Colorado 14ers: Mount Yale

A leg-busting 8.4-mile round trip up Yale’s relentless southwest slopes culminates with soaring views over the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and Arkansas River Valley.
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A leg-busting 8.4-mile round trip up Yale’s relentless southwest slopes culminates with soaring views over the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and Arkansas River Valley.

-Mapped by Caitlin May

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 6.7

Waypoints

YAL001

Location: 38.814998626709, -106.334617614746

From Denny Creek trailhead, begin hiking N on signed trail. Pass trail register and sign-in

YAL002

Location: 38.8259658813477, -106.338714599609

Veer R and cross Denny Creek over sturdy log. Campsite off trail to E

YAL003

Location: 38.8294982910156, -106.342231750488

Turn R @ signed Y toward Mt. Yale. Go L for more campsites and water

YAL004

Location: 38.833984375, -106.336349487305

Proceed NE beneath healthy Aspen canopy

YAL005

Location: 38.8372497558594, -106.334365844727

Cross creek over simple log bridge tucked into cool stand of pines

YAL006

Location: 38.8371162414551, -106.329132080078

Hit open, sunny ridge walk with great S views, relishing brief, flat trail. Scan the grassy landscape for mule deer, elk or mountain goats

YAL007

Location: 38.8374328613281, -106.325729370117

Reach a patch of steep, sandy terrain. Shake legs out one last time before tackling Yale's wall-like S side

YAL008

Location: 38.8450508117676, -106.319129943848

Reach dusty scree field where trail zig-zags endlessly to W ridge of Yale

YAL009

Location: 38.8469314575195, -106.315765380859

Finish switchbacks! Walk to the N side of level vista to see Buena Vista to the E. Ample boulders provide cover for a quick snack or pack stowage before summiting. Turn SE and follow scant trail toward hidden summit

YAL010

Location: 38.8442344665527, -106.313850402832

Stay R of jagged ridge and scramble around problematic refrigerator-size boulders before reaching summit (14,196 ft.). A rewarding view of the stately collegiate peaks owns the panoramic focus. Retrace steps to trailhead