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Black Cloud Trail #1480

Very Difficult
 2.5 (2)

Enjoy the incredible scenery along the Black Cloud Trail, all the way to the summit of Mt. Elbert.


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Map Key

5.5

Miles

8.9

KM

Singletrack

14,402' 4,390 m

High

9,715' 2,961 m

Low

4,863' 1,482 m

Up

176' 54 m

Down

17%

Avg Grade (10°)

73%

Max Grade (36°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Description

The trailhead is especially difficult to find and easy to miss. The trail starts in pine forest and aspen groves while climbing steep switchbacks along Black Cloud Creek for about 1.7 miles and 1,700'. The route is very scenic with views of waterfalls, cascading streams, pine, aspen forests, and beautiful clearings.

Eventually the trail flattens out a little at around 11,700' before it steeply switchbacks to gain Mt Elbert's southern ridge. Once on the ridge 2.7 miles in, head north for the highest point, which is unofficially South Elbert (14,134), which is not an official 14er because the saddle between it and Mt Elbert does not provide sufficient prominence.

From South Elbert, follow the ridge northwest until you descend into the saddle. There is a faint trail crossing the saddle across the south ridge of Mt. Elbert, keeping to the right. After traversing the ridge you'll be on the summit of Mt. Elbert.

Contacts

Shared By:

Mike Langenkamp

Trail Ratings

  2.5 from 2 votes

#7

in Twin Lakes

#27561

Overall
  2.5 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#7

in Twin Lakes

#2,542

in Colorado

#27,561

Overall
38 Views Last Month
981 Since Aug 24, 2018
Very Difficult

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Photos

Ridgeline, nothing but scree
Nov 4, 2019 near Leadvil…, CO
View of the loop from the CT. Start far left on Black Cloud to first left top, then hike along entire ridge to middle, then ride down entire right side ridge.
Nov 4, 2019 near Leadvil…, CO
The peak is just a "stones throw" away. You have to forge your own path here. Bike carry mandatory.
Nov 4, 2019 near Leadvil…, CO
Looking back at the path taken for Black Cloud. Twin Lakes on the left. You carry your bike up the backside of this ridge to a small saddle, then continue to carry your bike along the entire ridge to the peak.
Nov 4, 2019 near Leadvil…, CO

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