Guidebook

Colorado's 14ers: Bag All 58 of the Iconic Peaks

An exhaustive list of all 58 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks.

Greg Heil

Description

Colorado's soaring mountain peaks scrape the bright blue dome of the sky, boasting some of the highest elevations on the continent. Sitting on top of a lofty 14er summit feels both physically and emotionally like being on top of the world! You'll have the opportunity to slowly examine the landscape below you from an uncommon vantage point: smaller mountain peaks, lakes, trees, rivers, roads, and towns spread out like a map. With the rest of humanity so far below you, the problems of the world often seem utterly insignificant. This euphoric feeling is bolstered by an exhilarating rush from the aerobic effort of the climb… and the lack of oxygen reaching your brain.

While sure, Mount Whitney in California claims the title of "highest mountain in the Lower 48," the state of Colorado boasts the most mountains over 14,000 feet, with some 58 peaks. This lengthy list of lofty summits has become a bonafide bucket list for thousands of Coloradans, and even mountaineers from around the world. Checking off all 58 14ers is a popular goal—you'll realize just how popular as you hike in a train of climbers making for the summit on any given mid-summer day. While many would argue that these summits are now much too popular for their own good, the mind-blowing alpine views and the sensation of truly being on top of the world keep climbers coming back again and again.

While the 58 14ers listed in this guidebook might seem to organize into a nice, neat list, there's actually a substantial amount of debate about which mountain peaks truly qualify as official 14ers. Mountains are generally differentiated from each other based on rules of topographic prominence. The question that the rule of topographic prominence answers is, "is this peak its own mountain, or is it merely a sub-peak of a different mountain?" To determine topographic prominence, you must measure "how high a mountain rises above its highest connecting saddle to a higher mountain," according to Josh Friesema on OutThereColorado.com. "A generally accepted rule in Colorado is that a point must have at least 300 feet of prominence to be considered a separate peak," he continues. Mount Cameron, for example, only has 138 feet of topographic prominence from Mount Lincoln. Since Mount Lincoln is higher, "Cameron does not meet the rule of being its own summit," Friesema concludes.

Whether you subscribe to the shorter list of 54 or a more permissive list of 58 summits, you'll find all the 14ers right here in this guidebook!

As you prepare to climb your first (or maybe even 58th!) 14er, remember that "there's no such thing as an easy 14er." Some of the mountains in this guidebook are less technical and have shorter approaches, and other mountains are dramatically more technical or may even require a multi-day adventure to complete. But regardless of the supposed difficulty, remember that every single mountain peak should be approached with an abundance of caution.

"Mountaineering in Colorado can be very dangerous, and many people have died on the 14ers," writes 14ers.com. Hazards include, but are not limited to: lightning strikes, exposure (including hypothermia), altitude sickness, dehydration, falling from exposed cliffs and boulders, and so much more.

One of the major hazards that you must constantly be aware of while climbing a 14er is the weather. Thunderstorms will build quickly in the mountains on most summer afternoons. Lightning strikes are one of the most deadly forces above treeline in Colorado, so it's paramount that you return below treeline before the storms build. This means that you'll often need to start your hike very early in the morning.

According to 14ers.com, "I usually plan for a start early enough to get me below treeline by noon (on the descent). For a day hike that requires 10-15 miles roundtrip, consider hitting the trail a couple of hours before sunrise." While this is a great rule of thumb, note that storms can and do build earlier in the day. If the skies look dangerous, it's always best to turn around and play it safe. Remember: when you reach the summit, your hike is only half over.

Climbing Colorado's lofty mountain peaks is one of the most fulfilling outdoor pursuits in the country! The feeling of satisfaction from this incredible accomplishment is impossible to beat! But this satisfaction comes from the challenge of the climb and the difficulty inherent in climbing 14ers. Make smart choices, climb within your abilities, and always be willing to turn around so that you can live to climb another day.

Sources:
14ers.com
OutThereColorado.com

Mt. Elbert - Southeast Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mt. Elbert - Southeast Ridge

Leadville
5 - 6 hrs
15.9 km
1,586 m
1,586 m
At 14,433', Mt. Elbert is the tallest mountain in Colorado, and second tallest in the lower 48 states, making its summit a much sought-after destination.
Severe
Private
Mt. Massive - Southwest Slope
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mt. Massive - Southwest Slope

Leadville
4 - 5 hrs
11.8 km
1,185 m
1,185 m
The Southwest Slopes route is the perfect way to summit 14,421' Mt. Massive: short, steep and secluded.
Severe
Private
Mount Harvard - South Slope
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Harvard - South Slope

Buena Vista
20.5 km
1,377 m
This 14-mile roundtrip hike to the 14,420' summit of Mt. Harvard, complete with a final scramble up the summit-block, is truly a top-notch 14er experience!
Easy
Private
Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point

9.3 km
967 m
Tag two lofty summits on the Blanca Massif.
Moderate
Private
La Plata Peak - Northwest Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

La Plata Peak - Northwest Ridge

Aspen Summer
14.7 km
1,347 m
14,336-foot La Plata Peak's Northwest Ridge Route may be the “standard” route, but it is certainly an above average hike!
Easy
Private
Uncompahgre Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Uncompahgre Peak

22.4 km
1,387 m
Climb the highest peak on the Western Slope!
Easy
Private
Crestone Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Crestone Peak

Salida
16.6 km
1,791 m
Climb one of the most beautiful and most challenging of Colorado's 14ers
Moderate
Private
The DeCaLiBron
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

The DeCaLiBron

Salida
3 - 4 hrs
11.3 km
1,028 m
1,028 m
Climb four 14ers in one hike!
Severe
Private
Grays and Torreys Peaks
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Grays and Torreys Peaks

4 - 5 hrs
12.9 km
1,086 m
1,086 m
Summit two 14,000-foot peaks in one big hike.
Severe
Private
Mount Antero: Little Browns Creek
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Antero: Little Browns Creek

Salida
25.5 km
1,674 m
The most scenic and adventurous route to the summit of Mount Antero.
Easy
Private
Castle Peak - Northeast Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Castle Peak - Northeast Ridge

Aspen Summer
18.9 km
1,383 m
The highest and most accessible summit in the Elk Range, but still a strenuous and potentially dangerous hike.
Easy
Private
Quandary Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Quandary Peak

Salida
3 - 4 hrs
10.9 km
1,046 m
1,046 m
Rugged ridgeline hike to the top of one of Colorado's more accessible 14ers.
Severe
Private
Mount Evans - West Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Evans - West Ridge

2 - 3 hrs
8.6 km
613 m
613 m
Take the trail instead of the road up one of Colorado's most accessible 14ers.
Severe
Private
Longs Peak - Keyhole Route
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Longs Peak - Keyhole Route

21.5 km
1,540 m
Standard route to the top of Longs Peak, the only 14er in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Moderate
Private
El Diente and Mount Wilson Combo
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

El Diente and Mount Wilson Combo

Durango
20.3 km
1,432 m
A technical combo of two San Juan 14ers.
Moderate
Private
Mount Shavano and Tabeguache Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Shavano and Tabeguache Peak

Salida
16.7 km
1,630 m
One of the most easily-accessible trailheads in Chaffee County leads to two of Colorado's famous 14ers.
Easy
Private
Mount Princeton
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Princeton

Buena Vista
21.3 km
1,580 m
A climb to the summit of the most visibly-impressive 14er in Chaffee County.
Easy
Private
Belford-Oxford Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Belford-Oxford Loop

Buena Vista
6 - 7 hrs
18.6 km
1,757 m
1,757 m
Two 14er summits, a beautiful pass, and 6,146' elevation gain over 12.2 miles is a wonderful way to spend a day in the Sawatch Range.
Severe
Private
Crestone Needle
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Crestone Needle

Salida
18.2 km
1,739 m
One of the most aesthetic and challenging Colorado 14ers.
Moderate
Private
Mount Yale
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Yale

Buena Vista
13.3 km
1,300 m
Buena Vista's backyard 14er offers a challenging climb with a rewarding summit view.
Easy
Private
Kit Carson and Challenger Point
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Kit Carson and Challenger Point

Salida
21.5 km
1,934 m
Standard route up the Challenger Point and Kit Carson 14ers outside of Crestone, CO.
Moderate
Private
Maroon Peak - South Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Maroon Peak - South Ridge

Aspen Summer
17.6 km
1,574 m
A long day of steep, sustained hiking and scrambling up one of Colorado's most iconic mountains.
Moderate
Private
Mount Sneffels
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Sneffels

7.2 km
826 m
Climb the Queen of the San Juans, "Colorado's most beautiful mountain."
Easy
Private
Capitol Peak - Northeast Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Capitol Peak - Northeast Ridge

Aspen Summer
25.8 km
1,818 m
Capitol Peak is infamously one of Colorado's most difficult yet most rewarding 14ers.
Difficult
Private
Pikes Peak: Barr Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Pikes Peak: Barr Trail

Colorado Springs
1 day +
37.1 km
2,276 m
2,276 m
Climb America's Mountain on one of the longest 14er hikes in the state.
Severe
Private
Snowmass Mountain - East Slopes
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Snowmass Mountain - East Slopes

Aspen Summer
32.8 km
1,918 m
A two- or three-day mission to summit one of the most remote 14ers in Colorado, requiring snow travel and Class 3 scrambling with exposure.
Moderate
Private
Sunlight Peak and Windom Peak from Needleton
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Sunlight Peak and Windom Peak from Needleton

Durango
29.8 km
2,088 m
A two-peak combo deep in the Weminuche Wilderness featuring one of Colorado's most technical 14ers.
Difficult
Private
Mount Eolus and North Eolus from Needleton
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Eolus and North Eolus from Needleton

Durango
29.6 km
1,917 m
Climb two of Colorado's most remote 14ers, hidden deep in the Weminuche Wilderness.
Moderate
Private
Mt. Columbia - East Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mt. Columbia - East Ridge

Buena Vista
18.8 km
1,625 m
Avoid the crowds and utilize route finding skills by trekking the East Ridge route to summit 14,073' Mt. Columbia.
Easy
Private
Missouri Mountain
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Missouri Mountain

Buena Vista
16.2 km
1,377 m
An autumn backpacking excursion in Missouri Gulch is the best way to experience the splendor of 14,067' Missouri Mountain.
Easy
Private
Humboldt Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Humboldt Peak

Salida
5 - 6 hrs
19.9 km
1,311 m
1,311 m
One of the least technical peaks in the Sangres.
Severe
Private
Mount Bierstadt
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Bierstadt

11.7 km
823 m
Despite being known as one of Colorado's easier 14ers, the climb up Bierstadt is still varied and rewarding.
Easy
Private
Handies Peak - Grouse Gulch Route
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Handies Peak - Grouse Gulch Route

5 - 6 hrs
15.2 km
1,391 m
1,391 m
Escape the crowds and climb this popular 14er, known for its beauty, by hiking the Grouse Gulch route to 14,048' Handies Peak.
Severe
Private
Culebra Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Culebra Peak

6 - 7 hrs
21.8 km
1,625 m
1,625 m
One of the few privately-owned 14er summits in Colorado
Severe
Private
Mount Lindsey
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Lindsey

12.1 km
1,107 m
One of the four 14er summits in the Sierra Blanca Massif.
Moderate
Private
Little Bear Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Little Bear Peak

4.6 km
715 m
One of the most technical and coveted 14er summits.
Difficult
Private
Mount Sherman: Southwest Ridge from Fourmile Creek
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Sherman: Southwest Ridge from Fourmile Creek

Salida
2 - 3 hrs
7.8 km
611 m
611 m
While not "easy," Sherman is renowned as one of Colorado's easiest and most accessible 14ers.
Severe
Private
Redcloud and Sunshine Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Redcloud and Sunshine Peak

5 - 6 hrs
16.1 km
1,286 m
1,286 m
A relatively mellow climb up two beautiful 14ers deep in the San Juans.
Severe
Private
Pyramid Peak - Northeast Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Pyramid Peak - Northeast Ridge

Aspen Summer
11.8 km
1,343 m
14,000-foot summit requiring huge elevation gain and steep scrambling with wild exposure.
Difficult
Private
Wilson Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Wilson Peak

14.7 km
1,151 m
Climb the peak pictured on every can of Coors beer!
Moderate
Private
Wetterhorn Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Wetterhorn Peak

9.7 km
993 m
A stunning pyramid-shaped rock formation towering over 14,000 feet!
Moderate
Private
San Luis Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

San Luis Peak

Salida
5 - 6 hrs
19.4 km
1,119 m
1,119 m
One of the most difficult Colorado 14er summits to reach.
Difficult
Private
Mount of the Holy Cross
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount of the Holy Cross

17.7 km
1,710 m
14,005' Mount of the Holy Cross stands alone as the farthest north 14er in the Sawatch Range.
Easy
Private
Huron Peak - Northwest Slopes
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Huron Peak - Northwest Slopes

Buena Vista
3 - 4 hrs
10.5 km
1,030 m
1,030 m
Second lowest in stature, 14,003' Huron Peak is second-to-none in sheer beauty.
Severe
Private
Conundrum Peak - South Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Conundrum Peak - South Ridge

Aspen Summer
19.0 km
1,319 m
Difficult hike to the top of a 14,000-foot subpeak of Castle Peak.
Easy
Private
North Maroon Peak - Northeast Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

North Maroon Peak - Northeast Ridge

Aspen Summer
13.3 km
1,360 m
A long day of difficult hiking and rock scrambling to the top of Colorado's most photographed 14er.
Difficult
Private