Mt. Elbert
Colorado 14er
14,440 feet, 4401 meter
Rocky Mountain National Park |
Anatomy of a Storm
14ers FAQ|New Climber FAQ

Mt Elbert is the highest peak in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. It is also the second highest in the lower United States after Mt. Whitney in California. It is in the San Isabel National Forest of the Sawatch Range in the center of the state. The nearest town is Leadville. A little over 8.5 miles roundtrip you gain about 4650 feet starting from the trailhead at 10,400'. While this is the highest peak, it is not very difficult just a long day of 8 to 10 hours.

I climbed it in September 1994 on a weeked trip along with Mts. Lincoln, Bross and Democrat.

The trail starts in a typically beautiful Colorado pine forest and gradually gains altitude. You pass nice quiet pools of water and flowing streams. After a few hours you leave the forest around 12,000 feet. The last 1,000 feet becomes a little steeper and you may feel the effects of the altitude.

This was one of my first 14'ers so I definitely felt in back in 1994, so take it easy and make sure you drink a lot of water and eat power bars. The summit is a nice round mound of rock where the views are stunning. depending on the time of the year, you can see stunning snow capped mountains in every direction. A great climb for everyone ... and the highest in the Rockies!!