About the Stewardship Site:
Standing at 14,433 feet, Mount Elbert is Colorado's tallest mountain and the apex of the Rocky Mountain Range. The Mount Elbert Trail (also called the South Mount Elbert Trail), ascending the mountain's east flank, is one of the peak's most popular routes. It climbs steeply through the San Isabel National Forest and across alpine tundra, giving glimpses of the occasional marmot, pika or mountain goat, before reaching the summit.
About the Volunteer Experience:
Colorado's 14,000-foot mountains - dubbed "fourteeners" - pay a price for their popularity. Erosion and trail widening are persistent problems here at Mount Elbert. On this project, volunteers will work to reroute the lower 2 miles of the South Elbert Trail, constructing new trail tread along a more sustainable alingment. Work sections will require a short hike to reach, and tasks will be physically moderate to difficult and at high altitude. This project is great for experienced trail builders, as well as first-timers that are up for a challenge!
Please Note: Due to the remote location, volunteers are required to participate in the entire duration of the project.
About the Overall Impact:
As one of the most visited fourteeners, Mount Elbert is also one of the most vulnerable to human impact. Mount Elbert's three main summit routes often see tens of thousands of hikers in a single summer! This project will address issues stemming from high-use, improving trail erosion issues and creating a route that can better sustain heavy traffic.