Scenic Buena Vista

Mt. Yale - Our Hike To The Summit
(Photos - July 1, 2007)

Mt. Yale Hike Mt. Yale is one of the many "fourteeners" among the Sawatch Mountains, the vertical line of mountains to the west of the Arkansas River Valley. This was my second hike to the summit of Mt. Yale, and this time I brought my friend Megan along with me. She was visiting from Texas and had never stood on ground above 14,000 feet in altitude.

One major advantage of Mt. Yale is its trailhead is conveniently located on a paved road. No worries about bumpy roads and/or damaging the bottom of your car if you do not have a high-clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle. The Denny Creek Trailhead is located approximately 11 miles west of Buena Vista on Chaffee County Road 306, as if one was heading to Cottonwood Pass. This standard route takes one up the Denny Creek Trail before it spurs to the right and upward toward Mt. Yale. (The fork to the left travels toward Hartenstein Lake and Browns Pass.)

Obviously, hiking at such a high altitude requires plenty of fitness, experience and preparedness. Know your limits and if you are a novice, it is definitely a good idea to have someone with mountaineering knowledge go along with you.

Enjoy the photos below. The views are just amazing at the top ... It is like sitting on the roof of the continent!

All the best,
Steve

Mt. Yale Hike A photo of Megan, my hiking partner, after arriving above timberline.
Snow Mt. Yale, CO There were still some patches of snow remaining up there.

RIGHT PHOTO: The view of Mt. Yale as we slowly climbed up. Note the sun was behind the mountain (facing east), which meant the lack of sun kept things fairly chilly. A second layer and gloves was definitely handy!

Colorado Megan looks out at the grand mountain views as we approached the "saddle" near the top.
Colorado 14ers
Sawatch Mountains
Mt. Yale, CO
Mt. Yale, CO
Mt. Yale, CO
Mt. Yale Summit

TOP: Facing south, the view of four other 14ers including: 1) Mt. Princeton, 2) Mt. Antero, 3) Mt. Shavano and 4) Tabeguache Peak.

SECOND: It is a "sea of mountains" out there in the southern Sawatch Mountain range. The road down below in the canyon is Chaffee County Road 306, and one can almost barely see the trailhead parking lot below.

BOTTOM THREE: It really did become sort of a "fashion show" up there with various shots of Megan and I. In the bottom photo, behind me are more mountains and 14ers including Mt. Harvard, Mt. Columbia, Mt. Belford and a few others. Just amazing views in all directions!

By the way, I created a list of various hikes in Buena Vista. Check that out if you like.

Mt. Yale, CO
Pikes Peak
Two more photos on Mt. Yale's summit.

TOP: The view looking east towards the town of Buena Vista. (The lighting was poor because of the sun's positioning toward the east.)

BOTTOM: Also looking east, I zoomed-in to capture Pikes Peak sitting way out there about 100 miles away.

Mt. Yale Hike
Marmots
Snow
Three Photos Coming Down

TOP: A grand view of mountains with hikers in the foreground along the upper and steep stretch in the 13,500 foot range.

MIDDLE: Marmots among the rocks.

BOTTOM: Myself standing in a patch of snow. With friends in places like Memphis, Florida and Arizona, I have an interest in photographing insane snow pictures during the summer time for the shock value of it all! ;)

For much of the year, it is so common to spot snow in the high country that I have a year-round web site dedicated to snow photography: www.Snow-Pictures.com.

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