Peak(s):  Mt. Massive  -  14,421 feet
Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted:  05/19/2017
Date Climbed:   07/18/2016
Author:  gpeoples
 CT Timberline TH - 14ers & Twin Lakes Ice-cream  

Planned a great Colorado Trail & 14er summits hike during July 2016. The goal was to get a great taste
of the Colorado Trail starting from Turquoise Lake and the Timberline Lake TH and climb Massive and Elbert along the way
to finish at Twin Lakes about 38 miles later .

Our team started out on Sunday July 17th, 2016. The 1st goal after arriving at the trail-head by Turquoise Lake, was 9+
miles to Camp-1 at the CT & Mt. Massive East slope trail junction. The up and down of the Colorado Trail with full packs
takes it out of you, but the South Willow Creek was refreshing to cool off in and a great water source.

River refresh...

The next day, we hit the East Slope, which was straight forward, hiking through the willows in early morning goes fast.
Before long you are above 13K and finally hiking along the ridge, past the SW ridge route (Halfmoon TH).
Willows Mt. Elbert Trail

Willows & long way to summit...

We summited Monday morning at 11ish in windy and darkening skies, later than expected.
We took a few quick photos, and zipped down, to get out of the wind & cold.
Mt. Massive Summit

On Tuesday, we then hiked along the CT for another 8.5 miles or so past half-moon TH to setup Camp-2
along the Mt. Elbert East Ridge route.

I was a little concerned about a water source, but at about a mile+ from the CT trail junction we found a place to camp.
You can go down the gully SW to find a nice flowing river. Could hear it faintly from camp without wind, it looks like
a few other groups had hiked up the river (my assumption) from maybe the South Mt. Elbert TH parking
to a large open area you can camp at up-river.

Wednesday morning July 20th, we got an early start and enjoyed the sunrise at 12,400'
Sunrise on East Mt. Elbert


Early Morning - Twin Lakes below...

Weather was great and we were in the zone. Of course there is certainly a lot of traffic on Elbert in July...
It wasn't long before your hiking through the switch-backs of the boulder field. Summited that
morning around 8am. A happy group with only down-hill hiking left.
Mt. Elbert Summit

It was pickup day at Twin Lakes General Store,
but we had to 1st break down camp and hike out 3-4 miles.
It was a long "HOT" day for us, and we ran a little low on energy,
but the Ice-Cream awaited us at Twin Lakes,
along with salty snacks and sandwiches!!

About 38 miles was covered on our trip,
and almost 12,000' of Ascent,
per Garmin Oregon, along the way.
Garmin Overview

Garmin Adventures Links:
Click-For-Garmin Adventures Link of Trip:

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

 Comments or Questions

Love It!
05/24/2017 12:26
Timberline & Twin lakes are some of my favorite places, very nice trip down the CT!

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2021®, 14ers Inc.