Start time: 6:15am
Up: 4.25 hr
Down: 2.5 hr
Total: 6.75 hr
The drive to the trailhead was super easy. The road is really pretty, and the trailhead is off a paved road, so there were no issues getting there. There are restrooms at the trailhead.
My husband and I left a little after 6am on the trail.
We were spoiled yesterday on Harvard with so few people hiking, that we were actually disappointed to see so many cars and people at the trailhead. The trail starts out with a bit of loose rock, and a lot of horse doo-doo. Once we got past those initial switchbacks, the trail was very nice and well defined. The hike was very pretty along the stream and through the trees. The first stream crossing may be the most deceiving as the logs move just a little more than expected. All the other stream crossings were easy.
Log bridge stream crossing early on
We saw a lot more wildlife on this hike than the day before on Harvard. In the beginning, the trail does go up and down quite a bit, but overall you can feel yourself gaining elevation pretty quickly.
more stream crossing, look for the logs to the left
It was steep in most areas, even before treeline.
well defined, but steep
Once you are out of the treeline, the trail goes up around some rolling “hills”, but the trail is easy to follow the whole way up to the ridge.
another example of how nicely the trail was constructed
Once you get to the ridge (about 13,900), the trail is much more difficult to find, and it becomes a choose your own adventure over the ridge. You can’t see the summit once you get up to the ridge. In the route information, it says that this part is 1.5 miles from the summit, but we didn’t think it was this far, although it is slow-going, and it is important to take your time. It seems easier to the right (rather than heading toward the left), but it is whatever you feel comfortable with….just keep going toward the summit!
finally to the ridge...now the fun part! once you get to the second hump, stay to the right
not exactly an easy to follow trail, but look at the adorable marmot!
choose your own adventure!
The summit was so spacious, and nice to spend some time on. The views were gorgeous. From the top, we had a new appreciation for how long the trip to Mt. Harvard was yesterday!
Mt. Harvard and Mt. Columbia from the summit
There was a laminated sign at the top, which made it nice for our summit picture.
We made it!
We made great time on the way down once we got down the ridge. It was difficult to walk, and were almost jogging for most of it because of how steep the trail was. Overall, this was a great hike with a very nice trail, and we had a lot of fun. I highly recommend this 14er if you haven’t done it yet!