Hiking Mount Lady Washington in Colorado, A Great 13er
Longs Peak gets all the attention in Rocky Mountain National Park, but just below its summit you’ll find Mount Lady Washington. This thirteener is one of the trio of peaks that frame Chasm Lake below, in addition to Mount Meeker and Longs Peak. It’s an easier mountain to climb than either of the others, and you can’t beat the views of Chasm Lake from its summit. Hiking Mount Lady Washington includes passing through forests and across alpine terrain before you reach a final scramble up the slopes of the mountain. Read my full route guide for this Colorado 13er below.
Hiking Mount Lady Washington | Fast Facts
Hiking Mount Lady Washington - East Slopes
Your adventure hiking Mount Lady Washington begins at the Longs Peak trailhead. I recommend arriving as early as you can, as this trailhead fills very quickly during summer months. Head out on the well-built Longs Peak Trail through the forest to start. You can fill your water during summer months using a water spigot by the start of the trail.
About a half mile into your hike, you’ll start switchbacking your way up the mountain. Continue hiking, passing the Goblin Forest camping area after another mile or so, eventually reaching a small footbridge to cross a stream. You’ll begin to near tree line here, with incredible views of the plains and Twin Sisters Peak to the east.
Now above treeline, continue along the trail, looking for rock cairns for help navigating if you lose the route. Head towards Chasm Junction, marked by a backcountry toilet and a hitching post for horses. Mount Lady Washington rises above you to the west. Turn right left to visit Chasm Lake, and right if hiking Mount Lady Washington.
Continue for about a quarter-mile before turning left and leaving the trail. In spring and early summer, you may be able to put on crampons and use an ice axe to climb snow patches on the slope here. If it has melted, you will need to scramble and hop across boulders to reach the summit. Carefully pick your route up through this large rocks for the easiest possible path to the top. The slope will steepen slightly before reaching you finally reach the summit.
From the top, enjoy the amazing views of Chasm Lake far below, Longs Peak above, and sheer face of the Diamond cliff face in front of you. If you start early enough, you can continue towards the Keyhole to climb Longs Peak for a very long day. Regardless, be sure you start descending with plenty of time to reach tree line before afternoon thunderstorms become a significant hazard. I hope my route guide was helpful and informative. Good luck on your trip hiking Mount Lady Washington. Safe travels on the trail!
You should bring a good topographical map with you while hiking Mount Lady Washington. It’s important to help you navigate, especially if weather conditions change or deteriorate. I recommend you download the map below on your phone and also print out a paper backup copy in case anything happens to your electronics along the way. Better safe than sorry.
Use these two sources to check the weather conditions before your trip. Consider the temperature high and low, wind speed, precipitation, and whether there are any storm systems on the horizon to be aware of. If you don’t check conditions before hiking Mount Lady Washington, you may put yourself in serious danger.
Hiking & climbing 13ers is an inherently high-risk activity – use my Mount Lady Washington route guide at your own risk, and use the following best practices to help keep yourself safe.
- Bring the Ten Essentials and the knowledge/skill to use them.
- Leave your plans with someone back home along with a detailed itinerary.
- Start early, and end early: Be back at tree line by noon to avoid lightning.
- Check the weather forecast and stay home during inclement weather.
- Research your route and bring a compass & topographic map.
Hiking Mount Lady Washington or scrambling and climbing up Colorado’s high peaks are inherently high-risk, dangerous activities. There is a significant risk of injury or death, even with proper planning and experience. Those using my Route Guide accept all risks associated with climbing 14ers and do not hold this website or any information they obtain from it liable for any accidents or injuries that occur while engaging in these activities on Colorado’s high peaks. It is each hiker or climber’s responsibility to research their route carefully, bring the ten essentials, and practice other safe practices, though even these precautions do not eliminate risk and danger. Visit these summits at your own risk.
Named in honor of America’s first First Lady, Martha Washington, Mount Lady Washington is one of the three peaks that make up the Longs Peak massif and frame the Chasm Lake circque. Located in Rocky Mountaion National Park, it is the shortest and also the easiest of the three mountains to climb. Its standard route is class 2, while the other two peaks are both class 3 climbs, and much more strenuous in nature. Hiking Mount Lady Washington is a great introductory hike to this area and these three summits.
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.