Photo
Mt. Yale
standard Southwest Slopes
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Difficulty:
 Class 2 
Risk Factors:Exposure: Moderate
Rockfall Potential: Moderate  
Route-Finding: Low  
Commitment: Moderate  
 
Trailhead:Denny Creek
Start:9,900 feet
Summit:14,196 feet
Total Gain:4,300 feet
RT Length:9.50 miles
Duration:User Climb Times
Author:BillMiddlebrook
Updated:6/2019
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:376 reports
Cell Signal:18 reports
Sheriff:Chaffee: 719-539-2596
Forest:San Isabel
Wilderness:Collegiate Peaks
Quad. Maps:Log In to View
Camping:On Google Maps
Eats:On Google Maps
Downloads:Log In to Download
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Trailhead

From U.S. 24 in the center of Buena Vista, take the County 306 road towards Cottonwood Pass. Drive 12 miles on this road to reach the Denny Creek Trailhead and paved parking area on the right.

Route

Taken from just up the Cottonwood Pass (306) road, 1 shows the upper route. From the parking area, follow the trail north into the forest. After 1 mile, cross the Denny Creek stream on a log bridge. Near 1.25 miles, locate the Hartenstein Lake/Mt. Yale trail junction - 2. Turn right and proceed toward Mt. Yale. Weave through the forest and eventually parallel the stream in Delaney Gulch.

Near 11,200', cross the Delaney Gulch stream on a log bridge - 3. Shortly after some small meadows, the trail climbs steeply up a hillside. From 11,300' to 11,900', hike north and east through the forest on a great trail - 4 and 5. Above 12,100', leave the trees ( 6) and continue up through rocks ( 7) as the trail approaches a shoulder. Once on the shoulder, head northeast toward Yale's upper west slopes - 8, 9 and 10. Continue to 13,200' and begin climbing a steep slope at the top of the west slopes - 11. Grind out 750' of elevation gain to reach 13,950', at a saddle saddle on Yale's northwest ridge.

Turn right (southeast) and walk over to the rugged summit ridge - 12. Follow a cairned, Class 2 route along the west (right) side of the ridge crest or scramble along the ridge crest to increase the difficulty to Easy Class 3 - 13 and 14. Continue to the spacious summit - 15, 16 and 17.

Notes

Yale has a trail to 13,900'. The last 1.5 miles to the summit is steep and slow going. IMPORTANT: This route enters the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness area. Wilderness areas have special regulations and restrictions for party size, dispersed camping, campfires, etc. Also, dog owners should read the wilderness information carefully because some wilderness areas prohibit dogs to be off-leash and/or limit how close dogs can be to lakes and streams. If you have questions about the wilderness area, please contact a U.S. Forest Service office for the National Forest(s) listed above.
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