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