***Please note that The Colorado Hiker is no longer being updated.  For current information on this trail and other Colorado tips, please visit Nomad Colorado.  You can find specific information on this trail by visiting the Mount Yale page on Nomad Colorado.***

Trailhead: Silver Creek Trailhead

Activities: Hiking, Camping

Closest City / Town: Buena Vista, Colorado

Driving Directions:

  • Head west on County Road (CR) 350 (Crossman Ave.), which is located near the center of Buena Vista. 
  • Travel down CR 350 for 2 miles and take a right onto CR 361.
  • After 1 mile, turn left onto a dirt road (CR 365).
  • Continue on this road for 3.5 miles to the marked trailhead.
  • Note that this TH is just .1 miles beyond the TH for Mount Columbia.

Hiking Distance: Approximately 9.0 miles (roundtrip)

Description: Although none of the routes up Mount Yale (14,195′) are very technical, this route is by far the most difficult.  The trail follows the Colorado Trail for a couple of miles up until you hit the east ridge.  The hike is a no-mess-around type of adventure.  There are no switchbacks and the trail ascends strait up into the heavens.

When Liz and Josh (the website authors) hiked the Colorado Trail, they only bumped into six other individuals on this route – not bad for a weekend hike on a fourteener.  Note that this route IS NOT the “standard” route up Mount Yale.  This route requires some off-trail scrambling and mountaineering.

Worth Noting: There is a stagnant beaver pond just below the east ridge, which makes for a perfect camping destination.

Suggested Materials: 

  • Gerry Roach, Colorado’s Fourteeners: From Hikes to Climbs (recommended guide by The Colorado Hiker)
  • Gerry Roach, Colorado’s Fourteeners: Companion Map Package (recommended guide by The Colorado Hiker)
  • Walter R. Borneman & Lyndon J. Lampert, A Climbing Guide to Colorado’s Fourteeners


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