Guidebook

Aspen, Colorado 14ers that Dare You to Climb Them

These seven 14,000-foot peaks near Aspen beckon with proud summits and routes that range from moderate to severe.

Description

Colorado’s “14ers” are the ultimate hiking challenge, with steep terrain at high altitude and the allure of a summit taller than most in the nation. The mountain town of Aspen sits amid a cluster of peaks which promise that 14,000-foot perch, if you can reach it. To accept the challenge, make Aspen your base camp for a summer peak-bagging mission, and choose your route based on distance and difficulty. You can jaunt up talus fields on La Plata Peak, a relatively easy ascent, or tiptoe the knife-edge ridge of Capitol Peak, among Colorado’s toughest. One of these 7 routes on 14ers near Aspen could be your next big objective.

Keep in mind that these are all alpine routes, not maintained trails. They require advanced routefinding skills and total self-reliance. Weather is the biggest danger in the high mountains, and thunderstorms are common on summer afternoons. Standard procedure for Colorado 14ers is to summit and get back to safer terrain by noon, so plan your route accordingly.

La Plata Peak - Northwest Ridge

La Plata Peak - Northwest Ridge

Aspen Summer
14.6 km
14,336-foot La Plata Peak's Northwest Ridge Route may be the “standard” route, but it is certainly an above average hike!
Private
Mt. Massive - Southwest Slope

Mt. Massive - Southwest Slope

Salida
12.4 km
The Southwest Slopes route is the perfect way to summit 14,421' Mt. Massive: short, steep and secluded.
Private
Castle Peak - Northeast Ridge

Castle Peak - Northeast Ridge

Aspen Summer
18.9 km
The highest and most accessible summit in the Elk Range, but still a strenuous and potentially dangerous hike.
Private
Snowmass Mountain - East Slopes

Snowmass Mountain - East Slopes

Aspen Summer
32.8 km
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.
Private
Maroon Peak - South Ridge

Maroon Peak - South Ridge

Aspen Summer
17.8 km
A long day of steep, sustained hiking and scrambling up one of Colorado's most iconic mountains.
Private
Pyramid Peak - Northeast Ridge

Pyramid Peak - Northeast Ridge

Aspen Summer
11.8 km
14,000-foot summit requiring huge elevation gain and steep scrambling with wild exposure.
Private
Capitol Peak - Northeast Ridge

Capitol Peak - Northeast Ridge

Aspen Summer
25.8 km
Capitol Peak is infamously one of Colorado's most difficult yet most rewarding 14ers.
Private