Mt. Audubon  
Condition Updates  
Route: Clockwise loop - Paiute to Audubon
Posted On: 2022-08-05, By: Makbrad
Info: Dry, summer conditions. Some water running down the trail around the willows. 
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2022-07-03, By: geomorphdan
Info: water running on trail, but practically no snow up to Audubon. Traversed to Paiute, all class 2+. Some snow getting down from Paiute to Blue lake, but no spikes/axe needed - just a fun, moderate glissade in the soft snow. Some snow and lots of mud on the Blue/Mitchell trail. 
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2022-06-21, By: DeTour
Info: Brainard Lake website has a muddy trail warning but our threesome hiked Audubon Monday and returned with clean and dry shoes. Snow was a non-issue - we brought microspikes but had no need to put them on. A few drifts in the forest and about 200' of snow-covered trail on the eastern slope at about 11200' elevation, all soft enough to traverse in trail runners with no postholing. A lot of the trail from 11400' to saddle at 12500 does double duty as a stream. Step on the rocks through there, don't contribute to the trail braiding. Beautiful day and stunning views - better than most 14ers IMO! 
Route: Crooked Couloir
Posted On: 2022-05-14, By: thebeave7
Info: Skied back into Blue Lake to hit some spring lines. The road has several drifts still, so while mostly bikeable there are several walking sections. The road becomes mostly snow covered behind Brainard Lake. We skinned all the way from there to Blue lake, only took off our skiis twice briefly. First skied Mt Toll SE face, great conditions at 10a this morning. Crooked Couloir is still fully in but melting fast, skied great just after noon. The South face of Audubon is discontinuous, SE chutes looked good, but a few didn't top out all the way. Paiute Peak East face is still Phat! Still a good amount of snow up high, but warm temps are changing things fast. 
Route: South ridge
Posted On: 2022-03-28, By: ellenmseb
Info: Snowshoes VERY NECESSARY between summer trailhead and treeline. Treeline to audubon is basically dry The traverse from audubon to paiute is surprisingly heads-up currently. I used my ice axe to basically self-belay across each of 3 snow-ridges, but then decided i didn't want to leave that snow to soften further, so turned around 200' below paiute. I wouldn't even consider it without ice axe 
2
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2022-03-20, By: dleflar
Info: Summit is pretty much clear and windblown. East side of peak holds some snow but it's bullet proof. The north ridge has minimal snow which can be avoided if that's your thing. Went up north ridge and spotted another hiker going down the East ridge with minimal effort so that can be used also for exit off summit currently. Below treeline holds lots of snow but some brave soul made a perfect boot pack from summer trail-head to up above treeline with minimal wandering. The boot pack exits higher than summer trail but this avoided all of the snow on the summer trail above tree line. Wish I knew who made that boot pack cause they made my day pretty easy even with a winter trail head start. 
3 1
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2022-02-21, By: acasali
Info: From Mitchell Lake trailhead to treeline, all untracked soft snow. Hardpacked windblown snow at treeline, with only light coverage above treeline. Snowshoes or skis needed below treeline, especially after this week's storm - I suspect the small trench my partner and I created will be quickly filled. 
2
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2021-12-23, By: dsr80304
Info: Reminder that start is from the winter TH, so ~4.5 mi RT to the trail TH, and then ~8 mile RT from there. Road basically all clear from parking to the true trailhead. Trail below treeline was pretty postholey - hadn't seen any recent traffic. Snowshoes or skins would've been much more enjoyable. Then dry to the top. But snow coming in tonight/tomorrow 
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2021-10-01, By: MaryinColorado
Info: Trail was dry up until just before the turn off from the trail to the final scramble. Patches of snow from there onward. Rocks/boulders toward the northern aspect were covered in quite a bit of verglas (thin ice) making for slow going. Staying more toward the southern aspect was better; drier and less ice. Conditions are bound to change again due to snow in the forecast tonight, but that's not likely to change the presence of ice, so be careful out there. 
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2021-07-11, By: boucry
Info: Summer conditions. Reminder to get reservations at recreation.gov for Mitchell Lake TH to avoid the extra mileage. Was able to snag an early time slot 2.5 weeks out. 
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2021-06-20, By: Emily_Gulanczyk
Info: Hiked Mt Audubon from the Brainard Gateway TH, so it was about 14 miles. Note that there is a reservation system in place this year to access the Brainard Lake TH and the Mitchell Lake TH is closed - although you're still allowed to hike on the trails from the Mitchell Lake TH. There are a few snow fields along the trail, mostly right around treeline. No traction is necessary - no postholing. Lots of running water on the trails above treeline. 
Route: Crooked couloir and east slopes
Posted On: 2021-06-04, By: bangerth
Info: The road from the winter closure to Brainard Lake is dry, but there are still substantial snow drifts on the way to the Mitchell Lake Trailhead. From there continuous snow to Mitchell Lake, Blue Lake, and beyond. The "Crooked Couloir" is in decent shape, but probably only in the early mornings. Before the sun hits it, it's quite icy and you really don't want to slip. It's also quite hard to get steps in; we spent a fair share of the time using just the toe points, having two axes would have been nice. After the sun hit the snow, it became quite soft and we were happy to exit the couloir soon after. Snow conditions suggested not to glissade back down, so we took the summer trail back to the Mitchell Lake Trailhead. There are still large snow fields that could make travel quick and convenient, but with today's temperature, there was also a lot of postholing. The trip down the steep part with the switchbacks was not great fun. At the bottom, the way through the forest was acceptable and reasonably quick. Snowshoes: Yes, from Mitchell Lake Trailhead to Blue Lake, then again for the last half of the way down the summer route. Time: We left at 3:20am and saved a few minutes by taking bikes to the Mitchell Lake Trailhead (but were slowed down by having to push them over snow drifts on the last mile). Even this early departure got us to the base of the couloir later than we would have like. I think that we topped out at around 9am. Getting to the top an hour earlier would have been nice. 
2
Route: From Mitchell Lake TH
Posted On: 2021-04-04, By: WildWanderer
Info: Parked at the winter closure. Snow started at gate. Route was nicely packed down until Mitchell Lake Trailhead, and from then on it was a trashy trench: lots of postholing but the trail will get you to the ridge. There the trail stops. I went up the west side of the mountian to the summit. Heaviest snow was from the TH to treeline. Ridge was mostly windblown but snow was unavoidable in places. Summit was dry and very windy. I wore microspikes the entire day because I started early, snowshoes would be needed if you started or finished later in the day. The trench needs a good packing down, so if you're inclined, bring snowshoes and use them on your way down to solidify the trench. I didn't see anyone else on the trail today. 
14
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2021-04-04, By: supranihilest
Info: We booted from the trailhead to approximately Mitchell Lake, then wore snowshoes through the deep snow to treeline, where things dried out significantly. At that point we carried our snowshoes and just booted to the summit in a more or less direct line, since the trail was buried in snow. We continued on the traverse to Paiute, and on the return from Paiute the snow from Mitchell Lake to the trailhead was wet and sloppy but mostly packed on the road. Traction and an ice axe are not necessary, flotation is very nice but might also not be necessary, just be ready to wallow without it. 
1
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2021-03-05, By: Cereal
Info: (See separate Trailhead Status for Mitchell Lakes.) Great conditions for a winter summit. Not nearly as much snow as anticipated after the forecast for Thursday. Two of us wore snowshoes from car to summit to car. For the road from the winter lot to the Mitchell Lakes TH, snowshoes seemed necessary this morning, but they were not needed in the afternoon. (Yes, we kept snowshoes on anyway. Many folks were hiking the road just fine in bare boots.) From the Mitchell Lakes TH to timberline, snowshoes were definitely needed today. We renewed an existing trench, although a couple times we lost it and then found it again. The worst it got was maybe 5 inches deep, aside from about 30 steps of mid-shin deep here and there. From timberline to summit, you might be able to bare-boot it and rock-hop if you want, but we found it easiest to keep snowshoes on and aim for the snowier parts of the slope. I will try to upload a few photos. 
7
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2021-02-01, By: 9patrickmurphy
Info: Road to Brainard Lake from the winter closure is packed snow or dry in places. Easy routefinding to Mitchell Lake TH, bring a GPS if fresh snow. We followed someone's tracks up the Audubon trail, easy bootpack until the switchbacks. We then had a hell of an effort getting up the headwall (switchbacks in summer, trail buried) and then stumbling through knee-deep drifts above that. Turned around at about 11,300 because we were behind schedule and having no fun. Bring snowshoes, basically. Ridge looked dry from what we could see through the trees. 
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2021-01-01, By: dolfh
Info: The Brainard Lake rd is closed 2 mi in from HWY 72 making the hike 14 miles RT. Excellent bootpack to Brainard lake. Decent trench from Mitchell lake TH to switchbacks. Some deep drifts near treeline. Deep snow is avoidable above treeline. 
3
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2020-12-25, By: Tornadoman
Info: My partner and I started putting in a trench on Audubon this morning. A few other people came along (at least 6 in total), and there is now a good trench to treeline, but snowshoes are still needed imo. It should be good until the next storm. In the area around treeline it's a bit messy (dry spots and a few deep drifts). Above treeline it's pretty dry and snowshoes are not needed. The last pitch to the summit is covered by a coating of snow and rime ice but wasn't steep enough for us to bother with traction. From winter closure this is a 14 mile day. 
6
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2020-09-15, By: Ptglhs
Info: Route is great right now. A couple small patches of snow but very minimal. No traction needed. No running water either. After the cairn at the saddle between Audubon and North the trail becomes harder to follow but eventually cairns and the path of least resistance lead you there. 
Route: North slope
Posted On: 2020-09-01, By: Mountain_hiker100
Info: Summer conditions. Getting a little later in the season, so the air at the top is starting to become cold. So don't go on a windy day. 

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