Mount Sniktau Trail

Arapaho National Forest, Colorado

Elevation Gain1,785ft
Trailhead Elevation11,975ft
Elevation Min/Max11975/13225ft
Elevation Start/End11975/11975ft

Mount Sniktau Trail

Mount Sniktau Trail is a hiking trail in Clear Creek County and Summit County, Colorado. It is within White River National Forest and Arapaho National Forest. It is 1.8 miles long and begins at 11,975 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,785 feet. The Loveland Pass (elevation 11,959 feet) and Loveland Pass saddles and the Loveland Pass parking are near the trailhead. There is also parking. Along the trail there is a viewpoint. The trail ends near Mount Sniktau (elevation 13,219 feet).

Mount Sniktau Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes with Dogs: Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Ania Savage
View more trails from this guide book
"Many hikers wonder where Mount Sniktau got its name. The origin is not Native American, as some think. Sniktau was the pen name of E. H. N. Patterson, who worked as a journalist in Clear Creek County in the 1860s. Patterson is best known for his friendship with Edgar Allan Poe. The Poe archives in Baltimore contain a letter, written June 7, 1849, that identifies Patterson as the publisher of the Oquawka Spectator in Oquawka, Illinois. In the letter Patterson discusses his proposed publication of Poe’s projected literary periodical, The Stylus."
Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park (Wilderness Press)
Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh
View more trails from this guide book
"The most popular peak climb from Loveland Pass heads across the undulating southwest ridge of Sniktau and passes with at least three false summits on the way up. Each step provides its own rewards—you don’t have to summit to take in the view. This hike has the most sustained view of Interstate 70 and the Eisenhower Tunnel of the three choices from this trailhead, but the highway noise fades and the views of Grays, Torrey, and Grizzly peaks make the trek worthwhile."
Best Summit Hikes in Colorado (Wilderness Press)
James Dziezynski
View more trails from this guide book
"Stay above tree line as you traverse rolling alpine ridges, culminating with a spectacular ascent of Grizzly Peak. Wide-open spaces and views of familiar places await you."

Mount Sniktau Trail Trip Reports

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon2 Total
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
A fun ridge walk with a few strenuous moments.

It's bit surreal starting at the top of the leadville pass. The beginning is a charge straight up the hill, so the car tourists are quickly left behind. It can be a little slipper with loose dirt/gravel, so a trekking pole can be a friend.

I've done Snitkau, Grizzly and Grey's on separate days, but they can be put together. If short on time, skip Snitkau - Grizzly is the better, more challenging hike with nice eye-popping views from the summit.

If going/returning from Grizzly there is a short-cut trail about 1/2 up from the leadville pass. It will cut at least 30 minutes off the hike and lets you bypass one false peak.

Grizzly to Grey's is could be a challenge for novices, but can be done safely without ropes/helmets nor blind handholds.

The Snitkau trail can be a little monotonous with a false summit in between. It's short, so worth the hike if you want to bag the peak.
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
This is very nice trail. It's crowded because trail is noticable off parking on Loveland Pass, but most people just hiked up briefly, not all the way to Sniktau. 360 degree view. Round trip is actually about 3.6 miles.

Mount Sniktau Trail Photos

Trail Information

Arapaho National Forest
Nearby City
Arapaho National Forest
Arapaho National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Grays Peak, Loveland Pass
Local Maps

Trail Log