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Mt. Harvard

Difficult
 4.5 (8)

The final stretch of trail from Horn Fork Basin to Mt. Harvard.


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Map Key

1.4

Miles

2.2

KM

Point to Point

14,346' 4,373 m

High

12,382' 3,774 m

Low

1,963' 598 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

27%

Avg Grade (15°)

67%

Max Grade (34°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

The Cottonwood Creek Trailhead is generally closed for winter several miles below the start of the Horn Fork Basin Trail.

Though the land manager requests all dogs be leashed, you'll likely see n number of dogs with a ratio of leashed dogs to unleashed 0:n.

Description

From the turnoff at the end of Horn Fork Basin, continue up excellent trail at 12,600 ft. It's only about 1.5 miles to the summit. Hike along moderate grades through some small boulder fields before coming to a rock band around 13,100 ft. From here, things get steep. Switchback on a clear trail composed almost entirely of talus before being spat back out onto dirt trail. Continue switchbacks until hitting a summit ride around 14,100 ft. Angle to the right, hiking up some switchbacks, again, until you reach the summit block at around 14,380 ft. From here, it's a fun class 2+ scramble to the summit of Mt. Harvard.

Turn around and go home, or continue backwards along the traverse to complete the featured hike: Harvard and Columbia in reverse.

Flora & Fauna

From trees and wildflowers to marmots and pika, this trail's got it all. For some reason, the mountain goats up high are particularly sodium-deprived, to the point where they will follow you around just waiting for you to relieve yourself. The USFS has actually gone so far as to suggest hikers urinate on solid rock instead of dirt trail, thus discouraging these odd creatures from literally eating dirt.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tyler Prince

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 8 votes

#6592

Overall
  4.5 from 8 votes
5 Star
63%
4 Star
25%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#493

in Colorado

#6,592

Overall
10 Views Last Month
3,046 Since Mar 6, 2015
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
17%
83%
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Photos

Excellent views of Princeton, Yale, and Bear Lake from Harvard's summit. Much of the trail is visible in the lower left
Oct 2, 2017 near Buena V…, CO
When the trail starts getting a little more rugged.
Jul 31, 2021 near Buena V…, CO
When some light scrambling starts about 1.5 miles from Harvard.
Jul 31, 2021 near Buena V…, CO
Approaching the final ascent to Harvard. Up ahead you see the class 2 climb.
Jul 31, 2021 near Buena V…, CO
A couple hundred feet below the summit of Mt. Harvard.
Mar 12, 2015 near Buena V…, CO
Some trail getting closer to Harvard.
Jul 31, 2021 near Buena V…, CO

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Check-Ins

Jul 30, 2021
Judson Watkins
A tricky trail toward the end. Class 2 with lots of scrambling. Highly recommend you bring trekking poles and 2.5 liters of water per person. 13.5mi — 8h 30m
Sep 26, 2020
Josh B
Jul 3, 2020
Jarred Mosher
13mi — 10h 00m
May 20, 2020
John Saldaña
Jun 7, 2019
Taylor Harris
Sep 23, 2018
Liz Florian
Aug 17, 2018
Ian Shane
Aug 7, 2018
Kado Marino
3rd 14er 3.6mi