Mount Elbert was a fun and easy state high point. It was a great trip for me and a few friends to backpack and enjoy the outdoors. Because it was fairly easy, it’s the highest point in Colorado, and it’s a 14er, the trail was packed when we went. There were 5 of us and a small dog on this trip, and 2 had never summited a peak before.
The drive from Salt Lake was fun and we stopped in the small town nearest to the mountain to eat and grab a few last minute items. We headed down the highway and turned up a dirt road that led to the trailhead.
We hiked for a few miles through trees. The trail was pretty steep at some points and we were all finding it difficult to keep a quick pace. We passed a lot of people on the way up.
The higher up we got, the more of the valley from where we came was visible. We then turned around a bend and were in the trees again. We continued upward until we reached the tree line and the terrain switched from forest to grass and wildflowers while the steepness stayed about the same.
We set up our camp just inside the tree line and continued on our way to the top. The trail was easy to see as it cut through the grass and eventually turned to a scree field. It was slightly more difficult to find your way from here on, but the trail was still easily visible.
At this point, I began to feel the altitude a little bit as the cool air was thinning towards the top of the peak. When we arrived at the top, the view was one of the best I have seen at the top of a mountain.
The jagged peaks of the Colorado Rockies surrounded us. Snow was still on many of the shaded areas of the mountains, even in June. The sky was clear and you could see for miles in all directions.
We hiked back down to our camp after a while at the summit. We made food and drank wine and hot cocoa. Eventually all of us dispersed to our tents and fell asleep.
The hike back to our car was casual and easy. We returned to the small town near the base for pie before we headed back towards Salt Lake.