Stanley Mountain, Berthoud Pass Trailhead, Summit County - Eagle County - Clear Creek County, Colorado

Stanley Mountain - 7.7 miles

Berthoud Pass Trailhead

The Continental Divide Trail leading to Stanley Mountain

The Continental Divide Trail leading to Stanley Mountain

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)
Skill Level: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: Yes
Related Trails:

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.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

Views are exceptional throughout, highlighted by Vasquez Peak and the Mt Flora massif. Visitors will also enjoy diverse alpine ecology and wildlife on the hike to Stanley Mountain:

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.

As with many segments of the CDT in Colorado the east side drops precipitously, while the west slopes gently down. Glass untracked basins below for elk and moose on this fast-moving stretch.

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.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • 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

Worth Noting

  • 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.

Contact Information

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

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


"The CDT from Jones Pass north to Berthoud Pass is an excellent day hike and adds about 5 miles to the Berthoud Pass to Stanley Mountain trip noted above. In my opinion the easiest route is south to north. 2 cars are necessary for this hike. One car should be parked at Berthoud Pass summit and the other parked atop Jones Pass (which is accessed from the eastern base of Berthoud Pass). Almost all of this route is above timberline and took our group about 7 hours. We are 3 hikers between the ages of 68-72 so your pace could certainly be quicker. I would add here that due to time spent above the trees good weather is very desirable. Walking north from Jones Pass, 12'400', wonderful views in all directions reveal drainages, lakes and a multitude of peaks. About 2 1/2 hours along we began to lose altitude. Where a trail intersects from the left (Mt. Nystrom Trail) stay right and continue to drop. Pass below Vasquez Peak and descend into the trees to eventually encounter a spur trail coming up from the Urad Mine (taking this trail from Jones Pass base would shorten the route considerably). Go left and begin regaining the 1800' you just lost. The top of this ascent is the top of Stanley Mountain. The climb took us about an hour, occurring between hours 4 and 5 of our 7 hour day. Once over Stanley the terrain rolls gently and finally drops to Berthoud Pass summit as noted in the previous trail description. "
grayson drexel  -  EVERGREEN  -  Date Posted: September 24, 2018


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