Emerald Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: From Clohesy lake
Posted On: 2022-06-21, By: Trotter
Info: Road and trail up to Clohesy lake is dry and cleaned of deadfall. Lots of flowing water on the pear lake trail below treeline, almost impossible to keep your shoes dry. Climb up to Emerald summit is loose and steep, but doable. Summer conditions. 
Route: Emerald/Iowa Combo
Posted On: 2022-06-16, By: rambis_21
Info: A few snow fields to cross after elkhead pass. Snow at 9 am was still very stable and easy to cross and climb. Made for a great glissade down Emerald around 10 am. Full summer conditions. Only climbed Emerald today after how I felt on the summit of Emerald. Still a long hike! 
4 1
Route: Emerald/Iowa Combo
Posted On: 2022-06-10, By: terrysrunning
Info: I didn't actually climb it because it looked like there'd be more postholing or re-routing than I felt like doing on a day I had a hard limit on how long I could be out, but it looks like it'd go for someone motivated and much of the snow could be avoided. Figured I'd just put the pic up in case anyone was interested, and went and repeated Belford and Oxford since I was there. 
1 2
Route: Emerald/Iowa Combo
Posted On: 2022-02-12, By: Geckser
Info: Had a once in a winter day in the Sawatch. Low winds, warm temps, sunny skies and a well trenched trail. Felt outstanding to be out there. Went up with the always great @Arthurspiderman. The trip was 19 miles rt and about 7,000 feet of gain. We did a combination of skiing to 12,200 at which point we boot packed up to the Missouri ridge and moved to trail runners for the walk from Missouri to Iowa + Emerald. The avy dangers is certainly present, we heard some whumphing and almost turned around but pushed on because we found a relatively safe rock rib a little ways South of Missouri. The road is closed 3 miles below the trailhead and is in good shape though must be skinned up both ways. The trail up to the basin is in awesome shape (especially compared to the times I was up in Spring) and can be easily skied up and down continuously to the base of the rock shoulder. The ridge from Missouri onward was generally dry and I was very happy to be wearing trail runners and to give my poor boot wracked feet a break 
10 2
Route: Emerald/Iowa Combo
Posted On: 2021-10-12, By: mjlucarelli
Info: Snow on the entire route from the Clohesy Lake 4wd trailhead. Snow was deep enough for gators in some spots, but never felt a need for snowshoes. Packed spikes, didn't use them, but I would still suggest bringing them along. 
Route: Emerald/Iowa Combo
Posted On: 2021-08-16, By: E_A_Marcus_949
Info: Started from Missouri Gulch --> Elkhead Pass --> Missouri Basin/Unnamed Lake --> Emerald Peak. All free and clear - it's in summer conditions. Steep final section up to summit. Lots of goat patties and cicadas around. 
Route: Emerald/Iowa Combo
Posted On: 2021-08-08, By: Terminally_Chill
Info: Full summer conditions. Can't tell if it was the smoke or the giant hoards of people that were giving me a headache all day. Shame to see so many places being ruined by the crowds that seem to grow every year. 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2021-08-07, By: CheapCigarMan
Info: Smoke from fires made for very limited views. Very disappointed as the summit would have made for some great views of nearby peaks. Lots of steep loose rock and scree starting from the old mine at 12,900'. Very nice and smooth approach. 
8
Route: Missouri / Iowa / Emerald
Posted On: 2021-07-07, By: mijoflynn
Info: Did Missouri --> Iowa --> Emerald today. Creek crossings in Missouri Gulch are now easy. In the upper gulch, the trail was a little muddy, probably because of the deluge the area got Tuesday night. There are two snow fields sticking around just before you reach Missouri's northwest ridge, but neither will cause you any trouble. Otherwise, summer conditions to Missouri's summit. I was surprised to find a good trail down Missouri's south ridge -- it's easy class 2. There's a fainter trail up Iowa's north ridge. Both are in summer conditions. Iowa's south slopes are super smooth. I took the grassy ramp up Emerald, even though it was the less direct route, because the north ridge looked steep and loose. I scree-skied down the ridge okay, but climbing it wouldn't be much fun. No snow left on either route. Having to reclimb Elkhead Pass sucked. It's not Halfmoon-Pass-on-Holy-Cross suck, but still. Overall, though, this is a nice hike. Quiet. Great views in all directions. 14 miles, about 5700'. 
2
Route: North Slopes
Posted On: 2021-06-21, By: Thevirtualsherpa
Info: Emerald is in fine summer conditions. Trail to elk head pass is mostly snow free but loads of water, expect your feet to get wet. Any snow that does remain can be avoided or easily dealt with sans traction. Pass itself (which is a worthy hike without any mountains IMO - so beautiful) is dry and once you get onto south side of it is almost bone in terms of snow dry but again loads of water on the crossover. Didn't tag Iowa because I just didn't care to, but that's snow free too. Loose garbage to gain summit, but only a couple hundred vertical feet so it's over quickly. Going back up elk made me wanted to chop my legs off but insanely beautiful day on this tough cent. 13 miles 6k vert or so and brought the dog. 
9 2
Route: Emerald/Iowa Combo
Posted On: 2021-06-12, By: j_vada
Info: Linked Emerald, Iowa, and Missouri from the Rockdale Trailhead. The route was mostly snow free and no traction or flotation were needed. I climbed Emerald first, via the south slopes. There were minor snow patches in the basin past Clohesy Lake up to the saddle above Pear Lake. Emerald's slopes were dry and there were only scattered snow patches on Iowa's south slopes. The snow on the ridge from Iowa to Missouri was all avoidable. 
7
Route: Emerald/Iowa Combo
Posted On: 2021-05-09, By: supranihilest
Info: Coming from Iowa things are mostly dry to the saddle with Emerald. Terrain consists of tundra and embedded rock. Heading up Emerald's north face is a steep, loose pile of scree and talus. I tried to stick to snow as much as possible simply because it was more stable than the rock. Emerald wasn't difficult, just loose and annoying. I descended the northeast ramp into Missouri Basin (not to be confused with Missouri Gulch) and made the long, long trek to Elkhead Pass, then back to Missouri Gulch trailhead. I didn't need traction or an axe for Emerald or Iowa, and didn't put snowshoes on until I was below treeline in Missouri Gulch. 
Route: Elk head pass
Posted On: 2021-01-29, By: blazintoes
Info: Late start afforded celebrity sighting of Will E. He's fast. Rode the gravy train after creek crossing to Missouri's upper East basin. From there solo over Elk Head Pass. Aware of clear and present avy danger and would not have continued had there been any. Needed any excuse to quit. Tired legs from prior day's effort. Annoying wind gusts all day that made summit unenjoyable but the sunset was fiery and the full moon spectacular. Long hard 20 mile day. Only used snowshoes all day. Meeting superstar Will put pep in my step. Thanks Will! Parked 2.3 miles before Missouri Gulch TH. 
14 3
Route: Emerald standard
Posted On: 2020-11-28, By: CaptCO
Info: Trench in. Snow gear advised 
5 2
Route: Emerald/Iowa Combo
Posted On: 2020-10-28, By: CaptCO
Info: **Failed Attempt** due to icy road had to park 3.2mi below TH. Put in a trench to 12.4K on Elkhead Pass and made a safety call due to time. There is no trench toward Belford on the Elkhead split. Double check the turn after Elkhead, multiple options 
13 10
Route: Missouri, Iowa, Emerald loop
Posted On: 2020-10-19, By: Dan_Suitor
Info: Missouri, Iowa, Emerald loop returning via Iowa's west ridge's north gully. Mostly clear. All snow avoidable on Emerald. Snow avoidable in Iowa's west ridge's north gully. No traction needed. If the gully fills with more snow traction might be advisable. Fun not well publicized route. 
4
Route: Emerald/Iowa Combo
Posted On: 2020-09-30, By: pmp6
Info: No snow on the route. Register is missing a writing instrument. 
Route: Emerald/Iowa Combo
Posted On: 2020-07-25, By: graberz
Info: Emerald/Iowa/Missouri from Missouri Gulch, going up elk head pass and down Northwest Ridge of Missouri,. The trail was all summer condition. Visibility was terrible today, so you just kind of kept climbing until you got to the top and bouncing from edge of ridge to edge of ridge. I did see a really big herd of elk up at the lake below Iowa which was really cool. 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-02, By: cdgibbons
Info: Two large snowfields, easily avoided. To avoid the snow, I followed the bench all the way to the saddle with Iowa and then climbed back using the climber's trail on the north face; could be that is the easiest route regardless. No other climbers; one goat near the summit who ran off the ridge when I approached. 
Route: North Slopes from Missouri Gulch TH
Posted On: 2020-06-27, By: Bailey Tyson
Info: Route is 98% dry. A couple of small, low angled snowfields can easily be crossed without traction, or avoided entirely. Trail runners worked well for us. GPS showed 14.5 miles RT. 

Return to the main Peak Conditions page
© 2022 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.