Mt Audubon Route Guide | A Popular Front Range 13er
Nestled in the Indian Peaks region of the Front Range, Mt Audubon is the perfect way to spend your first visit to the area. This broad mountain is known for wide expanses of tundra rather than dramatic cliffs or exposure. It’s a gentle hike for most of the route, with a short scramble to reach the summit peak. From there you’ll enjoy outstanding views of the surrounding peaks to the north and south. Plan your visit with this Mt Audubon Route Guide.
Mt Audubon Fast Facts
Mt Audubon Route Guide - North Slopes
Starting off from 10,500 feet, the trail begins in thick evergreen forecasts. This is a busy trail due to its accessibility; you won’t be alone. As you reach tree line around 10,900 feet, you’ll take a series of switchbacks up on to the apline tundra proper.
Remember to stay on trail from this point onward, as the tundra is extremely fragile and takes centuries to recover trampling. 1.7 miles in, the trail will split. Follow the left option to continue on towards the summit of Mt Audubon.
After another 1-2 miles hiking along the tundra, you’ll have one more difficult section of switchbacks through a section of rocks. As you approach a saddle, watch for a cairn marking the point for you to turn left and begin your summit push.
As the cairn, turn left and begin to scramble up the final boulder field to reach the summit. This will require a bit of scrambling. There is a loose trail, marked by cairns, to follow as you get higher on the mountain. You can also watch for others to follow – you won’t be alone.
Once you reach the summit, enjoy your accomplishment! A summit beer or sandwich are never a bad idea. You should ensure you head back to the trailhead with enough time to be back below tree line before afternoon thunderstorms become a hazard. I hope you found my Mt Audubon Route Guide helpful and informative.
Hiking & climbing 13ers or 14ers is an inherently high-risk activity – do so at your own risk, and use the following best practices to help keep yourself safe.
- Research your route and bring a compass & topographic map.
- Check the weather forecast and stay home during inclement weather.
- 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.
- Bring a buddy on your first ascent, preferably someone experienced.
Hiking, 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 Mt Audubon 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.
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.