When you’re hiking at higher elevations in Colorado, late summer is one of the best times of the year. The snow is mostly melted so the ground is dry, and usually the afternoon thunderstorms are less frequent.
If you have the time and are a hardy hiker, this trail can take you many, many miles farther than we ventured, but on this day it was ridiculously windy and we weren’t about to get blown off the mountain. But we vowed to at least go to the top of the first ridge.
3 miles roundtrip (approximately)
1.5 hours (we hike briskly, but I did stop quite a bit to take photos)
What I liked:
Stunning views without having to hike for hours (like you would for a typical 14er)
What I didn’t like:
The trail is quite narrow in places which can make it a little harder to pass, especially on the steeper sections
View Berthoud Pass Hike in a larger map
Looking towards the South from the parking lot.
The first section of the trail leads you through the forest…
…And eventually leads you into various clearings that afford only the beginning of gorgeous views.
We’ll end our hike today at the top of the ridge you see below.
Cairns, or trail markers, let us know we’re heading in the correct direction.
A view to the South.
They’re a bit hard to spot in this photo, but if you look closely you can see the tiny people along the switchback trail.
Below is a look behind us as we trek up the trail you see above.
And here’s our summit for the day. You can see how the trail continues Westward along the ridge.
I love the shallow depth of field I can get with my 50mm f/1.8.
Pause to get some photos of us and the view.
Looking East and on the opposite mountaintop is where one of the old Berthoud Pass ski lifts used to be.