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Mount Elbert as seen from La Plata Peak
(Mount Elbert as seen from La Plata Peak. La Plata's Ellingwood Ridge is in the foreground)
Summary

Mount Elbert Elevation 14,440ft. (Jul. 21, 2002) "East Ridge" trail from South Mount Elbert 4X4 TH. From this TH, this class 1 trail runs (7.6 miles rt. with 4,000ft. gain). TH directions are as follows, take 82 West 4 miles to Lake View campground sign, go past campground to a scenic overlook,  right next to an over look is a 4X4 road go 1.8 miles to end of rd and to the TH. The trail itself is well maintained but the first 1000ft. gain off of the Colorado Trail are straight up with no switchbacks. Latter on the trail makes use of more switchbacks. All of the guide books were correct, the trail seems to go straight for the top of the mountain, but then you get rerouted back to the south to more switchbacks  which eventually lead you to the summit.

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Trip Schedule break down
Saturday prev. day -Climb La Plata Peak
Sunday 5:15AM -leave the TH
  7:40AM -at Mount Elbert Summit
  Picture Op -Stop for a photo opportunity.
  9:30AM -back at TH
  10:30AM -lunch back at the TH.
  1:40PM -back home.

Driving Directions South of Leadville at the junction of 24/82 go west on 82 for 4 miles to the Lake View campground turn off (you will turn to the right). On this road go about 1.25 miles, you will pass the campground on your left at about 1.0 miles. You will reach the "Sure Pretty Overlook" also known as the South Elbert TH (paved TH) at the 1.25 mark. This parking lot is near a switchback. Just to the North of the parking lot is a dirt road that marks the beginning of the Elbert Trail, drive down this dirt road for 1.8 miles to reach the 4x4 TH. The trailhead is marked as the Colorado Trail. After parking here you hike immediately across a bridge and then travel North about a half a mile to the intersection of the Colorado Trail and East Ridge Elbert Trail. Climb the East Ridge Elbert Trail to the Summit.