Mt Massive is appropriately named – it has more area above 14,000 feet than any other peak in the lower 48! It’s just across a valley from Mt Elbert, the tallest peak in Colorado, and takes second place for height by a few feet. Here’s everything you need to know to ascend this summit, in my Mt Massive Standard Route Guide.
Mt Massive Fast Facts
Mt Massive Standard Route Guide
The Mt Massive East Slopes trail is a fantastic route to hike. Once parked at the trailhead, start your climb up the ridge. You’ll soon take a hard left, passing over the ridge to your side, and begin walking along the East Slopes. There are several creek crossing, each has campsites for dispersed camping if you’re doing this as an overnight.
Once you pass the creek crossing, watch for a turn off from the trail to the left. After a half mile, you’ll finally pass treeline and see South Massive to your left and Mt Massive to the right. Work your way up the alpine slopes.
Your next goal is to hike up the steep Pt 12400. The hill is covered in willows but features a good, sturdy trail.
Once beyond the point, you see the road ahead of you. Your aim is the saddle between South Massive and Mt Massive. The route will become more rocky as you go, transitioning from grassy meadows to rocky terrain. At the saddle, you’ll take a right to head up the summit ridge.
The rocky summit ridge features some great Class 2 scrambling. You’ll pass several times from the east side of the ridge back to the west, and then back. Stick to the main trail, and be careful to avoid social trails that lead you off-track. Eventually you’ll come upon the final few feet before you step up to the summit!
Looking for more information on this route? Visit 14ers.com. I hope my Mt Massive Standard Route Guide helped you out!
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About the Author: Alex Derr
Alex Derr is a mountaineer and blogger based in Denver Colorado. He is working to climb Colorado’s highest 100 peaks, and the 20 tallest peaks in California. He created The Next Summit to share advice, stories, history & reflections from the Colorado Rockies & Sierra Nevada. When not climbing, he is managing the Communications strategy at Visible Network Labs.