Mount Emma - 13 Things to Know Before Visiting

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About Mount Emma

Mount Emma is a mountain in San Miguel county, Colorado. It is located in the San Juans, and has a summit elevation of 14,297 feet. The mountain is named after Emma Rice, who was the first woman to climb it. Mount Emma is considered to be one of the easier fourteeners to climb, and is popular with mountaineers and hikers alike. The mountain offers stunning views of the surrounding area, and is a great place for a challenging hike or an overnight camping trip.

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Things to Do at Mount Emma

There are many things to do in the area, including hiking, camping, fishing, and picnicking. The scenery is simply gorgeous, and the air is clean and fresh. In addition to enjoying the natural beauty of the area, there are also many historical sites to explore. The Mount Emma church is a fascinating piece of history, and the remains of the Mount Emma mining town are well worth a visit. Whether you're looking for a peaceful place to relax or an adventurous spot to explore, Mount Emma is sure to please.

Activities Around

History of Mount Emma

Mount Emma is a mountain in San Miguel County, Colorado. The peak of Mount Emma is 12,931 feet (3,947 m) above sea level. The mountain is located in the San Juan Mountains, a subrange of the Rocky Mountains. Mount Emma is the highest point in the San Miguel Mountains. The mountain was named after Emma Smith DeVault, the wife of a prospector who settled in the area in 1875. The first recorded ascent of Mount Emma was made by A.D. Wilson and F.S. Hadley in 1874. The standard route on Mount Emma is the East Ridge, which is class 2+ on the Yosemite Decimal System. The East Ridge route begins at the trailhead near the town of Telluride and proceeds up the ridge to the summit. The total round trip distance is 8 miles (13 km). There are several other routes on Mount Emma, including the South Ridge and North Ridge routes. These routes are more difficult and are not recommended for novice climbers.

Best Time to Visit Mount Emma

The best time to visit Mount Emma is in the summer or fall. The temperatures are mild and the days are long, making it the perfect time to explore all the mountain has to offer. 

Tips for Visiting Mount Emma

  1. Emma is a great place to view the stars at night. There are very few artificial lights, and the air is clean and dry, which makes for excellent visibility.
  2. The best time to see the stars is during the winter months when the nights are longest.
  3. Hiking boots are a must, as the terrain can be rough in places. 
  4. Pack for all weather conditions. Mount Emma is known for its unpredictable weather, so be prepared for sunny days and cold nights.
  5. Leave your valuables at home. There are no safe places to store valuables on Mount Emma, so it's best to leave them at home.
  6. Stay on designated trails. Wandering off-trail can be dangerous, as there are many potential hazards (including cliffs and steep drop-offs) that can be difficult to see from a distance.
  7. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. The mountain can be hazardous, even if you stick to the trails, so stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.

Interesting Facts and Trivias About Mount Emma

  1. At 11,675 feet, Mount Emma is one of the tallest peaks in San Miguel County, Colorado.
  2. The mountain is named after Emma DeGarmo, who was the first person to scale its summit.

  3. The first recorded ascent of Mount Emma was made by William Henry Jackson in 1874.

  4. In 1873, Mount Emma was the site of a mining claim dispute that led to a deadly gunfight known as the Battle of San Salvador Pass. 

  5. The mountain has two main trails - the East Ridge Trail and the West Ridge Trail - both of which offer stunning views of the surrounding area.

  6. The summit of Mount Emma can be reached via a number of different routes, including some that are suitable for beginners.

How Much Time Did Visitors Spend at Mount Emma

Although it can be completed in a day, it is recommended that hikers allow themselves two days to explore this trail. Regardless of which trail you choose, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience exploring Mount Emma.

How to Reach Mount Emma

Begin at the town of Telluride and take Highway 145 south for about 12 miles. Then turn west onto Last Dollar Road and continue for about 8 miles until you reach a fork in the road. At the fork, take the left-hand road (County Road 7) and continue for another 6 miles until you reach the trailhead. From the trailhead, follow the Emma Trail for about 1.5 miles until you reach the summit. The entire trip should take about 4 hours. 

Entrance Fee of Mount Emma

While there is no entrance fee to explore Mount Emma, there are some regulations that visitors should be aware of.

Opening Hours of Mount Emma

Mount Emma is open to the public from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The mountain is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Attractions Near Mount Emma

Gilpin Peak

Gilpin Peak

1.32km from Mount Emma

Gilpin Peak is one of the many Colorado mountain peaks that provides stunning views of the surroundings. The peak is located in Ouray County and has an elevation of 14,028 feet. The best time to summit Gilpin Peak is from late June to early September when the snow has melted and the weather is stable. To reach the summit, hikers can take the East Ridge trail which starts at the South Mineral Campground. The hike is approximately eight miles round trip and provides a moderate level of difficulty

Governor Basin

Governor Basin

1.45km from Mount Emma

Governor Basin is a scenic valley located in Ouray County. Surrounded by towering peaks, the basin is home to a variety of wildlife, including elk, deer, bighorn sheep, and eagles. Fishing and camping are popular activities in the area, and the Governor Basin Trailhead provides access to a network of hiking trails. In winter, the basin is a popular destination for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Governor Basin is also home to several hot springs, which are open to the public year-round.

Yankee Boy Basin

Yankee Boy Basin

2.6km from Mount Emma

Yankee Boy Basin is a true hidden gem. Surrounded by towering peaks, the basin is home to a number of alpine lakes, waterfalls, and trickling streams. In addition to its natural beauty, Yankee Boy Basin is also known for its vibrant wildflower displays. From late July through August, the basin comes alive with color as a variety of blooms come into bloom. Hiking and camping are popular activities in the basin, and there are a number of trails to explore.

Mount Sneffels

Mount Sneffels

3.16km from Mount Emma

Mount Sneffels is a popular mountain peak in Ouray County, Colorado. The peak is named after the SNF power plant in nearby Ridgway, Colorado. Mount Sneffels is known for its dramatic views, particularly of the San Juans. The summit can be reached via a challenging hike or an easier scramble. There are also several technical routes up the peak for experienced climbers. Mount Sneffels is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, and it's easy to see why.

Dallas Peak

Dallas Peak

3.26km from Mount Emma

Dallas Peak is the highest point in the San Miguel Mountains and the county of San Miguel. It rises to an elevation of 14,265 feet, making it one of the tallest peaks in the state. Dallas Peak is located in the Uncompahgre National Forest, about 10 miles west of the town of Telluride. It is named after James Dallas, who was the surveyor general of Colorado from 1869 to 1870. Dallas Peak is a popular destination for hikers and climbers, who can reach its summit via a challenging 7-mile hike.

Cirque Mountain

Cirque Mountain

3.6km from Mount Emma

Cirque Mountain is a spectacular sight in Ouray County, Colorado. It's highest peak, promise Peak, soars to 12,795 feet and offers amazing views of the San Juan Mountains. The mountain is home to a variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep and elk. There are also a number of hiking trails that wind through the area, making it the perfect place to explore the great outdoors. Whether you're looking for a challenging hike or a scenic vista, Cirque Mountain is sure to impress.

Discover More Attractions in San Miguel County, Home of Mount Emma

San Miguel County

San Miguel County

20 attractions

San Miguel County is located in the southwestern corner of Colorado. It is home to the towns of Telluride, Mountain Village, and Norwood. The county is well-known for its scenic beauty, and it attracts visitors from all over the world. Outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, and camping are popular in the area. The county also has a rich history, and there are many sites of interest for history buffs. In recent years, the county has become increasingly popular as a destination for wed

Location of Mount Emma

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