Black Cloud Trail
ElevationAscent: 5,023' 1,531 m
Descent: -5,023' -1,531 m
High: 14,387' 4,385 m
Low: 9,716' 2,961 m
GradeAvg Grade: 18% (10°)
Max Grade: 73% (36°)
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“Enjoy the incredible scenery along The Black Cloud Trail, all the way to the summit of Mt. Elbert.”— Mike Langenkamp
Eventually the trail flattens out a little at around 11,700' before it steeply switchbacks to gain Mt Elbert's southern ridge. Once on the ridge 2.7 miles in, head north for the highest point, which is unofficially South Elbert (14,134), which is not an official 14er because the saddle between it and Mt Elbert does not provide sufficient prominence.
From South Elbert, follow the ridge northwest until you descend into the saddle. There is a faint trail crossing the saddle across the south ridge of Mt. Elbert, keeping to the right. After traversing the ridge you'll be on the summit of Mt. Elbert.
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Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background