Hiking Taylor Peak A | A Great, Quick Elk Range 13er

In the eastern Elk Mountains, overlooking the headwaters of the Taylor River, you’ll find Taylor Peak A. It’s not a particularly tall 13er, but it’s a quick 4 mile round-trip ascent that offers solitude and stunning views for those who climb to its summit. With nothing beyond class 2 scrambling required to reach its peak, it’s a fantastic day trip in an area that’s not known for it’s easy, single-day summits. However, it involves off-trail bushwacking – so be prepared! Before hiking Taylor Peak A, plan your adventure with my route guide and information below. 


Hiking Taylor Peak A Fast Facts

Hiking Taylor Peak A - Southeast Slopes

From the end of the route, park and begin hiking north directly up the forested hill. This first section of the climb is actually the hardest, as there is no trail to follow, and you will need to pass numerous fallen logs and other obstacles, which adds to your level of exhaustion early on.

Around 11,500 feet, you’ll intersect an old forest road that runs Northeast. You should be able to locate another small road that runs north from the forest road. Follow this road as it crosses the creek and as you leave the forest cover. The road ends shortly after near an old abandoned cabin. It’s a great spot for a quick rest as you assess the route from here.

From the remains of the old cabin, continue hiking across the open alpine tundra to the north-northwest, following the west side of the creek. In about a 3/4 mile after crossing the first forest roadd, you should be arriving at the foot of the broad northeast ridge, the final cruz of hiking Taylor Peak A. Turn west and begin to ascend up the moderately steep ridge over mostly tundra.

Continue the class 2 hiking and scrambling as the ridge heads more to the southwest. Nothing here is very exposed or difficult. A few hundred feet below the summit, don’t be surprised when the tundra gives way to rock and rubble. All good things must come to an end. But now, the summit is within site. Pick a line up the remaining ridge and scramble up to the summit of Taylor Peak A.

From the summit, enjoy the views and your accomplishment! Be sure you descend with plenty of time left to make it back to tree line before afternoon thunderstorms become a hazard. I hope you found my Taylor Peak A route guide helpful and informative. Safe travels on the trail, and good luck hiking Taylor Peak A!

Before hiking Taylor Peak A, it’s important to get a good quality topographical map and know how to read and navigate with it. I recommend downloading this map on your phone or other electronics, and printing out a paper backup copy in case your battery dies or something else happens to your phone. Best to be prepared!

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. You shouldn’t go hiking Taylor Peak A without a proper weather forecast.

Mountain Forecast for Taylor Peak A (Castle Peak, 3 miles away)

NOAA Forecast for Taylor Peak A

Hiking Taylor Peak A is an inherently high-risk activity – use my Taylor Peak A route guide at your own risk, and use the following best practices to help keep yourself safe.

  1. Bring the Ten Essentials and the knowledge/skill to use them.
  2. Leave your plans with someone back home along with a detailed itinerary.
  3. Start early, and end early: Be back at tree line by noon to avoid lightning.
  4. Check the weather forecast and stay home during inclement weather.
  5. Research your route and bring a compass & topographic map.


Hiking Taylor Peak A and other Colorado high peaks is an inherently high-risk, dangerous activity. There is a significant risk of injury or death, even with proper planning and experience. Those using my James Peak 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.

Alex Derr

Alex is a mountaineer and blogger based in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others explore the mountains, stay safe, and preserve the peaks for the future. Subscribe to the Next Summit Newsletter here.

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