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Mount Yale
Mt.yale edit.JPG
Mount Yale is the highest peak seen in this picture
Highest point
Elevation 14,200 ft (4328.2 m) NAVD88
Prominence 1896 ft (578 m)
Isolation 5.55 mi (8.93 km)
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Location Chaffee County, Colorado, U.S.
Parent range Sawatch Range,
Collegiate Peaks
Topo map USGS 7.5' topographic map
Mount Yale, Colorado
First ascent August 18, 1869 by William Brewer, William Davis, Robert Moore, S. Sharpless, Josiah Whitney
Easiest route 4.5 mile hike

Mount Yale is a high and prominent mountain summit of the Collegiate Peaks in the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,200-foot (4328.2 m) fourteener is located in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness of San Isabel National Forest, 9.4 miles (15.2 km) west by north (bearing 276°) of the Town of Buena Vista in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. The mountain was named in honor of Eli Yale of Yale University.


The term "Collegiate Peaks" comes from some of its individual peaks, which are named after universities, including Mount Harvard, Mount Princeton, Mount Oxford, Mount Columbia, and Mount Yale itself. Much of the upper part of the mountain is covered in scree and boulder fields.


Mount Yale was first climbed by a research team from Harvard University led by Josiah Whitney. The group named the taller Mount Harvard (14,420 ft) after their own university and the shorter Mount Yale after Whitney's alma mater.

Due to the similarity in heights of Mount Princeton and Mount Yale (Princeton is one foot (0.30 m) higher), it was once a tradition for the alumni of each school to carry rocks to the top of their respective mountain in order to add to the stone pyramid built at the summit. The graduates used these rock towers to ensure their mountain was the tallest.


Mount Yale has achieved great popularity as a non-technical fourteener. The mountain offers fantastic views of the Sawatch Range and Buena Vista, and is a favorite "training" mountain for those wishing to tackle more difficult fourteeners later in the season.

The standard route for climbing Mount Yale was once Denny Gulch, but overuse turned the trail into both a safety and environmental issue. The Denny Gulch trailhead was closed by the Forest Service for restoration, and now most hikers use the nearby Denny Creek Trailhead to begin their hike.

The climb up Mount Yale is generally considered to be very easy, and can be completed by anyone.

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