Stanley Mountain, Berthoud Pass Trailhead, Summit County - Eagle County - Clear Creek County, Colorado
Stanley Mountain - 7.7 miles
Berthoud Pass Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||7.7 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||11,307' - 12,521' (12,521' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+1,214' net elevation gain (+1,985' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Stanley Mountain - 7.7 Miles Round-Trip
Stanley Mountain is located 3.85 miles west of Berthoud Pass along the Continental Divide Trail. This airy alpine trek climbs steeply through treeline then levels in open tundra for two miles to the summit. Good trail conditions and mild grades are ideal for families, an acclimation hike and winter travel.
From Berthoud Pass, cross HWY 40 to the braided trail on the west side of the road. Choose the well-defined track that cuts SW across the hillside and ignore social trails heading straight up.
The trail rises steadily in a healthy subalpine forest with emerging views to the east. Look for grouse and snowshoe hare in this prime habitat.
It clears treeline (.85 miles : 11,850’) and levels on a high, thin ridge to the base of a steep wall (1.25 miles : 11,930’). Strenuous switchbacks reach open tundra (1.55 miles : 12,253’) where travel eases up another ridge to the Vasquez Peak Wilderness Boundary (1.85 miles : 12,370’).
Here the trail bends SW and moderates atop the Divide, undulating subtly over three distinct basins which can be cumulatively taxing at these elevations.
The trail rises up the south side of a third basin (3.5 miles : 12,370’) with your first glimpse of Stanley Mountain, a nondescript rock pile just off trail.
It runs just below the unmarked summit with a very short scramble to the top (3.85 miles : 12,521’). This unassuming nub is easy to miss, but a decisive drop just past it is a reliable indicator.
Vasquez Peak (12,947’) stands prominently to the west, accessible off the CDT on a sparingly defined but intuitively followed route. This is a challenging extension that should only be attempted by experienced hikers under favorable weather conditions.
- N39 47.897 W105 46.555 — 0.0 miles : Berthoud Pass Trailhead
- N39 47.985 W105 47.054 — .5 miles : Steady climb in thinning forest
- Most of this trail runs above treeline and is fully exposed. Carry versatile layers and sun protection. Be mindful of changing weather and aim for treeline before storms develop.
- Easy access from Berthoud Pass and relatively mild conditions after the initial climb through treeline make Stanley Mountain a great winter destination.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Backcountry camping is permitted in the Arapaho National Forest and Vasquez Peak Wilderness. No permit is necessary.
- There are no designated backcountry campsites in this travel zone. Dispersed camping only. Use established sites whenever possible to minimize impact.
- Camp at least 100' from all lakes, streams and trails.
- Campfires are permitted in the backcountry, with potential seasonal restrictions. Campfires are not permitted above or within .25 miles of treeline, or within 100' of any lake, stream or trail.
- Group size is limited to 12 individuals or people and stock combined.
Directions to Trailhead
The Berthoud Pass Trailhead is located 15.4 miles north of I-70 on Highway 40 (or 10.5 miles south of the Winter Park Ski Area). The trailhead is located on the east side of the road.
There are restrooms and a warming hut at the trailhead.
Clear Creek Ranger District
101 Chicago Creek Road
P.O. Box 3307
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
Vasquez Peak Wilderness - Sulphur Ranger District
9 Ten Mile Drive
P.O. Box 10
Granby, Colorado 80446