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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Sopris Ranger District

Quick Facts

Mount Sopris Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,700 Feet (2712.0 Meters)
Difficulty: Most Difficult
Elevation Gain: 4,253 Feet (1325.7 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 12,953 Feet (4037.7 Meters)
Length: 7.0 Miles (11.67 Kilometers) 11.2 km
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 128 maroon Bells, Redstone, Marble
Pets: Yes - Leashed
Trail Number: 1958
Usage: Heavy
USGS Maps: Sopris

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Mt. Sopris from the fork of West Sopris Creek and Dinkle Lake roads.
Copyright: Zander Higbie - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Mt. Sopris from the fork of West Sopris Creek and Dinkle Lake roads.
If you plan to climb Sopris, allow 2 days. The first day, hike to the lakes, set up camp in a designated site and explore, fish, or just enjoy the scenery. On the second day, get up early and begin climbing in order to finish the hike before the afternoon thunder storms. The easiest route is up the east ridge. From the upper lake, walk to the base of the steep slope to the southeast part of the lake. Ascend this slope on the new hiking trail to the ridge and continue up across the high, sparsely timbered slope to the southern ridge. Follow this ridge up the mountain. You will come upon one stretch of fairly steep, loose rock, but should have no problem if you use care. Soon you will be on the main ridge to the summit. Enjoy the view. You may want to cross the 1/2 mile saddle to West Sopris Peak, which is the same elevation as the East Peak. Both peaks offer a superb view of the Crystal River Valley and Avalanche Creek. Keep in mind if you plan to do the entire trip in two days you will hike back to your car the same day you climb the mountain. This trail is in the wilderness, so keep dogs on leashes at all times. Impassable by horseback.

Directions from Carbondale: From Carbondale travel south on Hwy. 133 for 1.4 miles to the Prince Creek Road and take the left turn. Follow the road for 6 miles to a fork. Take the right fork and drive 2 miles to the trailhead of Thomas Lakes. The first three miles of this trail are easy.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Memorial Day Weekend through October (NOTE: Snow during the Spring, Fall, and Winter months prevent access to this trailhead.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Difficulty: Hard
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Haven climbed Mount Sopris in one day, I strongly reccommend (as highlighted by wildernet) making the trip over two days. I found combining the trip into one day made it a very strenuous hike....plus we were caught in the afternoon thunder storms which wasn't fun. On a positive note, the climb and scenery were beautiful and when you reach the summit, the views of the surrounding valleys are breathtaking! Go for it! Michael Hills. Barrow - in - Furness, Cumbria. England via Aspen Colorado.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Mount Sopris Trail
ICON Mountain Climbing Sopris rises to 12,953 feet.

Related Activities
Thomas Lakes Trail - The trail is very well maintained and in good condition. It is very heavily used on weekends, so plan your trip accordingly. The hike is a beautiful one with many wild flowers and scenic overlooks.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Sopris Ranger District, 620 Main St, P.O. Box 309 , Carbondale, CO, 81623, Phone: 970-963-2266, Fax: 970-963-1012

Links to other sites:
Forest Conservancy - Current Information from Local Volunteers: Closings and Conditions


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