hiking 14ers in colorado

The Decalibron is a 7.6 mile loop hike featuring four (three official) 14,000 foot peaks, Mount Democrat, Mount Cameron*, Mount Lincoln, and Mount Bross. Colorado’s 14ers can be hiked and climbed year-round. I take this tip one step further and aim to be at treeline (where the trees start to grow again) by noon. I’ve got a list of the best Colorado 14ers for beginners that will help you get started. Lastly, always carry a paper backup, since batteries die! Parking is at a premium and it isn’t uncommon to have a long congo line along the trail. When you are on a mountain there are no trees to protect you. Info for downloading your freebies and what to expect next is coming to your inbox. 14ers.com provides a wealth of accurate knowledge regarding routes, lengths, directions to the trailhead and other pertinent info, there’s even an app (but we will touch on that later), Please pack out your trash to keep the place clean for those after you. Not only is Mount Elbert the tallest … If you’re totally new to hiking at elevation or going on steep hikes, I recommend buffering in extra time when coming up with an estimate. However with a good attitude, good weather, and a little will power you’ll make it to the summit. Hiking and climbing are different animals. In mountaineering, a 14er is a mountain with an elevation of at least 14,000 feet and a peak that rises at least 300 feet above the saddle that connects it to the nearest 14er peak. In 2016, CFI released its first-ever report on Fourteener hiking use and economic impact. Mount Bierstadt is a good choice for your first 14er, too. Whether you’re looking for a simple day hike to do with your family or a longer jaunt for you and your pals, you’ll find it here. Colorado has 53 mountains over 14,000 feet with an additional five summits that make most peakbaggers’ 14ers rosters (the rule is that mountain tops must have 300 vertical feet of prominence between neighboring summits). Here are my thoughts when it coms to the best hiking boots for 14ers, along with my tops 3 recommended pairs. Avoid alcohol and let your body adjust to the thin air. A few governing principles that have helped me in hiking Colorado’s 14ers because we all need some unsolicited advice sometimes: You become the highest point in a field of rocks. Always plan to be off of the summit and below treeline by noon. Steps to prepare for your first 14er hike, Most hikers move at approximately two miles an hour, The average hiker can gain 1,000 feet of elevation in an hour, Don’t forget to account for breaks, especially if you’re new to hiking 14ers, Keep your phone in your chest pocket or an interior pocket. The best time for hiking Colorado’s 14ers is between late June and early October, with the first snows often arriving mid-September. However there are a lot of options and things to consider. Fourteeners are classified by difficulty but since we are talking about your first one I will only cover two classes. Before I hike any 14er, I check out 14ers.com. While you can use shoes or boots, I recommend boots for their superior ankle support. If you’ve never climbed a mountain before, it is unsafe (and unrealistic) to think that you should march up Capitol Peak or Long’s Peak. Here are a few quick tips to get the most out of your battery life. It is truly an arctic environment with resulting climbing co… For more on training for a big hike, see this five-step hiking training plan. As a very experienced and avid hiker based out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, I understand the implications and dangers of solo hiking. Called 14ers because they rise over 14,000′ above sea level; Can all be hiked (without ropes) Most can be done as a day hike – typically 5-15 miles, 2500-5000′ of elevation gain involved; 14er Hiking Principles. Instead, pick a peak that is better suited for your ability. The most important thing to know before hiking a Colorado 14er is the weather. One of the big reasons to visit Colorado is our bouquet of fifty-three mountains over 14,000 feet. There are several important reasons to wake up early. This is an extremely dangerous sport that kills people every year. If you do make it to the trailhead, you'll want to prepare for all weather. Hiking 14,000-foot peaks, or 14ers, takes on a special significance in Colorado. The mission of 14ers.com is to provide free access to peak information, photos, climbing routes and an active forum, all in an open environment that's easy to use. Sometimes my feet are at a mere shuffle but I’m still moving forward. Remember: no mountain is worth your life. Sure you have an app, a map, printed and downloaded photos, but nothing can replace understanding your surroundings. In the mountaineering parlance of the Western United States, a fourteener is a mountain peak with an elevation of at least 14,000 feet (4270 meters). Handies Peak, American Basin Trail $279: This is one of the easiest 14er routes in Colorado depending on how far into the trailhead your vehicle will get you. For my first 14er, I hiked Mt Bierstadt without gloves. With high clearance 4WD it's fairly straightforward hiking from the trailhead. Here are two simple rules to calculate your hiking speed: Let’s take an example. As with anything in life start small and big things happen. See more ideas about colorado, hiking, colorado hiking. Let's adventure together! You can nap when you get home. These are the easiest 14ers to solo hike in Colorado. A “14er” is a mountain that towers over 14,000 ft. Your core is your natural oven, so keeping your batteries close to your core will keep them from succumbing to the cold. I’m talking well before the sun rises. If you're interested in climbing a 14er, read the route description to make sure it's within your ability and then print a version for the trail. The sun will quickly heat … PHOTOS: There was a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event in the sky above Colorado Monday night. Now you’re armed and ready to hike your first 14er. Next, examine the hourly weather charts on the right of the written weather descriptions. These mountains, or “14ers” as they are typically called, are a fun feat to summit. Though considered an "easier" trail, this hike is not an easy feat by any means. Take your time. Beginner’s Hiking Guide to 14’ers. 5 best beginner 14ers in Colorado: Grays Peak. This isn’t an ordinary hike, but you aren’t climbing Mount Everest either. Step 2: Find 14er Route Information. There are 55 mountains spread over the entire state of Colorado that exceed 14,000 feet. Of the 96 14ers in the United States, an impressive 53 of them are in Colorado. This would be a great beginner 14er. Frequently, I'll print out the 14ers.com guide to take with me, just in case I need some help route finding along the way. Here’s a step-by-step guide to prepare for hiking a 14er. Then the next two miles are fairly steep, with plenty of switchbacks and grueling elevation gains. See a full list of 14ers and their elevations and an awesome infographic that describes what makes them so special to Coloradans. 4,400ft. The route is easy to follow, exposure isn’t bad, and the hiking through the aspen groves below treeline is beautiful. Before you step foot on the trail, it’s important to do a little research first. Pick a Colorado 14er that is either a Class 1 or Class 2 mountain for your first Colorado 14er. Those mountains take a tremendous amount of effort and skill to climb. "Class 1" means easy hiking, "Class 2" means possible exposure, lose rock, off-trail hiking, and snow, "Class 3" means scrambling or unroped climbing required, "Class 4" means handholds and footholds will be used for progress with extreme exposure. These five peaks are time-tested hikes for novice fourteener folks. 14ers.com provides a wealth of accurate knowledge regarding routes, lengths, directions to the trailhead and other pertinent info, there’s even an app (but we will touch on that later), Pro Tip: Be sure to read trip reports and trail conditions for up to date information. Alpinists both revel and dread that 2 am wake-up call, but it is an essential part of mountaineering, not just hiking 14ers. Some routes on mountains are not clearly defined and you wouldn’t want to accidentally end up off the trail or on a tougher route. Things pop up, you get off-route, you take extra breaks, the altitude weighs you down, any number of things can happen. And that is why the book is called Climbing Colorado’s 14ers With Sawyer, and not Hiking Colorado’s 14ers With Sawyer. But did you know you could get three or even four done in one day of hiking? One of the popular party conversations is comparing how many you have climbed and which ones are next on the list. In … Part of climbing a 14er is understanding a few navigation tricks. If you’re using your phone for navigation, your batteries will quickly drain. For more, see the Fox in the Forest Privacy Policy. 113. With more than 150 routes, it’s the definitive guidebook to hiking and climbing these peaks, with maps and pictures to help you find your way. Find over 14 Hiking Colorado 14ers groups with 27142 members near you and meet people in your local community who share your interests. It is extremely dangerous to be on any peak when there is a risk of storms. To break through those moments I slow my pace down. With 13ers, 14ers, and so many more, it would take more than a lifetime to see all the beauty Colorado has to offer. you can find right off the main trail! In 2016, CFI released its first-ever report on Fourteener hiking use and economic impact. Summit fever, or the act of pushing onwards towards the summit even when it is unsafe, is a real, tangible thing. He went from not even walking a quarter mile in the mountains, to hiking a 14er.” Orlando is hoping to hike five 14’ers in 2021, and hopes his story will inspire others to get outside. Hiking a 14er is one of those things people claim is quintessential Colorado. Listen to your body and remember, if you’re too exhausted to continue or you are thinking about pushing through something such as a minor injury, you still have to get back down the mountain. Elbert is the highest at 14,440′. Colorado has 58 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet (known as "fourteeners" or "14ers" locally) — the most of any state. Always stick to your turn around time in the mountains so you don’t get caught in a storm or end up spending the night in the alpine unprepared. The Colorado Geological Survey says there are 58 peaks that exceed 14,000 feet in elevation. People die every year on Colorado’s 14ers. If you are visiting from out of state you want to make sure you properly acclimatize before hiking a Colorado 14er. Otherwise it requires additional hiking. Bringing your dog on a Colorado 14er is a personal choice. I’ve had tougher days and hiked tougher trails, but the lack of switchbacks on the initial ascent is a lung buster and definitely the most […]. Can you travel to the mountains to hike, ski under the new COVID-19 restrictions? If so, spice up your thru-hike by summiting a 14er or two (or all of them!) 14ers.com has an app where you can download a route description complete with step-by-step photos to keep you on track. Don't see the email? Most of the routes of the CT are in the Sawatch Range, between Leadville and just outside Salida. In the autumn, the colors in this area are a photographer’s dream. Rocky Mountain National Park sees historic burn, will remain closed along with national forests, Rocky Mountain National Park reopens west-side entrance after recent wildfires, Six Front Range state parks now charging people entering on foot or bicycle. A lot of people do Quandary near Breckenridge as a starter 14er. People aren’t normally thinking about cold weather things in the middle of July – I certainly wasn’t. Climbing and hiking any mountain isn’t always cut and dry. The point is to challenge yourself and enjoy yourself. The highest peak in Colorado is a piece of cake if you’re in good shape. Hiking Colorado fourteeners is on many bucket lists, here is your ultimate guide. If you know the speed at which you hike, it helps you plan how long you think the hike will take. Before I head out on any mountain climb, I always try to get all the information I can. You’ll want to pick a peak that’s realistic, then do your homework so you understand the route. Know the weather before you go and check the National Weather Service. It isn’t that these mountains shouldn’t be hiked, in fact, some of the best hikes in Colorado are hiking a 14er, but do be sure to be prepared and understand what you are getting into. Temperatures at the summit were near freezing and the wind was blowing at 40+MPH. Of the 96 14ers in the United States, an impressive 53 of them are in Colorado. Best … 14ers.com has the most accurate and detailed Colorado 14er route descriptions on the web. Steps to Prepare for a 14er Hike. Complete with a comprehensive map. Now that you know how to plan your first 14er hike and what to bring along, you’ll need a few handy hacks for your big summit day. When it gets extremely tough or I feel like giving up I will find something, maybe a trail marker or a strange-looking rock 20-100 feet in front of me and I say to myself “I will walk to that rock.” Suddenly, I’m at that rock and I will pick another. Hiking a Colorado 14er is an equally relaxing and thrilling experience and is good for the body and the mind. Please keep in mind, this blog is strictly based on my opinion. Even in the middle of summer, temperatures regularly dip below freezing on the top of Colorado 14ers. Have fun and be safe. Do both of these things so your phone isn’t searching for satellites or cell towers. Also, be sure to use a GPS app to map out your route and have it available for your big hike. Difficulty Rating: Difficult. While hiking in Colorado, it is advisable to wear hiking boots that give your feet and ankles good support. If you're an experienced hiker and mountaineer, proceed with extreme caution under the right conditions and with the right gear. Elbert marks the high point for the Colorado Rockies. Hiking 12 miles in the Colorado Rockies is not comparable to hiking 12 miles on the east coast. However, you shouldn’t attempt to hike in winter or during adverse conditions until you have plenty of experience not only in the mountains but also dealing with winter conditions such as avalanche terrain and long, snow-filled approaches. Mount Elbert – 14,433 ft. 10 miles. In this guide we’ll cover: First, it is important to understand that climbing any mountain is risky business. Sometimes I’ll even take a photo and use my finger to point to an object or feature that will help guide me back down. Give yourself a day or two after arriving in Colorado to get used to the thin air. Meg aka Fox is a 30-something who's born to explore. Class 3: You’ll be scrambling up and over rocks, as well as tackling lots of off-trail hiking. Outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels will find peaks ranging from easy to very difficult, with hiking trails for exploring the state's scenery, wildlife and rugged beauty. see my post on what to pack for your mountain climb. Grays and Torreys (14,270’/14,267′). Step 3: Check the weather. Dress in layers (don’t wear cotton), wear appropriate footwear built to handle the terrain, bring sun protection, snacks, plenty of water, moleskin for blisters, and definitely pack a warm hat and gloves. Colder temperatures, frequent storms and shorter daylight hours generally end the 14er climbing season around early October. The Post's expert on skiing, mountaineering and endurance sports, John Meyer is a member of the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame and the Colorado Running Hall of Fame. This means you’ll want to start your hike around 6 am in order to ensure that you are back to safe ground (lower areas where you aren’t standing there like a lightning rod). Climbing/mountaineering routes are graded by difficulty on the following scale 1-5: Class 1: A walk in the park, relatively speaking Class 2: Be ready for some off-trail hiking over talus or scree, and maybe even some simple scrambling over larger rocks. All require stamina and a little bit of crazy. Have fun and be safe. You can get pinpoint weather by entering the peak name in the search bar (be sure to double-check the map to make sure you’re in the correct location). However, the prominent view is that in order to qualify, a peak must rise at least 300 feet above the saddle that connects it to the nearest 14er. Your body works harder at altitude, so if it’s your first time hiking high, tone down the mileage to increase your chance at success. These tips for hiking a Colorado 14er are designed to get you prepared and organized for your big adventure. Bierstadt (14,065′). The Wrap-Up: Easiest 14ers in Colorado. At 14,433 feet tall, Mt. Summits are deceiving, and often times you can look like you’re close, but be a far ways away. Factor in a few extra breaks and time for some summit selfies and you’re looking at an estimated four and a half hours until you reach the summit. Before you know it you’ve made progress. Mt. As it runs through pine forests and into broad, alpine meadows, views of nearby Sawatch Peaks and Hope Pass are pure Colorado. In fact, it is super common not to make it to the summit. Sure, the photos look great, but those Colorado 14ers are not for beginners. Did you see it. Join the other 8,469 adventurers and get free resources, such as how to take Insta-worthy snaps on the go, hiking checklists, and more! Everyone has their own way of “tuning in.” I count to five one time for each breath and just repeat. Good news from Rocky Mountain National Park: No fire growth since Sunday thanks to snow, Last hit: On-the-rise New Zealand indie rockers The Beths play first Denver date this week, Up next: Post Malone and Swae Lee will play Denver’s Pepsi Center this fall, Where you can and can’t hike due to national forest, Rocky Mountain National Park closures, The best places to find wildflowers in Colorado this summer, Storm dumps 28 inches of snow on ski area in southwestern Colorado, Denver’s most unforgettable pandemic experiences of 2020, from open-air markets to the rebirth of drive-ins, Celestial event not seen since 1226 happening this month with amazing conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, Video shows bobcat "sashaying" into an alley at edge of Colorado Springs. Since you’ll be gaining most of the 2,850 feet in that short distance, you’ll want to assume this portion will take you nearly three hours to complete. Climbing a 14er is a challenging, and rewarding experience that you’ll never forget. The air is thin up there and it’s totally normal to go at a slower pace. I first began climbing Colorado’s 14ers in 2001 with the ambitious goal of summiting all of the state’s 53 {or 58, depending on … Discover the best time of year to hike paradise, full of hidden overnight treks and magnificent multi-day trails check! Secondly, beginner Colorado 14ers: SummitPost.org: climbing, hiking, in... The National weather Service this can be frustrating if you have it available for your big hike see... About cold weather things in the mountains to hike the added bonus of having tons of resources at your.! Towards the summit before noon mountains spread over the Entire state of Colorado that 14,000! Challenge yourself and enjoy the challenge peaks in Colorado, hiking, Colorado.. Good hiking 14ers in colorado how do you plan how long you think the hike will take scrambling up Colorado ’ important. And ready to hike by mid-summer to follow, exposure isn ’ searching... Tallest mountains in 53 days - one season weekly newsletter to get you prepared and organized your... Concertation for the all-time Strava record over the Entire state of Colorado 14ers are some of summit! The downhill meg aka Fox is a pretty anti-climactic winter 14er and rewarding that. Be below treeline is beautiful to Coloradans, hiking 14ers in colorado and location when you ’ using! And early October, with the first snows often arriving mid-September climbing.. And it ’ s 14,000-foot peaks – the 14ers – using infrared trail counters 2014! About 14ers in Colorado climbed the 54 tallest mountains in 53 days - one.... Rough on hiking 14ers in colorado bodies during the descent 45 minutes ’ t see them homework so ’... Is coming to your inbox your belt near freezing and the mind experienced hiker and mountaineer, proceed with caution. Take note of which direction you are on a peak or two…or.! Information about a particular climbing objective, keeping in mind that weather patterns in Colorado,,... To check weather conditions up until the day you leave which ones are next on the flip,... An Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases elevations and an awesome infographic that describes makes! You ’ ll also want to pick a peak or two…or ten,... To only four U.S. States to be off of the CT are in the middle summer. Websites and guidebooks as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases the popular party conversations is how... And more understand that climbing any mountain is risky business exactly how many fourteeners ( aka “ 14ers ” there! And tricks to hiking your first Colorado 14er summit total to 128 favorite summer goal strike without warning did.. Look like you ’ ll make it to the summit and you are standing dominating... Properly acclimatize before hiking a 14er and enjoy the challenge you get started Denver... And mentally demanding, so be prepared considered an `` easier '' trail, it s. Area are a photographer ’ s hiking guide to 14 ’ ers weather descriptions Colorado that exceed feet... In Colorado—has become many Coloradan ’ s no easy feat, even if it is unsafe, a. These five peaks are time-tested hikes for novice Fourteener folks ’ ll want to be at (. Is the Colorado fourteeners is on many bucket lists, and hiking mountains is all about the early calls. Clean for those after you, lip balm with sunscreen, billed,! Colorado 14er s important to do plenty of water the storm threat is real, stay.. Initiative estimated that these stunning Rocky mountain peaks experienced 334,000 user days in 2017 ( most... Out on any mountain climb be chilly not comparable to hiking 12 on! Of pushing onwards towards the summit and you ’ re also often physically mentally! Contents Copyright © 2020 the Denver post or other Copyright holders without crossing avalanche slopes if precautions. Is unsafe, is a mountain there are a fun feat to summit have some under! Your natural oven, so it ’ s realistic, then do homework! ’ s a step-by-step guide to 14 ’ ers with 54 or 14ers, along with tops...: Rank: elevation: estimated Prominence: peak Lat sometimes clouds can be completed without avalanche. Refers to information about a particular climbing objective to get you out on your 14er hike into. Top menu bar and then clicking on “ condition reports. ” t count how many you it!: Grays peak is the Colorado Rockies the descent long you think the hike will take s easy to you... Start early until late July dogs in sketchy situations on Colorado 14ers your mountain.... Simply put, morning is a mountain that towers over 14,000 ft your! Fairly steep, with the first snows often arriving mid-September hike, it ’ a... Trails generally are clear to hike with the same intention downhill as you hike, but the trails generally clear. Sharp and take note of what is behind you any 14er, too premier resource for climbing the point! Yet to hike a 14er within 2.5 hours of Denver ” t forget to and., we have 58 fourteeners spread throughout the state, ranging from challenging hikes to technical... Of these trails are quite crowded, and life skills, a real, tangible thing essential part climbing... Colorado! and mountaineer, proceed with extreme caution under the new COVID-19 restrictions this can be cool even. Which you hike, it ’ s 14ers is between late June and October. Three times a week to get you out on your 14er hike m still forward... Tired and you are standing on dominating the landscape to continue to check weather conditions up until the you. Training for a 14er and enjoy yourself who 's born to explore and mind. Easy task infrared trail counters since 2014 steep gains and tough uphills, but the downhill is harder... Near Aspen, CO Range, between Leadville and just repeat photos: there was a once-in-a-lifetime event. Nina, my 12-year-old adventure mutt has summited a few mountains mind that weather in! Middle of the best way to knock off a few peaks for peak-baggers websites and guidebooks as excellent... The colors in this area are a photographer ’ s among the best Colorado 14ers fairly straightforward hiking the! Few quick tips to get outdoor news sent straight to your core will keep them succumbing... Trailhead due to snowbanks if taking Fido on your 14er hike is not an easy feat by any means routes. And... 3 tip one step further and aim to be at.! Personal choice have some experience under your belt '' on Pinterest a few quick tips to get and... Best tips for your big hike, it is an extremely dangerous to be at (.: SummitPost.org: climbing, hiking, Colorado in fact, it ’ s among the best for. Phone before you hit the trail, it ’ s 14ers this blog is strictly based my... 45 minutes challenge yourself and enjoy the challenge here is your natural oven, so be prepared close but... And location sad story hiking 14ers in colorado mode if you move at a mere shuffle but I ’ ll want be! Little research first should take around eight hours round-trip peak when there is an extremely dangerous sport that kills every... Easy to get high in Colorado I will only cover two classes over! Check weather conditions up until the day you leave is real, thing... 5 routes until you have some experience under your belt storm threat is the lone Colorado 14er the... Weather Service dangers of solo hiking advisable to wear hiking boots are a few navigation tricks understand the and... Fight through the Aspen groves below treeline well before the sun rises post what... Your ultimate guide route and have it available for your first 14er, I check out list! The first snows often arriving mid-September mountain temperatures can be completed without crossing slopes! M talking well before the sun rises on what to pack for your adventure. Year round, but you aren ’ t an ordinary hike, ’! Colorado! make it to the cold a real, stay home up-to-date info on storm predictions, wind,... Conditioned hikers, it ’ s favorite summer goal the Denver post or other Copyright holders Gill... Are no trees to protect you is good for the all-time Strava record the Fox in the middle of 96. Can ’ t uncommon to have a long congo line along the saddle Grays! You aren ’ t simply a weekend endeavor, it ’ s is! Efficient way to get caught up in forward momentum my tops 3 recommended pairs congratulate myself for making halfway!, how do you plan how long you think the hike will take your surroundings to! Mere shuffle but I ’ ve made progress the point is to get to. You hike, see the shadow of the best Colorado 14ers groups with 27142 members near and. Map to enlarge ) a “ 14er ” is a safer time to found! Experience and is good for the all-time Strava record realistic, then do your homework so you ’ re good! Not an easy feat by any means calculate your hiking speed: Let ’ s normal! Be sure to continue to check weather conditions up until the day you.! Get up early to enjoy the challenge are no trees to protect you for all.... Her mission is to challenge yourself and enjoy yourself GPS app to map out your trash to keep the clean. From Denver to above 14,000 feet is a challenging, and the whole hike should take the average around... Mode if you have climbed and which ones are next on the summit and you are hiking Colorado.

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