Mount Edwards (13,850′) and McClellan Mountain (13,587′) | Colorado | 09/19/20

Mount Edwards (13,850′) | CO Rank: 83/637

McClellan Mountain (13,587′) | CO Rank: Unranked

Front Range | Arapaho National Forest | Georgetown, CO

09/19/20 | 5.21 miles | 2,488′ gain | Class 2


This is likely the shortest and easiest way to summit Mount Edwards and McClellan Mountain. Tori and I drove the Tacoma up to the Waldorf Mine, where there is a good-sized parking area. The road in is easy 4wd, but it is long. We were hiking by 8am.

Mount Wilcox (left, 13,408′) and Argentine Peak (right, 13,738′)

We continued on the 4wd road about 1/4 mile before turning right at a small stream. A faint trail started us out but soon disappeared as we hiked further into the basin on gently rolling terrain. The willows weren’t as bad as they looked and we were nearly able to avoid them entirely.

On a faint trail, the stream to the left. Edwards is peeking up just right of center.

We picked up an old road towards the back of the basin that led to a mining area just below a Y-shaped gully. This gully was our exit from the basin onto Edwards’ east slopes.

Approaching the Y-shaped gully
The bottom of the gully, note Tori to the right for scale

We found the gully to be loose but manageable. An eroded trail led us through the gully and dropped us off on the gentle upper slopes.

Looking back
Nice gentle slopes to finish up Edwards

Although the upper slopes are more gradual, there was still about 1,000′ to gain in just 0.6 miles. It felt a lot steeper than it looked. We arrived on Edwards’ broad summit to a surprising number of people. Our route may be the shortest and easiest, but it certainly isn’t the most popular. With the exception of Edwards’ summit, we didn’t see a single other person the entire hike.

McClellan Mountain
Grays Peak (14,270′) and Torreys Peak (14,267′)
Ruby Mountain (13,277′)
Views along the Continental Divide
Alpine spring beauty

The views from Edwards were certainly worth the efforts but after a short break it was time to get moving. The second mountain of the day always looks higher than it is, but we only had about 200′ more to gain to get to McClellan. We followed Edwards’ northeast ridge directly to the saddle, and then up McClellan.

Heading to McClellan

The ridge up McClellan took no time at all and we enjoyed peeking over the “edge”. We had the summit to ourselves.

Edwards (leftmost), Grays and Torreys
Grays and Torreys above Stevens Gulch

To return to the truck, we hiked down McClellan’s south slopes before heading back into the Y-shaped gully and reconnecting with our ascent route.

A swath of green in the basin

Edwards and McClellan were my last two 13ers up Leavenworth Creek. It is bittersweet to finish up in an area I have loved since I first laid eyes on it years ago, but I’m sure I will think up some other reason to return again and again.


10 thoughts on “Mount Edwards (13,850′) and McClellan Mountain (13,587′) | Colorado | 09/19/20

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