and are nearing the summit. But really, just the drive up there was spectacular. From Electric Pass Peak, head N directly along the ridge towards Hayden Peak. There is a rusty metal sign at the entrance where someone wrote the trail name in chalk. We saw tons of flowers, the meadow that others have mentioned was beautiful. 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