The Horn Fork Trail to Mountain Harvard via the North Cottonwood Creek Trailhead is a challenging hike that offers spectacular views of the Sawatch Range in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The trailhead is located near the ghost town of Winfield, Colorado, and the trail is approximately 13 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 4,500 feet.
The trail begins at the North Cottonwood Creek Trailhead and follows the North Cottonwood Creek for the first 1.5 miles. The trail then climbs steeply through a dense forest and passes several small waterfalls. After about 2.5 miles, the trail levels out and begins to follow Horn Fork Creek. The trail then climbs again and reaches a high alpine meadow at around 12,000 feet.
The trail then becomes steeper and rockier as it approaches the summit of Mountain Harvard. The last section of the trail is a steep climb up rocky switchbacks to the summit. The summit offers panoramic views of the Sawatch Range, including Mount Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado.
It is important to note that this hike is considered strenuous and can be challenging, especially at high elevations. Hikers should be in good physical condition and have experience hiking at high elevations before attempting the trail. It is also important to be prepared for changing weather conditions and to bring plenty of water, food, and warm clothing. It's also advisable to check the weather forecast before starting the hike, and also check trail conditions and bring the necessary gear.
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This trail can be completed in approx 3 days. Caution is advised on trail times as this depends on multiple variables. For more info, click here