Mt. Audubon - North slope

Difficulty:  Class 2 
Upper Elevation: 13,223 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 10,500 feet
Elevation Gain:2,850 feet
Round-trip Length: 8.0
Trailhead: Mitchell Lakes
Author: krishcane
Route Added: 09/26/2012
Last Updated: 01/17/2014


From Highway 72, just a mile or so north of the town of Ward, turn west onto America St./Brainard Lake road. Drive over 2 miles to reach the entrance to the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, pay the fee and continue 2 more miles to reach Brainard Lake. Pass the lake and continue 1 mile to the Mitchell Lakes trailhead. It has a large, paved parking area and restrooms. The Mitchell Lakes and Audubon Peak trails start on the north (upper) end of the parking lot.


The route to Mt. Audubon begins at 10,500 feet with a mild path through the forest (Photo #1). At around three-quarters of a mile and 10,900 feet it opens out of the forest (Photo #2) and begins a series of switchbacks (Photo #3).

Treeline breaks at around 1.5 miles and 11,300 feet (Photo #4) and the trail splits at 1.7 miles at 11,400 where the Mt. Audubon trails goes left from the Beaver Creek Trail (Photo #5). Go left. Mt. Audubonís summit comes into view shortly (Photo #6).

Proceed through cairned open tundra (Photo #7, Photo #8) until you approach the saddle north of the summit. You are looking for a cairn on the saddle that indicates you should turn left and enter the talus to begin the summit push (Photo #9). There is a faint trail at this point turning left but itís easy to miss and walk right over the saddle because the trail youíve been on continues that way to great views of Upper Coney Lake. The saddle sits at 12,700.

The summit is a moderately steep pile of rocks (Photo #10). There are some cairns and trails leading up it (Photo #11), but there seem to be several routes developing. Just keep heading up (Photo #12). At 13,000 feet it gets a bit less steep (Photo #13)

The pitch levels off at 3.9 miles and 13,200 feet (Photo #14). Walk several hundred feet across the summit and around the many wind shelters to reach the technical summit at 4.0 miles and 13,223 feet.




Photo #1 Photo #2 Photo #3 Photo #4 Photo #5 Photo #6 Photo #7 Photo #8 Photo #9 Photo #10 Photo #11 Photo #12 Photo #13 Photo #14