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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Pike and San Isabel National Forests > Leadville Ranger District

Quick Facts

Mt. Harvard

Beginning Elevation: 8,400 Feet (2618.5 Meters) Route #1
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation Gain: 4,400 Feet (1371.6 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 14,433 Feet (4499.1 Meters) summit Mt. Harvard
Length, One-way: 6.5 Miles (10.83 Kilometers)
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 129 Buena Vista, Collegiate Peaks
Usage: Moderate
USGS Map: Mt. Harvard, Mt. Yale

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The rocky peak of Mt. Harvard reaches 14,420'.
Copyright: Loretta McEllhiney - US Forest Service
The rocky peak of Mt. Harvard reaches 14,420'.
At 14,420' Mt. Harvard is the third highest peak in Colorado. It lies in the Sawatch Mountain Range and is easily accessible from Buena Vista. The trail is a popular hiking trail which terminates at the lake. The lake is nestled in a high mountain cirque between two mountains. The rocky slopes surrounding the lake are home to bighorn sheep and mountain goats. The trail is easy to follow and is signed at appropriate trail junctions. The elevation gain to the lake is 3,030 feet. The final two miles up to the lake are above tree line and very picturesque, especially in the fall.

Directions from Route #1: From the Buena Vista traffic light at the junction of U.S. Highway 24 and the Cottonwood Pass Road, travel north along Highway 24 for .4 mile. Turn left (west) onto Chaffee County 350 and follow it for about 2 miles. At the T-intersection stay right and head north then northwest. Turn left (south) onto Chaffee County Road 365 and follow as it turns toward the west for just over 5 miles to the end of the road and the trailhead. This road can be pretty rough and difficult for 2 wheel drive vehicles (especially when wet). Don't be too bold, park your car and walk the last section. There are not may towing companies that will tow from this area. Once you've reached the trailhead follow the trail west for two miles to the fork in the trail. Stay right (north) toward Horn Fork Basin and Bear Lake. The route follows the tundra slopes on Harvard's south shoulder.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: May through September (NOTE: Snow may obstruct the trail at high elevations.) .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Mt. Harvard Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Mt. Harvard Trail
ICON Mountain Climbing Mt. Harvard

Related Activities
Frenchman Creek Trail - Frenchman Creek Trail begins at the Collegiate Peak Wilderness boundary, where Frenchman Creek Road ends. It extends 3.5 miles into the wilderness area reaching an elevation of 12,300'.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Leadville Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service, 2015 North Poplar , Leadville, CO, 80461, Phone: 719-486-0749, Fax: 719-486-0928


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