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    Mount Yale Summit Hike

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    16.4 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    1,292 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Mount Yale Summit Hike

    The Mount Yale Summit Hike is an amazing expedition up to the summit of a Colorado fourteener (14er). Located in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, this hike is a picturesque adventure that exhibits the diversity and beauty of the Colorado wilderness. Perfect as an introductory ascent to 14ers, the Mount Yale Summit Hike has the ideal ratio between strenuity and scenery.

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    Route Description for Mount Yale Summit Hike

    Challenge yourself as you attempt the Mount Yale Summit Hike. Reserved for experienced hikers or intrepid adventurers, this trek demands stamina. Ascending over 1,000 m, you will be hiking at extreme altitudes, so make sure you are acclimated to the area’s elevation prior to your ascent. Additionally, we suggest checking the forecast to mitigate the chances of getting caught in an afternoon storm at the exposed summit. Pack plenty of water and wear layers as insurance against chilly conditions and consider wearing microspikes in the late fall or winter months to navigate the likely icy and snow-packed terrain safely.

    This demanding adventure up to the peak of a famous 14er will surely tire its adventurers, but it is well worth it. The Mount Yale Summit Hike presents the ideal conditioning exercise for those beginning to dip their toes into the waters of Colorado summit treks. The more manageable terrain and gradual grade will push your limits without over-exhausting you. Let the expansive views of the neighboring snow-capped peaks that flank the verdant woodlands motivate and distract you from your sore feet. Be sure to charge your camera—the picturesque scenery warrants plenty of photos. We love this hike, and we can almost guarantee you will too.

    Embark on your adventure along the Mount Yale Summit Hike from the trailhead off County Road 306. Follow the Browns Pass Trail north through the sparse tree shade of towering pines from the trailhead. Immediately after your departure, the route will begin to climb towards the summit, following along Denny Creek. As you ascend the route, you will have to intersect with several creeks before meeting an intersection. Here, veer right, and you will be diverted onto the Mount Yale Trail.

    The Mount Yale Trail will redirect adventurers northeast up the increasingly exposed terrain. Navigate several alpine stream crossings before hiking through the alpine tundra. Enjoy the exposed landscape, revelling in the expansive views of the mountainous wilderness. Nearing the summit, the path will demand scrambling up the steep rocky talus to the true peak. Mind your footing as you maneuver the switchbacks through rock meadow up to a breathtaking overlook.

    From the summit of Mount Yale, admire the panoramic 360-degree vistas of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. Appreciate the grandeur of the surrounding snow-dusted peaks and sights of the lush forestlands below. In the north, notice Mount Colombia and Mount Harvard, and in the southwest, enjoy views of the Elk Mountains. Rest, rehydrate and appreciate the impressive scenery before beginning your descent. Retrace your footing along the route back to the trailhead when you are ready.

    Trail Highlights

    Mount Yale

    Mount Yale is an impressive Colorado 14er in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, near Buena Vista. Mount Yale is one of the Collegiate Peaks, a group of Colorado 14ers named for Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Oxford, and Columbia. Named in honor of Eli Yale of Yale University, this summit ranks 16th on the list of Colorado peaks. Sitting at an elevation of 4,328 m, Mount Yale is one of the more accessible, non-technical fourteeners, labeled as a Class 2 ascent—but don’t get us wrong, it is far from easy! This hike is a wonderful year-round adventure and a must-add to your Sawatch Mountain Range region itinerary.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How difficult is the Mount Yale Summit Hike?

    The Mount Yale Summit Hike is a demanding adventure up to the summit of a Colorado 14er. Reserved for experienced hikers, the trek is labeled as a strenuous hike.

    How tall is Mount Yale?

    Mount Yale sits at an elevation of 4,328 m.

    Are dogs permitted on Mount Yale?

    Yes, dogs are allowed on Mount Yale, but because of the technical and steep terrain, it is recommended to leave them behind.

    Insider Hints for Mount Yale Summit Hike

    • Wear crampons and consider trekking poles in the late fall and winter months
    • Though dogs are permitted on the trail, we discourage bringing along your pup as the technical and steep terrain can be rough on their paws
    • Be sure to check the forecast prior to your ascent to mitigate the chances of getting caught in an afternoon storm
    • Make sure you are acclimated to the area’s elevation prior to your hike
    • Grab a latte at Buena Vista Roastery after your exhausting adventure

    Getting to the Mount Yale Summit Hike Trailhead

    The Mount Yale Summit Hike departs from the trailhead off County Road 306.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Mount Yale Summit Hike Elevation Graph

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