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Mt. Elbert (14,433’) is the highest point in Colorado, and only second to Mt. Whitney in California as the highest peak in the continental United States. The mountain was named after Samuel Hitt Elbert, who served as governor of the Territory of Colorado in 1873-1874.
As the high point, the mountain attracts many more hikers desiring to stand above all other peaks in the state. The most common hiking route for Mt. Elbert is via its northeast slope at the Mt. Elbert Trailhead. Directions: From Highway 24 south of Leadville, turn onto Colorado Road 300 and cross the railroad tracks. Drive 0.8 miles and turn left on County Road 11. After 1.2 miles, turn right on the dirt road that leads to Halfmoon Creek. Take it 5.0 miles to the Mt. Elbert parking area on the right. (The Mt. Massive Trailhead is a few tenths of a mile ahead on the right.)
Not interested in climbing Mt. Elbert? That’s okay. Located in the San Isabel National Forest, nearly any mountain or outdoor activity you can think of can be enjoyed in its vicinity. Mt. Elbert stands prominently on the west side of the Arkansas River Valley and its view can be enjoyed and photographed in most spots from Leadville all the way down to Twin Lakes.
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