Handies Peak

Rewarding Views from
an Approachable 14er

Featured Route
on Lake Fork in Hinsdale Co, CO
  • Total Length
  • Ascent
  • Difficulty

While it can’t be emphasized enough that any 14er is a significant physical challenge due to elevation, this hike is generally considered among the most accessible in a wilderness area. The trailhead is not too far off the main roads, the trail is well marked, and the views are absolutely stunning. One could hardly choose a better first 14er to attempt. 

The trail first heads up to Sloan Lake, a pristine alpine lake that perfectly frames the essence of the American Basin and this entire Wilderness Study Area. Continue the final mile up to the summit for your scenic reward. 

Displays of wildflowers can be an added bonus late July and early August, and it’s hard not to enjoy the frequent marmot spotting in this region. 

Be sure to head out early to avoid thunderstorms and don’t hesitate to turn around the moment the weather begins to turn. There’s always another day to reach the top. 

Depending on your vehicle’s clearance and your comfort level with rough terrain, you may have to park at the lower lot.  Most of the drive up to the trailhead is fairly rough but driveable for 2WD vehicles. 

Get Here
  • Hiking
  • Out & Back
  • 14ers
  • Alpine
  • Lakes
  • Scenic
  • Wildflowers
Elevation Profile
Start Hiking
For 1½mi
Continue Hiking
For 1mi
Continue Hiking
For 2.6mi