Mount Audubon Trail

Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, Colorado 80455

Distance2.1mi
Elevation Gain1,834ft
Trailhead Elevation11,378ft
Top13,212ft
Elevation Min/Max11378/13212ft
Elevation Start/End11378/11378ft

Mount Audubon Trail

Mount Audubon Trail is a hiking trail in Boulder County, Colorado. It is within Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. It is 2.1 miles long and begins at 11,378 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,834 feet. The trail ends near Mount Audubon (elevation 13,209 feet). There is also an information guidepost near the end of the trail.

Mount Audubon Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This wonderful day hike ascends the beautiful alpine summit of Mount Audubon (13,223 feet). Wildflowers, panoramic alpine views, and alpine lakes make this hike well worth the effort. This is a very strenuous hike with a lot of altitude gain in a long 4-mile march to the summit.

On the way to the summit there are stunning views out to Pawnee Peak, Mount Toll, Paiute Peak, Sawtooth Mountain, and Rocky Mountain National Park to the north. This is a very popular trail that sees a fair amount of traffic in the summer months. Your best bet to avoid the crowds would be to do the hike midweek. Trail conditions: The lower section of the trail is well traveled and has very loose, rocky tread to the summit."

"This gentle giant is one of the most popular and accessible thirteeners in the Front Range. The trail offers superb views of lakes and peaks as you climb from the subalpine forest to the treeless tundra."

"Mount Audubon is the easiest 13,000-foot peak to climb in Indian Peaks."

"Mount Audubon, though one of the highest summits in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, is also one of the easiest peaks to climb. The high, rounded mountain has been whimsically described by author Ruth Cushman as looking like “a dish of ice cream with one spoonful taken from its side”. I would describe it as a buxom young woman lying slightly on her side.

Yet the gentle curving summit Audubon is bordered by a sea of jagged peaks that seem to be breaking on its western slopes like waves in a fierce tropical storm. It is in large part the views of these other Indian Peaks on the nearby Continental Divide, along with the glaciers and the tarns below them, that make this climb a memorable one. The sweeping panoramas of the rugged wilderness west of Mount Audubon are very dramatic."

"Oddly enough, in the midst of the Indian Peaks, the most familiar peak is named for an ornithologist who never saw it. Named after famed, 19th Century artist/ornithologist John James Audubon, this bulky mountain is the most easily recognizable of the Indian Peaks. But it might seem curious to honor Audubon, who never saw Colorado; and especially as his mountain lies in a part of the Front Range dedicated to the native tribes. But it acquired the name very early on, from botanist Charles Parry’s 1861 Colorado expedition, when he made the first recorded ascent of the mountain.

Parry suggested names for most of the Front Range peaks that he climbed, recognizing major naturalists of his generation, including ones familiar to us now as Grays, Torreys, James, and Engelmann. In turn, Parry Peak was named for him. The trail is gradual, well-marked by cairns on the tundra and very popular in the hiking season. It’s a good family hike for kids over 10."

"Rising to an elevation of 13,233 feet, Mount Audubon is one of the more prominent summits within the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Despite its lofty stature, however, this gentle mountain pales when compared to its immediate neighbors in terms of ruggedness. Indeed, topped by a moderately difficult trail, Audubon poses little challenge to the discerning climber.

On the other hand, for the hiker who is simply out to enjoy some incredible views, this peak cannot be beat. Not only does it reveal some up-close views of the surrounding mountains; it affords incredibly far-reaching vistas in all directions as well."

"A wonderful day hike leads up to the beautiful alpine summit of Mount Audubon (13,223 feet). Wildflowers, panoramic high alpine views, and alpine lakes make this hike well worth the effort.

This is a very strenuous hike with a lot of altitude gain in a long, 4-mile march to the summit. There are stunning views of Pawnee Peak, Mount Toll, Paiute Peak, Sawtooth Mountain, and Rocky Mountain National Park to the north. This is a very popular trail that sees a fair amount of traffic in the summer months. Your best bet to avoid the crowds would be to do the hike midweek."

"A wonderful day hike leads up to the beautiful alpine summit of Mount Audubon (13,223 feet). Wildflowers, panoramic high alpine views, and alpine lakes make this hike well worth the effort. This is a very strenuous hike with a lot of altitude gain in a long, 4-mile march to the summit.

There are stunning views of Pawnee Peak, Mount Toll, Paiute Peak, Sawtooth Mountain, and Rocky Mountain National Park to the north. This is a very popular trail that sees a fair amount of traffic in the summer months. Your best bet to avoid the crowds would be to do the hike midweek."

Mount Audubon Trail Reviews

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7/13/2013
Awesome 13er! Amazing views from the saddle on. A bit windy at the top as always. Would definitely bag this mountain again. The trail has quite a few rocks but this is the Rocky Mountains after all.
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Trail Information

Indian Peaks Wilderness Area
Nearby City
Indian Peaks Wilderness Area
Parks
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Skiing
Additional Use
USDA Forest Service, Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave., Boulder CO 80301; (303) 541-2500; fs.usda.gov/arp
Local Contacts
Trails Illustrated Indian Peaks and Gold Hill; USGS Ward
Local Maps