|Elevation Gain||1,834 ft|
|My Time||3 hr 34 min|
|Food Nearby||Guanella Pass Brewery|
Mount Flora is a 13,000 foot mountain located near Winter Park, Colorado that isn’t too technical and has amazing views of the surrounding peaks.
Mount Flora has something that not every 13er has. Good parking! The trail starts at the Berthoud Pass pull off that has a good amount of parking and a warming hut with restrooms. The beginning of the trail is actually shared with the trail to the Colorado Mines Peak.
To begin, head up the service road on the southwest side of the parking lot. This service road will take you up about the first mile. Around the point that the road splits off a trail forms and you will come to an intersection with a sign showing the options that you have.
The junction allows you to split to the Colorado Mines peak, to Mount Flora, or a couple of other options to lakes around the area. Take the Mount Flora path and you are on your way.
When you first take the trail to Flora you will make a loop around a large hill. This loop is a little steep with grades in the 15% range. This isn’t too bad but an increase from the 10% grade of the road that I could certainly feel. The trip around the hill keeps you in the center of the hill for the most part and allows for some nice views before you make the ridgeline.
After circling the hill you will begin to flatten out for a little bit as you continue on. This is short lived as the next step is to make it up to the ridgeline. To get there you will have the steepest portion of the hike with some 22% grades leading you up to the ridge. From the ridge you are able to see the views of southern ranges.
The High Country
After making it to the ridgeline there is one more big push of steep terrain that leads to a bit of a false summit. After the false summit the trail actually flattens out a little bit and makes for a nice high country walk. The walk leads to a second false summit before heading to the peak. The views again are pretty sensational but keep in mind that the area will be totally exposed to sun and wind and any other weather that might be around.
The trail also thins out the higher you go but is very well defined and easy to follow. I really enjoyed this section to sort of soak it all in. This last section is about three quarters of a mile and leads to the final ascent up to the peak.
The Peak of Mount Flora doesn’t really have a big push to get up to. In fact, after a couple of false summits I wasn’t even sure I made it until I saw the medallion.
The peak is very rocky with several wind blocks built out of large stones. There is plenty of room on top as well. I think there were six seperate groups in various area’s while I was up there and we all had plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the moment. And of course the views stay as good as can be imagined.
For being a 13er this hike isn’t really too challenging. There is a lot of walking at high elevation and some early inclines to get through but overall it isn’t that bad. It was also very popular and very busy. If you are looking for a first 13er or to trail for some 14er’s this might be a nice place to hike.
Here are a couple of video recaps of the hike. The first one is a shorter narrative recap of the hike.
This second video is a Time Lapsed version of the hike that I like to call the Hikers Edit. It is just raw of the hike so you can see what the trail is like while deciding if you might like it.
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Distance and Elevation
If you don’t have the AllTrails app you might want to check it out, I really love mine. It records your progress and is a great way to search for hikes that are nearby and gives you difficulty measurements. According to AllTrails today’s hike was around 6.67 miles and had a total elevation gain of about 1,834 feet including undulations. That put the high point at around 13,127 feet. I was also moving for a total of 3 hours and 34 minutes.
As 13er’s and high altitude hikes go, Mount Flora isn’t really that bad. The first half is much steeper than the second half it seemed but the trail is really easy to follow and there is no climbing or scrambling required.
The hike starts up a service road before splitting off onto a very well defined trail. The trail is dirt with some rocks for the most part and the terrain is pretty easy to manage. As you get higher up there are some rocks that you need to walk on around the peak. One thing to keep in mind is that you are totally exposed, so you will have sun and wind or any other weather to deal with.
The trail to Mount Flora is located at the Berthoud Pass pull off on US-40 between Empire and Winter Park. There is a pretty large parking area with room for probably 50 cars. There is a warming shed and restrooms available at the trailhead.
Wrapping Up Mount Flora
I really enjoyed my time up at Mt. Flora. I had actually tried to hike it about a month earlier but there was too much snow at that time. The hike was my first 13er of the year and really felt great to get back into the high country.
There were so many great views that I highly recommend the gallery below on this one as I couldn’t get all the pictures in above. I really think this is a hike that a lot of people will enjoy. There isn’t much for technical hiking and more of just a long walk at high elevations.
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