Mt Yale
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Mt Yale - West Slopes Route

Don't miss this turnoff in the dark

Just above tree line you catch a view of your objective, the trail is steeper from this point on

R - ridge access point S - summit area, Slow going on this trail

A view from the ridge access point, terrain is easier on the right or west side, look for cairns along here

Looking back as you traverse the west side of the ridge

Looking back from further up the traverse

The last few easy feet to the summit

Summit of Mt Yale - around 2 hours to tree line - 1 1/2 hours to summit

A great view of the Horn Fork basin with Harvard and Columbia taken from the summit of Yale

Mt Yale West Slopes Route

Scramble: Class 2 Steep Hiking

Altitude: 14,196 ft

Elevation Gain: 4,300 ft, 8 miles return

Start Time: 5am to 8am to be on your way down by noon and avoid potential lightning storms

Ascent Time: Around 4 hours


This scramble has a good but steep trail all the way to the saddle with a little route finding for the last part of the ridge. The best route is on the right side or west side of the ridge. Beautiful views of the Harvard Columbia Horn Fork basin.

Getting There

From the center of Buena Vista and US highway 24 take Country road 306 heading towards Cottonwood pass. After 12 miles you come to the paved Denny Creek trailhead (9,900 ft) on your right for Mt Yale. There is a restroom here.

Updated trailhead info available here



There is a forestry service campground a few minutes back down the road from the trailhead. Many just sleep in their vehicles in order to get an early start.

Route Description

Take the obvious trail heading from the middle of the parking lot. After about 1 miles you come to a junction with sign. Straight ahead goes to Browns Pass/ Hartenstein Lake and the right turn to Mt Yale. Its about 2 hours of hiking to get to the tree line and west slopes for Mt Yale. From there the trail is fairly straight, steep and slow going up to the ridge. Probably another 1 to 2 hours from tree line to summit. The right or west side of the ridge just below ridge crest provides the easier route to the summit.