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Topic: South Mt Elbert Trail, Best nearby campground< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2013, 11:59 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We are planning on climbing Mt. Elbert this coming June.  We would like to find campground that is within walking distance of a trailhead.  From what I can tell, Lakeview Campground near Leadville would work for us.  Can anyone verify that the South Mt Elbert Trailhead is at the campground?  I have not yet ordered a topo map but I want to make reservations as soon as possible.  I have found a couple of other possibilities but they don't take reservations.  Since we are coming from Indiana, I want to know for certain that we will have a campsite when we get there.

Also, if anyone could give us an idea of what we will be looking at as far as weather in mid-June, that would be helpful too.  I know it varies year to year but it'd be nice to know if we're likely to be dealing with a lot of snow.  I will be looking for updates on trail conditions as we gets closer to our hiking date.

Thanks for any help!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 12:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I cannot comment on the camping, when I did Elbert one of the other people in the group scouted the site.

However, I will say that you should probably consider waiting until July.  The snowiest months are still to come and the odds are that Elbert will still have a substantial amount of snow on it in mid-June.  If you want a snow-free hike mid-July is a better bet.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 2:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Check out 14ers.com for TH info.  The forums may also answer your question of campgrounds..i hiked Elbert from the NE ridge with a large parking lot along Half Moon Road at that TH.  Plenty of dispersed camping along that road in addition to the Half Moon Campground.
Go mid week for less competition for camp spots.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 12:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One trailhead is at the campsite:

From Leadville, drive south approximately 10 miles to the intersection of U.S. 24 and Colorado (CO) 82. From Buena Vista drive north 20 miles to the same intersection. Once on CO 82, drive west 4 miles to Lake County Road 24 (Do not confuse with U.S. 24). Turn right (north) on Lake County 24 and drive one mile to Lakeview Campground. The trailhead is on the northwest side of the campground and is also an access point for the Colorado/Continental Divide Trail in which a short section runs from Lakeview to the North Mt. Elbert Trailhead. Shortly after Lakeview Campground, turn left into an obvious parking area, overlook, and dirt road. This is the 2WD trailhead at 9560 ft. High clearance vehicles can drive to 10,440 ft at the upper trailhead by driving west past the parking lot on a rough road for 2 miles until the road ends and you see other vehicles parked. The upper trailhead is on the north side of the parking area. Cross a creek via a footbridge and continue a short distance until reaching a signed intersection of the Mt. Elbert/Colorado/Continental Divide Trail where you turn left (NW).

http://www.summitpost.org/south-mt-elbert-trail/322285


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 10:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the replies.  As far as our June date, that is the only time this year we can go.  Sounds crazy but between my work schedule and the kids' activities, we are very limited are available dates.  I guess we'll just plan for it and keep checking trail updates as we get closer.  I will definitely check out 14er.com, thanks for passing that along.

I had read the summitpost trail info and my concern was with the "shortly after Lakeview Campground" part.  I didn't know if that meant short in the walking sense or it meant a short drive.  I'd hate to plan for an 11 mile hike and find out we are a mile or so from the actual trailhead.  

Thanks again for the replies.  We had hoped to do this hike last year and thunderstorms kept us from even trying.  We only had a 3 day window and the weather did not cooperate at all.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 8:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(medicmom @ Jan. 22 2013, 10:48 pm)
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I had read the summitpost trail info and my concern was with the "shortly after Lakeview Campground" part.  I didn't know if that meant short in the walking sense or it meant a short drive.  I'd hate to plan for an 11 mile hike and find out we are a mile or so from the actual trailhead.

Yeah, the info for the SummitPost trailhead page wasn't written well. I double-checked Roach's book last night, and it confirmed that one trailhead is located in the northwest corner of the campground.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 11:22 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"Shortly" means exactly that.....especially when it was just said that it's located on the NW side of the campground.  Otherwise, it's about a one minute walk.  And, If you have any suggestions on how the description on the SummitPost page can be improved, feel free to give me suggestions and I'll make the changes.  

Mid June is usually ok to climb Elbert.   The road and lower parts of the trail will be clear of snow but you will encounter snow sections once above treeline.   However, the snow sections can be detoured.   Here's a few photos from a trip in mid June in 2003.

Have fun on your trip!


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 12:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks again for the replies and confirming the location of the trailhead.  I had assumed it was just a short walk but I've gotten myself in trouble in the past by making assumptions.  Thank you for the photos, Alan.  I lived in Colorado years ago as a kid and am very much looking forward to going back.  The Rockies were what made me fall in love with moutains and I can't wait for my kids to experience them as well.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 1:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Alan Ellis @ Jan. 27 2013, 11:22 am)
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And, If you have any suggestions on how the description on the SummitPost page can be improved, feel free to give me suggestions and I'll make the changes.

It was clear on your page Jim. Not-so-much on the South Mt. Elbert Trailhead page where it is written as if you need to travel past the campground for a mile to reach the trailhead:

"Follow the road up past the Lakeview Campground for just over one mile to the 2wd parking lot at 9560 feet"

http://www.summitpost.org/south-mount-elbert-trailhead/656863


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 1:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Deborah's snow concern should not be dismissed as easily as you apparently have tried to. The Sangres generally melt out much earlier and IMO are far more spectacular than any other range in the State let alone that arguablly redundant stretch of the Divide.

If you must do a Fourteener backpacking into South Colony Lakes affords access to one of Colorado's great early season Fourteeners, Humboldt.

If you want spectacular country and aren't obsessed with Fourteeners a good number of dayhikes on the West side of the range are among the finest you'll ever find in the world let alone Colorado.

If its an early Spring Elbert could be a great choice, but not as good as Lincoln, Democrat, and Bross IMO. It does indeed just depend on how the winter/spring develops. 2012 you probably would have been OK, 2011 not a chance. PLAN OPTIONS.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 31 2013, 9:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(WalksWithBlackflies @ Jan. 28 2013, 1:04 pm)
QUOTE

(Alan Ellis @ Jan. 27 2013, 11:22 am)
QUOTE
And, If you have any suggestions on how the description on the SummitPost page can be improved, feel free to give me suggestions and I'll make the changes.

It was clear on your page Jim. Not-so-much on the South Mt. Elbert Trailhead page where it is written as if you need to travel past the campground for a mile to reach the trailhead:

"Follow the road up past the Lakeview Campground for just over one mile to the 2wd parking lot at 9560 feet"

http://www.summitpost.org/south-mount-elbert-trailhead/656863

Can't help you on Jim's TH page.  It's obviously incorrect.  

Elbert is climbed all winter long, so "not a chance" would be a stretch.  You'll just need snowshoes for most of it if this year proves to be a big snow year.  :)

Have fun and good luck on your trip.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 31 2013, 9:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Above the aspens near treeline on Elbert.  March 2011.



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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 10:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Once again, I want to say thanks for all the replies, suggestions and concerns.  We have been discussing our options and have developed a plan B although we would still like to make this hike happen.  I will be looking for input on trail conditions as we get closer to trip time.  My vacation time is set for this year and June is our only option for this particular trip as late July and early August are set aside for Glacier/Waterton Lakes.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 27 2013, 9:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As well they should be.!

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PostIcon Posted on: May 24 2013, 2:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Any news on how the snow melt is progressing, if at all?  We are still open for going to Colorado or New Mexico.
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