Location: Continental Divide Trail, Arapaho National Forest, Vasquez Peak Wilderness
Nearest town: Berthoud Falls
Distance from Denver: 54 mi / 1:00
Trail distance: 6.5 mi RT + longer options available
Elevation: 11,307 ft at TH, 12,521 ft at Stanley Mtn summit
Directions: From I-70, go about 14 mi west on Hwy 40 to the summit of Berthoud Pass. A large parking area and bathroom are on the right side of the highway. Carefully cross the road to the trail, which heads up the south side of the hill you face.
Dates hiked: 01/2011 and 08/2012; photos with snow are from January.
Mountain Dog Sports
Trail notes and photos:
This trail is difficult due to the high elevation and a few steep climbs, but once atop the Continental Divide, the hiking is more gentle and rolling to the Stanley Mountain summit.
The January hike was with snowshoes and only went to the Continental Divide and back down. Many people were back-country skiing, but do watch for avalanches in this area, especially if you go off trail.
The August hike was on a cool, windy day, which meant extreme wind on top of the Divide. The hazy views are from wildfire smoke coming from Idaho.
A trip option is to set up a shuttle and keep going past Stanley Peak for a total of 19 miles to Herman Gulch TH. I would imagine the alpine wildflowers here are great in July and early August.