Posted by
Message
Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
30932 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Some pics from back near and along the Mt. Sherman trail. Weather was sketchy enough that I wasn't trying to summit today.















jordan21210
USA Fan
Member since Apr 2009
11538 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Hijacking this as not to start a 14er thread.

Duke,

Me and 6 friends will be staying in Avon this Saturday and Sunday. Looking at tackling a 14er Sunday morning…think we’re between Belford, Elbert, and La Plata. Any preference? I was leaning Belford just because I think Elbert will be more crowded. Weather looks spotty as of now but have been checking on mountain-forecast.com, hope the storms stay on the PM side.


Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
30932 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
quote:

Me and 6 friends will be staying in Avon this Saturday and Sunday. Looking at tackling a 14er Sunday morning…think we’re between Belford, Elbert, and La Plata. Any preference?


Good choices.

Elbert is busy, but Blackcloud trailhead won't be busy (put it in your GPS because it ain't marked). That or if you're in a good high clearance vehicle with AWD, you can hit the forest service road by the south trailhead and park at the lily ponds about a mile further up.

But...

La Plata and Belford are so well positioned to see so much. La Plata is a locals favorite, but do download the CO Trex app because it can be tricky to find the trail up above the treeline. That app will let you download a map and you can use GPS vs cell signal for pathfinding. Plus, it's free.

I haven't done Belford yet, but I know it's a great hike from those who did it. Remember though, it's quite a bit longer drive to Missouri Gulch than you realize.
It's probably 35-40 extra minutes vs getting to La Plata or some of the alt Elbert trails.

Coming from Avon, it would be worth considering that.

Also, consider Mt. Sherman (my above pics) on the Lake Co side (just east of Leadville). Trailhead ain't marked at all, but I can explain it if you're interested.


jordan21210
USA Fan
Member since Apr 2009
11538 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Sweet. Glad we’re on the right track. Was doing some research this morning and really liking Mt Belford via Missouri Gulch/Elkhead Pass. Supposedly adds 3 miles total to the hike, but takes out the switchbacks on the Belford summit trail - which I’m reading is pretty steep.

I’ll look into your other recs when I have some time later today.

Probably should add, this will be the first 14er for four of us (myself included). We’re all in good shape though - avid runners - so think we’ll be fine. My fiancé is grabbing some Diamox to have just in case. Main concern is the weather so hoping we can have everyone up and at the trailhead by 5am.


Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
30932 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
If it helps, I'm a meteorologist and about four miles from Belfort as the crow flies. I'll keep an eye on the weather for you.

First 14er, you're going to be worried about oxygen but you really should make sure you have enough water.

Your chosen trail sounds pretty good. Long is better than steep for sure. Coming from Avon, you might be tempted to go US 24 since it's like the next exit east but early in the day I find Vail Pass to Copper and over Fremont Pass to Leadville faster since you can basically roll at 75 all the way to Leadville.


jordan21210
USA Fan
Member since Apr 2009
11538 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September


Gonna talk with the group later. Black Cloud Trail that you mentioned looks good too and will for sure be less crowded vs North Mt Elbert trail at Half Moon.

Downloaded the CO Trex app too. Should help a ton, great rec.


Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
30932 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
So the north trailhead of Elbert might actually be less traveled this year. Halfmoon Road is closed just past the campground. You have to hike like a mile to the trailhead.

Be aware, Blackcloud is probably the steepest common approach. Especially early on, but it's a great route.

I'll keep checking this thread as the week goes on, throw any other questions you have out and I'll get em answered.


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
10
Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
30932 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
So the weather isn't looking great. Last two days have had storms forming before noon. I've got the first thunderstorm of the day forming over Elbert right now.

Good news is I have copious pictures showing what "get below the treeline" weather looks like.


TigerSaintInDallas
USA Fan
Denver
Member since Sep 2012
351 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
On the plus side, Sunday is looking to be better weather than Saturday and Friday. Low chance of t storm until 1pm on Elbert, vs Medium chance starting at 1pm on Saturday. Lot less rain and cloud cover on Sunday too. Basing all of this off Open Summit.

We are hiking this weekend and going on Sunday based off the weather report, for what it’s worth!
This post was edited on 7/22 at 5:57 pm


Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
30932 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
That's where the forecast is pointing and it follows the pattern of the last two weeks too. Sunday and Monday have been ending up dry.

I want to see the short range models before jumping in on that feet first. They'll be getting into range tonight and tomorrow.

You looking at Elbert too?


TD SponsorTD Fan
USA
Member since 2001
Thank you for supporting our sponsors
Advertisement
TigerSaintInDallas
USA Fan
Denver
Member since Sep 2012
351 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
We are planning on doing a lake in either Nederland or Vail, haven’t decided for sure yet. We haven’t been able to hike in a bit as my fiancee has been working a lot and I’ve been nursing a broken rib, haha. So not currently itching to do a 14er. Maybe next weekend. Are you going somewhere?


Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
30932 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
quote:

Are you going somewhere?


I'm in Twin Lakes till the end of September. Literally looking at Elbert as I type this.

So I got you for the rest of summer on weather questions for hikes.

And in the near term, I'm exploring more than trying to knock down 14ers.
This post was edited on 7/22 at 6:23 pm


Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
31506 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
We will be driving by twin lakes tomorrow.


Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
30932 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
quote:

We will be driving by twin lakes tomorrow.


Awesome. If you're coming through, like to Aspen or something, go up Lake Co 24 up to the Mt. Elbert Forebay if it isn't storming.


Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
30932 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Sunday is looking alright to this point. PWats dropping to under 0.5" in the high terrain. HRRR doesn't want much lightning in the long range. NAM agrees on some drying Sat into Sunday. It follows the wind shift to out of the NW. Hikes around Vail/Eagle Co probably going to be good.

High elevation stuff still sketchy since I doubt there will be no storms but that looks like the day with the best window this weekend.


fatcatswag22
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Feb 2010
84 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Duke, pleasure meeting you this past weekend at the visitor center and appreciate the suggestions. Wife and I are settling on La Plata for this Sunday, if the weather is cooperating. I will likely check in with you tomorrow for a weather forecast for Sunday. It's looking better than today/tom, but still pretty sketchy. Still considering Elbert, Sherman, or something in the Collegiate's as well.

Jordan, if a 14er doesn't work out for your group, Duke put me on the Hope Pass via Willis Gulch Trail this past Saturday and it did not disappoint. Beautiful views, challenging, especially the switchbacks at the end - around 9-10 miles up to 12,500'. Hope Pass is also part of the Colorado Trail and it was nice chatting with various thru hikers.

Also suggest the Shrine Ridge Trail around the corner from Vail. Pretty easy 4 mile hike, extremely rewarding views, and wildflowers are exploding. However, recent rain may change things.

Keep a lookout for a guy in a purple LSU hat this weekend.
This post was edited on 7/23 at 5:00 pm


Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
30932 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Glad y'all hung out for a little while too. Good company.

Also was fun to explain to the forest ranger why this random dude asked me about "tigerdroppings".

Get to the La Plata trailhead early, for parking as much as anything else. Fills up fast.

Weather has been wild here the past three days. Today especially. Don't often get pwats above 1" up here and the energy showed. Tons of lightning.

Atmosphere looks to dry out Sunday with the wind shift. Don't trust sun plus evaporation not to spark something on the high peaks but it'll be after noon I'm pretty sure.



TigerSaintInDallas
USA Fan
Denver
Member since Sep 2012
351 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Only thing I’m worried about is the wildfire smoke this weekend... but it is that time of year.


Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
31506 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
quote:


Awesome. If you're coming through, like to Aspen or something, go up Lake Co 24 up to the Mt. Elbert Forebay if it isn't storming.


We bailed on hiking today with all the rain. Headed down to Santa Fe tomorrow.


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
10
Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
30932 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
quote:

Only thing I’m worried about is the wildfire smoke this weekend... but it is that time of year.


Will probably slowly filter in Sunday with the NW wind, but going to be nice and clear until then.


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
00
first pageprev pagePage 2 of 2next pagelast page
refresh

Back to top

logoFollow TigerDroppings for LSU Football News
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to get the latest updates on LSU Football and Recruiting.

FacebookTwitterInstagram