Colorado 14ers
Colorado's 54 mountains above 14,000'
The 14ers
14ers Home|Climbing Home
14ers FAQ|New Climber FAQ
14ers.com
The diamond face of Longs PeakColorado has 58 mountains over 14,000 feet (4,266 meters) in height but only 53 are noted as '14ers'. To qualify as a 14er the peak must be 300 feet higher than the saddle of an adjacent peak. A notable exception is North Maroon Peak so 54 has become the 'official' number. I have climbed all of them.

There are six distinct ranges that holds these 14'ers plus hundreds of lesser peaks. All this makes Colorado one of the best climbing areas in the world. Many are very easy to get to with many within driving distance of Denver and other Front Range cities. Some require overnight backpacking trips and are well worth the effort. Please read my FAQs for some common questions and answers plus suggestions for a first 14er.

Late June through mid September are the most popular months with thousands of people on the hills. Some mountains can have hundreds of climbers on a sunny weekend day. But don't let the crowds keep you away. These mountains are big and there are many routes so if you want to avoid the crowds don't take the "standard" route. In fact the secondary routes are often much more interesting and rewarding!

While it may seem simple to load up the car and go "climb a 14'er", it can be deadly. Every year people die on these mountains. Thunderstorms with lightning, sudden snow squalls, high winds can turn a great day into a nightmare; so be careful and always consult the NFS and the latest weather and avalanche danger before going up.

There are many great web sites out there about Colorado's 14'ers with excellent maps, route information, trip reports and photos. My favorite site dedicated to 14ers is Bill Middlebrook's www.14ers.com. The 'bible' of guide books remains Gerry Roach's Colorado Fourteeners. Even though it was updated in 1999 it is a must have for every 14er climber.

Colorado also offers a great series of Hut trips via 10th Mountain Division Hut Association. Check this link for my 2004 trip to the Fowler-Hillard Hut.

The following table lists all 58 of the 14ers I have climbed. These have links to pages about that particular climb with a short essay, videos and pictures. Longs Peak is special to me since it is close to my home and I used it for training almost every week before my Himalayan climbs. I have summited it 28 times. Currently it has the most extensive coverage. The 2 indicates one of my favorite 14ers thus far. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did climbing the peaks! But get out there when you can!


click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlargeclick to enlarge
click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlargeclick to enlarge

Colorado 14ers

click on any heading to sort table
POPULARITY RANK** ALTITUDE RANK MOUNTAIN HEIGHT RANGE EASIEST ROUTE* COMMENTS MY VOTE
5 1 Mt. Elbert 14,440' Sawatch Class 1 Easy to follow summer trail. A long day and crowded in summer.  
17 2 Mt. Massive 14,428' Sawatch Class 2 for the Southeast slopes route navigating through the forest 2
18 3 Mt. Harvard 14,427' Sawatch Class 2+ For the Horn Fork Basin area. Beautiful area 2
36 4 Blanca Peak 14,349' Sangre de Cristo Class 2 Surprisingly straightforward once you get to Lake Como. Fun scramble to the summit  
21 5 La Plata Peak 14,336' Sawatch Class 2 for the Lake Creek route. Easy, remote and a beautuful climb 2
31 6 Uncompahgre Peak 14,314' San Juan Class 2 Another beautiful climb in the San Juan Range  
42 7 Crestone Peak 14,298' Sangre de Cristo Class 3+ Solid rock in the Red Couloir. Sustained angle but not bad  
12 8 Mt. Lincoln
Mt. Cameron
14,291'
14,238'
Tenmile-Mosquito Class 1 Lincoln is the official 14er. Basically a walk-up  
1 9 Grays Peak 14,279' Front Range Class 1 Easy walk-up with great views next to Torreys  
23 10 Mt. Antero 14,276' Sawatch Class 2 Tough 4WD road to get to high trailhead. More of a road hike  
3 11 Torreys Peak 14,272' Front Range Class 2 Next to Grays, easy walk up by std route  
4 12 Quandary Peak 14,270' Tenmile-Mosquito Class 1 for Horton the Quandary Dog and easy winter access 2
9 13 Mt. Evans 14,270' Front Range Class 2 An easy 14er. The Chicago Lakes route is beautiful.  
32 14 Castle Peak
Conundrum Peak
14,269'
14,060'
Elk Class 2+ Castle for the North Face Couloir route in snow. Conundrum is an adjacent "unofficial" 14er and eqully fun glissading down 2
10 15 Longs Peak 14,261' Front Range Class 3 for any Longs route but especially the Keiner's, Loft or North Face. 11
54
57
16 Mt. Wilson
El Diente
14,250'
14,164'
San Juan Class 4 Excellent class 3/4 rock climbing via the North Buttress to Diente then the Traverse to Wilson. 2
16 17 Mt. Shavano 14,236' Sawatch Class 2 A nice 14er start starts steep and ends steep with great views of the Arkansas Valley  
14 18 Mt. Belford 14,205' Sawatch Class 2 A nice 14er start starts steep and ends steep with great views of the Arkansas Valley  
19 19 Mt. Princeton 14,205' Sawatch Class 2 Easy walk up with views of 30 14ers  
15 20 Mt. Yale 14,204' Sawatch Class 2 A little remote but with trailhead off paved road. Beautiful approach  
37 21 Crestone Needle 14,201' Sangre de Cristo Class 3++ Fun rock climbing in the high gullies but can be deadly 2
11 22 Mt. Bross 14,177' Tenmile-Mosquito Class 1 A walk up, not too exciting  
41 23 Kit Carson Peak 14,169' Sangre de Cristo Class 2+ The 'Avenue' offers fun exposure otherwise a Sangre scree climb. Awesome scenery near the lake  
45 24 Maroon Peak 14,162' Elk Class 3+ for the traverse South to North. A classic challenge 2
26 25 Tabeguache Peak 14,162' Sawatch Class 2 Scree hike next to Shavano  
22 26 Mt. Oxford 14,160' Sawatch Class 2 Next to Belford, Access via a nice saddle.  
34 27 Mt. Sneffels 14,155' San Juan Class 2+ Beautiful area near Ouray. Scree climb but a fun top scramble  
7 28 Mt. Democrat 14,152' Tenmile-Mosquito Class 1 Part of the Lincoln, Bross, Cameron walk ups.  
51 29 Capitol Peak 14,141' Elk Class 4 Remote, steep, difficult and the Knife Edge - class 4 at it's best 22
6 30 Pikes Peak 14,115' Front Range Class 1 Historic and fun esp via Barr Trial and Barr camp  
48 31 Snowmass Mountain 14,096' Elk Class 3++ for the S-Ridge up but not for the West Slope scree descent! 2
58 32 Mt. Eolus
North Eolus
14,088'
14,039'
San Juan Class 3 A very fun class 3 climb made interesting with a long narrow catwalk  
44 33 Windom Peak 14,087' San Juan Class 2 Nice rocky ridge climb with a few moves a complex summit  
38 34 Challenger Point 14,084' Sangre de Cristo Class 2+ Scree climb to ridge then on to Kit Carson  
30 35 Mt. Columbia 14,079' Sawatch Class 2 A long and tedious scree climb. Better via traverse from Harvard  
25 36 Missouri Mountain 14,073' Sawatch Class 2+ for the north face in snow. Easy access but fun snow climb 2
29 37 Humboldt Peak 14,069' Sangre de Cristo Class 2 An easy, short 14er with amazing views from the summit.  
2 38 Mt. Bierstadt 14,065' Front Range Class 1 One of the easiest and shortest 14ers with simple access from the highway, close to Denver  
46 39 Sunlight Peak 14,064' San Juan Class 4 My last 14er. A great summit climb with class 4 exposure 22
27 40 Handies Peak 14,053' San Juan Class 1 Easy and stunning climb in the summer from American Basin 2
55 41 Culebra Peak 14,051' Sangre de Cristo Class 1 The only climb with a fee $100. But well worth it: remote and beautiful views  
43 42 Ellingwood Point 14,049' Sangre de Cristo Class 2 A simple, uninspired scree and talus climb on the way to Blanca Peak  
39 43 Mt. Lindsey 14,047' Sangre de Cristo Class 2+ Great rock climbing from the ridge. Longer than it appears 2
8 44 Mount Sherman 14,042' Tenmile-Mosquito Class 1 Probably the easiest 14er in Colorado but interesting with all the ghost mine towns around  
52 45 Little Bear Peak 14,040' Sangre de Cristo Class 4 A classic class 4 climb. Loved it with snow. Dangerous rock fall in summer. Can be deadly 22
28 46 Redcloud Peak 14,037' San Juan Class 1 Beautiful summer wildflowers on this easy walk-up 2
47 47 Pyramid Peak 14,023' Elk Class 4 Challenging and interesting - a true class 4 climb 22
56 48 Wilson Peak 14,024' San Juan Class 3 Very remote with a nice rock scramble to the true summit.  
35 49 Wetterhorn Peak 14,020' San Juan Class 3+ for the San Juan and moderate rock climbing 2
49 50 North Maroon Peak 14,019' Elk Class 4 for the traverse South to North 2
40 50 San Luis Peak 14,019' San Juan Class 1 A beautifully remote walk-up with a stunning approach lined with beaver ponds.  
24 52 Mt. of the Holy Cross 14,012' Sawatch Class 2 An enjoyable climb that is easier than it looks. Multiple routes offer good alternatives to the crowds  
20 53 Huron Peak 14,012' Sawatch Class 2 A short and easy walk-up with some surprises on the last 500 '  
33 54 Sunshine Peak 14,006' San Juan Class 1 Cross a 1.5 mile saddle from Redcloud to reach Sunshine. A little work but a great payoff with wonderful views  

** Popularity is based on the number of summits from over 4000 climbers who log their climbs on 14ers.com. See the entire table with this link.

Colorado Great 14er Traverses

Maroon Peak to North Maroon (Bells) Elk Class 5 Difficult route finding, loose rock and exposure makes it tough
Creston Peak to Creston Needle Sangre de Cristo Class 4 Starts easy and ends tough with the upclimb to the Needle
El Diente to Mt. Wilson San Juan Class 4 Wonderful ridge climb with some final challenges
Little Bear to Blanca Peak Sangre de Cristo Class 4+ The most exposure of the four. I completed the Traverse starting from the West Ridge Direct on Little Bear in June 2013

 


*Climbing Class Ratings

(based on the Yosemite Decimal System)
note: route difficulty is determined by the most difficult section so a route can have 50 feet of Class 3 and 6 miles of Class 1 and be classified as Class 3.

Class 1:

Trail hiking. Mostly groomed trails that are easy to find in the summer and relatively smooth. Walk upright without use of hands for balance. It can be a little steep at times. Mount Elbert, the highest 14er, is Class 1 on the standard route.
Mt Huron

Class 2:

Simple off-trail hiking. Some scrambling may be required on the route with an occasional use of the hands for balance. Downclimbing is straightforward. Mt. Massive is a class 2 route with some scrambling required near the summit using hands for balance.


Mt. Massive

Class 3:

This is actual "climbing" since you scramble a lot frequently using your hands. Handholds are easy to find. You can downclimb facing out from the rock. Longs Peak's Keyhole route is rated class 3 but like most routes it is easy class 1 most of the time with the upper sections becoming more difficult thus making the route a class 3.


Longs Peak

Class 4:

Simple climbing, with exposure. You must look for handholds and test them that they will hold you before using. You use your upper body muscles. A rope is often used for downclimbing (rappelling). Falls may well be fatal. The North Maroon Peak is class 4 with the traverse from South to North rated low class 5 on the upclimb on the North Bell. See my video of climbing this section.


Moroon Bells

Class 5:

True technical climbing normally using ropes, carabineers, anchors (protection), harness, etc. Climbers often belay one another. In the winter you use an ice axe and crampons. Long's Keyhole route is rated "technical" in the winter beyond the keyhole since an axe and crampons are used. There are sub-ratings for class 5 ranging from 5.0 for "easy" climbs with frequent hand and foot holds to 5.13 that is has smooth and vertical rock on an overhang. There are an almost unlimited number of class 5 routes on Colorado 14ers plus other non-14er climbs such as the Flatirons and Monastery near Estes Park.


Rapelling

Estimated Time/Distance to 14er Trailheads

Updated 7/18/08
Written by JMac of Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Start Address: (e.g. Street, City, State, or Zip Code, or "DIA,CO" for Denver Intl Airport)

Select Trail Head:



Disclaimer: This application is designed to return the standard trailhead routes, as described by Roach and Middlebrook.To achieve this, many of the routes listed have been hard-coded from the trailheads out to "main" roads. This was done to prevent Google from returning alternate (unproven) routes. (Now here is the disclaimer part.) Please Remember This: computer generated driving instructions are not always completely reliable. Routing algorithms sometimes return routes that include un-improved and/or un-maintained roads. While this may cause only minor inconvenience in urban areas, it can lead to more serious problems in Colorado's back country, where un-improved and/or un-maintained roads often require 4 wheel drive -- and can be impassible in wet or wintry weather. When in doubt you should confirm these routes with more reliable sources, such as printed maps or guide books where routes are classified and/or fully described.

Notes:

Download your own copy of this web page in zip file format: getestimates.zip (17kb)
{The zip file contains the following files: getestimates.html, multimountainbeta.html, formretain.js (a JavaScript used
to save the start address and user preference fields), plus.gif, neg.gif, dot.gif, and thlist.gif.}

Created 5/4/07
Published 9/16/07
Last Modified 7/18/08