The 14ers of the Sawatch Range west of Buena Vista, CO get most of the attention from peak-baggers passing through our valley, but turn your sights just east of town and the Sleeping Indian (a.k.a. Midland Hill) beckons. Whether the Collegiate Peaks are snowed in or you’ve got limited time on your hands, the Sleeping Indian summit hike is easy-access, extremely scenic and also serves as a great warm up for the bigger peaks across the valley. Plus if you’re staying in South Main, the trailhead is your doorstep!
At an elevation of 9,555 feet, the Sleeping Indian summit hike involves about 1,500 feet of climbing to the “toe” of the Sleeping Indian. The trail varies from easy gravel surface to steep, rocky switchbacks, but it is well-worn the whole way. Depending on your pace, this hike could take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.
From South Main, hop on the River Park Trail heading north, cross the Whipple Bridge to the Midland Bike Trail, following it (the Southernmost trail- take a right at each fork) until you reach County Road 304 (you could actually drive to this point if you wanted to experience the summit but wanted to shorten the hike, although the most strenuous hiking is above the road). Cross 304 and you will soon come to a fork; take a right (the left trail is the Broken Boyfriend trail- a classic section of single track and another pretty hike) and follow this trail all the way to the summit. Make sure you bring food, water and warm enough clothing, including a nice shell in case of unexpected precipitation.
View the Sleeping Indian summit hike and surrounding trails below. Have fun and be safe!
View Outdoor Activities around Buena Vista, Colorado in a larger map
- Climbing the Sleeping Indian
- Great Article on South Main in the Summit County Voice
- Buena Vista, CO Mountain Biking Video