Mount Yale 14,196 Above Sea Level







fall-view-IMG_9784Mount Yale is an intimidating sight from the Upper Arkansas River Valley. Framed by rolling foothills, the mountain rises to a sharp point, its 14,200-foot summit silhouetted knifelike against the sky. This distant perspective belies the true nature of the Collegiate Peak. Mount Yale’s southwest slopes offer an excellent trail through fragrant forests and rolling alpine tundra. The most challenging part of the hike, the rocky summit ridge, is also the shortest part of the hike, and can be traversed with minimal difficulty. An added bonus: Mount Yale is one of the few Sawatch fourteeners with a paved road to the trailhead.


From the stoplight at the intersection of U.S. 24 and West Main Street in Buena Vista, head west on West Main Street/CR 306 toward Cottonwood Pass. After 12 miles, park at the Denny Creek Trailhead on your right.

Directions From the Denny Creek Trailhead, the trail heads north into the forest. The route crosses Denny Creek after about a mile. About a quarter mile later, a sign marks the trail junction for Mount Yale or Hartenstein Lake/Browns Pass. Take a right toward Mount Yale, following the trail through forest as it steepens before leaving tree line. Continue along the trail until you reach the saddle, marked by a large cairn. From here, head east along the right side of the ridge toward the summit, choosing the most stable footing. Cairns help mark the remaining route.

  • Distance 9.5 miles round trip from the Denny Creek trailhead
  • Difficulty Strenuous
  • Elevation gain 4,300 feet
  • Hiking time Allow for one mile per hour, though this may vary greatly depending on physical fitness and altitude acclimation.
  • Best months June-September, depending on snowpack

Tips Mount Yale is a popular hike, and the Denny Creek trailhead quickly fills up on summer weekends. A weekday hike offers more solitude and a less crowded parking lot. As afternoon thunderstorms are common during the summer, many hikers leave the trailhead at 6 a.m. to leave the summit before noon.

Red tape Mount Harvard is located in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area, where there are wilderness-specific regulations on camping, campfires, dogs and the size of your group.

Follow leave-no-trace principles

Wilderness regulations




(Peaks over 14,000 feet in elevation)

Book Your Activities With The Concierge

Many of these activities offer exclusive discounts to guests of Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort


Lodging Reservation Required To Receive Discount.


Or Call 719-395-2447 (ext. #3333)
9AM – 5PM Daily

Book Your Activities With The Concierge

Many of these activities offer exclusive discounts to guests of Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort


Or Call 719-395-2447 (ext. #3333)
9AM – 5PM Daily

This activity is an extreme test of a person’s physical and mental limits and carries with it the potential for death, serious injury and property loss. The risks include, but are not limited to: actions of other people including, but not limited to, participants; lack of hydration, weather, and/or other natural conditions. Princeton Holdings, LLC DBA Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort is not liable for any injury, property loss, damage, death, etc occurring do to any activity outlined by any information sheet. Guest is participating in any activity on their own merit with no liability to the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort or its agents.