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
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.
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
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.
Shared By: Tyler Prince