Mount Columbia Hike
The Mount Columbia Hike is an amazing adventure up a dramatic Colorado 14er. Located in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, this trail will guide explorers through aspen groves, pine forests, and alpine tundras, before summiting the snow-capped peak. If you are seeking a challenge, then this hike is the perfect option!
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Route Description for Mount Columbia Hike
The Mount Columbia Hike is a high-effort, high reward experience. Reserved for intrepid spirits and experienced hikers, this trek demands stamina and preparation. The route will see you gain over 1,200 m in elevation, so it is important that you are properly acclimated to the area’s altitude prior to your climb. Additionally, the terrain at the summit will likely be cloaked in snow and ice, so we recommend trekking poles and microspikes to safely navigate the vertiginous terrain. Finally, you will want to reach the peak before noon to mitigate the chances of getting caught in an afternoon storm, so best leave before dawn!
Departing from the North Cottonwood Trailhead, the Mount Columbia Hike follows the Horn Fork Basin Trail northwest through the woodlands. This section of the trail will likely be the busiest, as it connects to several other treks in the area. Shortly after your departure from the trailhead you will encounter an intersection, keep right here. Following the path northwest, you will eventually be guided into an aspen forest, before confronting another junction. Veer right here onto the Mount Columbia West Slopes Trail, which is a technical and more primitive path.
Carefully navigate the steep switchbacks up to the ridge, then hike the vertiginous terrain up to the summit of the Colorado 14er. At the peak, be sure to appreciate what you just accomplished and admire the sweeping alpine vistas. Revel in the sights of the dramatic snow-capped peaks that stretch for miles and when you are ready to descend, simply retrace your footing along the paths back to the trailhead.
Getting to the Mount Columbia Hike Trailhead
The Mount Columbia Hike is accessed via the North Cottonwood Trailhead off the North Cottonwood Road.
Mount Columbia Hike Elevation Graph
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Mount Columbia Hike Reviews
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