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Mt. Yale - 14,196' - Advanced

  • Jul 6, 2013 · 5:45 AM

Mt Yale, 14,196 ft near Buena Vista

Here's your chance to say you went to Yale without lying!




It is HIGHLY Recommended that you either camp or lodge nearby the night before unless you're OK with heading out at 2-3am in the morning to make this from Denver. Collegiate Peaks Campgrounds are nearby. Plan your lodging well in advance, especially if you plan to camp. Salida is cheaper and has more availability and is only half an hour south of the trail.

Park on the road up to the Denny Creek Trailhead and meet us at the trailhead at 6:30am. We will leave the trailhead by 6:45 am.




From Denver:

Take US Hwy 285 South to US Hwy 24 near Buena Vista (beyond Fairplay). Take US Hwy 24 North toward Buena Vista. In Buena Vista go West on Chaffee County Road 306 (toward the big mountains West), also called Cottonwood Pass Rd. This road is completely paved all the way. Go 11.0 miles to Collegiate Peaks Campground and then one more 1.0 miles West to the well marked Denny Creek Trailhead on the North side of the road.

CAUTION : Do not confuse Denny Creek with Denny Gulch farther East.



Starting elevation: 9,900 '
Ending Elevation: 14,196'
Elevation Change: + 4,296' net elevation gain
Difficulty: Strenuous but not technical
Total hiking time: Approximately 7 to 8 hours
Round Trip Length: Approximately 9.2 miles



Mount Yale is one of nine fourteeners in the Collegiate Peaks, in the central part of the Sawatch Range near Buena Vista, Colorado. It is the 21st tallest peak in Colorado and the 5th highest in the Collegiate Peaks. Mount Yale has achieved great popularity as a non-technical fourteener. The mountain offers fantastic views of the Sawatch Range and Buena Vista. The standard route for climbing Mount Yale was once Denny Gulch, but overuse turned the trail into both a safety and environmental issue. The Denny Gulch trailhead was closed by the Forest Service for restoration, and now most hikers use the nearby Denny Creek Trailhead to begin their hike. The climb up Mount Yale is generally considered to be moderately difficult, and can be attempted by any hikers in good physical condition.


We will meet at the Eddyline Restaurant & Brewery in Buena Vista probably between 4:00pm and 5:00pm (This will be determined by our progress).
926 S. Main Street, Buena Vista, CO, CO 81211




1) PLEASE READ, UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO OUR GENERAL RULES, PHILOSOPHY AND LIABILITY WAIVER ON THE MAIN PAGE. Please understand that we are not responsible for your safety, behavior OR whereabouts at any time. Please use common sense.

2) Bring extra water, as high elevations dehydrate the body at a faster rate.

3) Hiking poles would be helpful for some of the steep grades and uneven terrain.

4) Please remember that mountain hiking might mean that we end up spreading out according to our pace and fitness levels. If you do split off ahead from the group, please wait at the summit for most of the members to arrive. If you can not complete the hike and need to turn back, please inform your organizer that you are leaving.

5) IF you run a carpool, or participate in a carpool, please coordinate with each other as to your individual pace and meeting back at the parking lot!

6) Bring a change of shoes for the restaurant. I suggest some sort of flip-flops. Your feet will thank you!

7) Have fun!!


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  • Haley

    Despite the threat of bad weather, me forgetting my hiking boots and our almost-foray into Gunnison this morning, the hike ended up being a good time. However, we're still not clear on who was the "big spoon" and who was the "little spoon" over at the American Classic Inn last night.

    1 · July 6, 2013

    • Rob

      Seems like you guys had a full set

      July 6, 2013

    • Jim "JP" P.

      No spoon here. I was looking to join the circus ;)

      2 · July 10, 2013

  • Debbie P.

    Great hike today. My camp site was beautiful.

    1 · July 6, 2013

    • Debbie P.

      thank you for organizing this

      July 7, 2013

  • Way

    Weather held up quite well. What a change from last year's sleet & rain at summit! Thanks Rob for organizing.

    1 · July 6, 2013

  • Henry

    Anyone planning on camping the night before?

    June 27, 2013

    • Nicolas

      Will camp near the trailhead. See you guys friday night

      July 3, 2013

    • Richard B.

      Me and Nicola are at the campground 1 mile from trail head.

      July 5, 2013

  • Steve

    Hey guys, headed up to Yale with the youth group from church. Hope to see a bunch of you on the trail. Wish I could meet up for ales afterwards but headed to Winter Park to see Left Over Salmon and the Samples Saturday evening.

    July 3, 2013

  • Debbie P.

    I will backpack in and camp close to Denny Creek , so see you all on the trail

    July 3, 2013

    • Nicolas

      Will try a camping spot near the trailhead as well

      July 3, 2013

  • Jen

    Is anyone driving down Friday afternoon/eve (AND staying in Salida) that might be interested in carpooling with 2 others?

    1 · July 2, 2013

  • Richard B.

    I'm doing hike on the 4th. I plan on staying all weekend. I'll meet at trail Saturday.

    1 · July 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Made other plans.

    July 2, 2013

  • Debbie P.

    I am planning to go Friday afternoon and pack in a couple miles

    June 28, 2013

  • Adrienne R.

    I'm going to be backpacking to Crater Lake with my sis

    June 26, 2013

  • Adrienne R.

    Wasn't this June 29th? Date change?

    May 14, 2013

    • Adrienne R.

      I may have to un-RSVP (possibly) may go to Tetons or San Juans that 4-day weekend (It's 4th of July weekend)

      May 14, 2013

    • Rob

      Just let us know...:)

      May 21, 2013

  • Way


    1 · May 14, 2013

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