Mount Sopris Trail
ElevationAscent: 2,706' 825 m
Descent: -5' -2 m
High: 12,908' 3,934 m
Low: 10,208' 3,111 m
GradeAvg Grade: 17% (10°)
Max Grade: 67% (34°)
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“Summit trail for Mount Sopris featuring stunning views of the Roaring Fork Valley.”— Tom Robson
From the lakes, the Mount Sopris trail switchbacks steeply to the ridge above. Once you finally gain the ridge you'll be able to spot the Elk Mountains - largest being Capitol Peak (14,130'). The trail now quickly becomes talus, which proves to make route finding difficult. Continue to climb along the ridge and negotiate the large talus field. You'll know you're off route if you stray too far north of the ridgeline (south is a precipitous drop off).
Once the trail bears almost exactly due west you'll be on the start of the summit ridge. Continue on Mount Sopris Trail and gain the false summit. If you look north, you'll see the massive skree field cascading below you - according to NOAA, this is actually one of the few mountains in North America with a Rock Glacier.
Once atop the false summit gain the second false summit as you traverse west along the ridge. Now the only thing left is to gain the actual summit! Continue to traverse west as the Mount Sopris Trail takes you along the ridge all the way to the Mount Sopris summit (12,965').
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Land Manager: White River National Forest - Maroon Bells
Feb 19, 2020: Forest Service seeks comments on Yellowjacket Project