Hiking 14-ers: Mt. Massive

Little Nell Lead Adventure Specialist Kane Hudson is continuing his quest to hike all the peaks in Colorado over 14,000 feet (known as “14-ers”). He recently hiked Mt. Massive, elevation 14,428 feet, which is the second tallest peak in Colorado.  

Hiking up Mt. Massive

I headed over Independence Pass recently for a try at another 14er — Mt. Massive. 

Just south of Leadville, you take Highway 300 west to County Road 11.  Follow 11 to the Mt. Massive trailhead, or you can stop at the Mt. Elbert trailhead for a try at the highest summit in Colorado. 

We elected for Mt. Massive and got on the trail by 8 a.m.  The hike up through the forest is picturesque with lots of opportunity for fall leef peeping.  The trail heads north and turns back to the west while climbing over 4,500 feet. It’s a long haul, but the summit allows great views of Mt. Elbert and south to the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness.

The trip up to the summit and back is 13.3 miles, so it’s a long day and worth getting an early start. One benefit to hiking this mountain in the fall is a smaller chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Plus, you might see one of these guys along the way…

Mountain Goat on Mt. Massive

Happy Trails,


Need help planning the perfect adventure? From guided day hikes to overnight horse pack trips, The Little Nell Adventure Center has you covered. Call 970-920-6315 or email adventurespecialist@thelittlenell.com to get started.