Pikes Peak (14,110′), Front Range

Pikes Peak (14,110′), Front Range

Pikes Peak (14,110′), Front Range

Pikes Peak is the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in North America. The prominent 14,115-foot (4,302.31 m) fourteener is located in Pike National Forest, 12 miles (19 km) west of downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The summit is higher than any point in the United States east of its longitude. The uppermost portion of Pikes Peak, above 14,000 feet (4,267 m) elevation, was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961.

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

Take HWY 24 west from Colorado Springs for approximately 14 miles until you see the sign for the Pikes Peak Hwy. Turn left and follow the signs.

The road is paved but lacks guard rails so can be unsettling for first time mountain drivers.

This is a toll road with an entrance fee at the base of the mountain.

Trailhead Directions

Humboldt Peak (14,064′), Sangre de Cristo Range

Humboldt Peak (14,064′), Sangre de Cristo Range

Humboldt Peak (14,064′), Sangre de Cristo Range

Humboldt Peak is part of the Crestones in the rugged Sangre de Cristo mountain range. The Crestones are a cluster of 14,000′ peaks comprising Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Kit Carson Peak, Challenger Point, Humboldt Peak, and Columbia Point. Humboldt Peak is the least difficult hike (difficult Class 2). The rest of the Crestone Group is Class 3, 4, and 5 climbing.

As the trail winds up Humboldt Peak you pass the South Colony Lakes, the most popular back country camping site in the Sangre de Cristo Range.

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

The trail climbs the peak from the South Colony Lakes basin, accessed from the east side of the range. This basin is a popular site that is also the base for most climbs of Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle. You start the hike on a very rugged four-wheel drive road that was closed in 2009 as it follows the South Colony drainage.

Once near the lakes there will be Forest Service signs providing information on the area. Going NW (Humboldt Peak cutoff trail) at the junction, takes you to the Upper South Colony Lake.

The trail climbs steeply to the ridge from the upper lake. Once on the ridge stay to the center for the safest scramble to the summit. The northern side is treacherous with a steep drop for most of the remaining route.

Once on the false summit, head to the northeast to the true summit along large talus.

Trailhead Directions

Mt Antero (14,269′) and Mt White (13,667′), Sawatch Range

Mt Antero (14,269′) and Mt White (13,667′), Sawatch Range

Mt Antero (14,269′) and Mt White (13,667′), Sawatch Range

Mt Antero is one of only a handful of 14,000′ peaks that has a road that travels to within a short distance of the summit.  The road up the mountain is difficult, rough and rocky, requiring four-wheel drive, eventually topping out at 13,800′. From the end of the road at point 13,800 it’s a 1/2 mile and 470′ scramble to the summit.

In 1881, a Salida man by the name of Nelson Wanemaker discovered gems high on Mt Antero. His discovery was publicized a few years later, and the mountain became a famous collecting area for aquamarine, phenacite, fluorite, topaz, and smoky quartz crystals. It has the highest concentration of these minerals anywhere in the US. With findings far above timberline, this is the highest known gem field in the lower 48.

The Sawatch Mountain Range is home to fourteen other 14,000′ peaks, such as Huron Peak, La Plata Peak, Missouri Mountain, and the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains, Mt Elbert.

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation

From the end of the very steep road at 13,800′, it’s a 1/2 mile and 470′ climb to the 14,269′ summit of Mt Antero

Video Tour

Route Directions

Turn onto #277 jeep road (Baldwin Gultch) and drive 3 miles to a road junction at 10,850′. Turn left on the #278 road and cross Baldwin Creek.

Continue another mile to tree line as it climb’s Mt Antero’s west slopes. Stay left on 278A at the next 2 junction’s, reaching 13,200′.

From 13,200′ to 13,800′, the road becomes extremely steep with hairpin
switchbacks. You may want to consider parking here as most vehicles
wont make it. Continue up the steep south side to reach the end of the road, Point 13,800′.

Trailhead Directions

La Plata Peak (14,336′), Sawatch Range

La Plata Peak (14,336′), Sawatch Range

La Plata Peak (14,336′), Sawatch Range

La Plata Peak is known for it’s distinctive Ellingwood Ridge, and is one of the highest 14,000′ peaks in Colorado. Traverseing the Southwest Ridge route, with Huron Peak and the Three Apostles providing a backdrop, makes for stunning scenery. 

“La Plata” is Spanish for “The Silver”, a reference to the many silver deposits in the area. You can find remnants of old mines along the trail.

The Sawatch Mountain Range is home to fourteen other 14,000′ peaks, such as Huron Peak, Mt Antero, Missouri Mountain, and the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains, Mt Elbert.

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

Note: The West Winfield trailhead is small and very hard to reach, even during dry conditions due to the rough 4X4 road.

Once at the trailhead head directly north and cross a small creek and turn west for a bit. Following the steep trail you reach treeline at about 12,000′. Here the elevation levels out and you navigate through a large bog overgrown with willows. Expect to get your boots muddy here. Past the bog, you can see the steep trail which climbs to the ridge. Be careful here because of the loose rock and lack of traction, especially on the way down. Once on the ridge, the trail turns northeast and traverses the cliffs you viewed all morning. The trail steepens considerably again and gains 1,000′ in a very short distance, boulder hopping all the way to the top of the ridge. Once on the ridge, continue climbing over two false summits. The trail joins the Northwest Slopes standard route (#1474) for the last 20 feet to the summit of La Plata Peak.

Trailhead Directions

Longs Peak (14,255′), Front Range

Longs Peak (14,255′), Front Range

Longs Peak (14,255′), Front Range

Iconic Longs Peak (14,259′) is the highest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park, and the northern most 14,000′ peak in the Rocky Mountains.

The peak is guarded by granite cliffs and does require Class 3 climbing, although the first 6.5 miles before the Keyhole are Class 2. Stepping through the Keyhole is an exhilarating experience, with thousand foot drop offs and endless views.

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

There are many spectacular ways to summit Long’s Peak, and this description highlights the “standard” Keyhole Route. The route has two sides to it, a long approach with a little scramble to the keyhole, and from the keyhole to the summit which is rated as a Class 3 Grade 3 scramble/climb.

The standard route on Longs Peak is called the Keyhole route and it is usually done in one very long day. It is the route described below.

From the East Longs Peak trailhead follow the well maintained trail through pine forests. You reach a trail junction to Eugenia Mine Trail/Storm Pass after 0.45 miles. Continue straight along the East Longs Peak trail as it turns southwest through dense forest, gaining elevation through steep switchbacks. As the trail turns west, you pass through Goblins Forest, 1.1 miles in, and cross small creeks before climbing more switchbacks. As you approach treeline, you cross beautiful Alpine Brook on a well maintained footbridge, 1.85 miles in.

Leaving Alpine Brook the trail travels south through krummholtz and provides beautiful views of Twin Sisters Peaks to the east. The trail eventually leaves the low growth stands of krummholtz behind and enters alpine tundra, providing spectacular views of Longs Peak Diamond, a 1,000′ sheer cliff. The trail moderately climbs until it reaches Jims Grove Trail Junction, and then turns southwest along the basin until it arrives at Mills Moraine.

Here, there is a trail junction with Chasm Lake 3.25 miles in. Continue to follow the the East Longs Peak trail as it turns northwest going around to the east of Mt Lady Washington, climbing to Granite Pass, 4.3 miles in. At a trail junction on Granite Pass, the North Longs Peak Trail merges from the north. Continue on the East Longs Peak trail as it swings southwest along switchbacks and eventually enters the Boulderfield at the base of Long’s north face, where the East Longs Peak trail ends at a campsite area 5.9 miles in.

From the end of the East Longs Peak trail, the next destination is the Keyhole (.4 miles) to the southwest across the Boulderfield. The Keyhole is a weakness in the ridge between Longs Peak and Storm Peak, providing the only non-technical passage to the west side of the mountain along this route.

Scramble across large granite boulders until close to the keyhole, where the last 100 yards become increasingly steep. The Keyhole is a striking rock feature with a large overhang and a rock shelter built along the southeast side. Stepping through the Keyhole is one of the major highlights of the trip. The spectacular Glacier Gorge with its beautiful lakes and 13,000′ peaks come into view along with a 3,000′ drop. The exposure feels big, and some decide that the Keyhole is far enough. Knowing when to stop is honored wisdom. The way forward from here is much more rugged and dangerous than what has been encountered so far, and marked only with bullseyes.

Once across the Keyhole, turn immediately to the (left) and locate “The Ledges” (0.4 miles, 120′ elev. gain), a horizontal route marked by red and yellow bullseyes. The Ledges gradually head south, up and down over the tops of massive slabs of granite that rise from the side of the mountain. There is a v-shaped notch between boulders, with an iron rod as an aid through the most difficult section.

Next, the Trough (0.3 miles, 600′ elev. gain) consists of steep, rock-filled gully. At the top there is a large boulder jammed between the walls of the Trough as it narrows, blocking the route. Getting around it is one of the most difficult parts of the route.

At the top of the Trough there is a rock shelf called The Narrows (0.2 miles, 120′ elevation gain) providing a route across the near shear south face of the mountain. The ledge is fairly narrow initially, giving this portion of the route its name.

The Homestretch (0.2 miles, 280′ elev. gain) is the last obstacle to the summit, and consists of mostly smooth exposed granite, steep enough to require scrambling on all fours. It is climbed north-northeast to the top of the mountain. A large cairn marks the gateway to the top. The large flat summit is covered with rough talus. Enjoy the incredible views!

Trailhead Directions

Mt Evans (14,264′), Front Range

Mt Evans (14,264′), Front Range

Mt Evans (14,264′), Front Range

Mt Evans can be accessed via the highest paved road in North America, reaching an elevation of 14,130′. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway, maintained by the Forest Service, offers easy access to Colorado’s inspiring high mountain environment. A drive up, and short walk to the top of Mt Evans, will take your breath away in more ways than one.

From Mt Evans you will see another 14,000′ peak in close proximity, Mt Bierstadt (14,160′).

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

Follow the only paved road, Hwy 5,  14 miles to summit parking lot. Once there, take a short 1/4 mile hike and you will be standing on the summit!

Trailhead Directions

Mt Sneffels (14,150′), San Juan Range

Mt Sneffels (14,150′), San Juan Range

Mt Sneffels (14,150′), San Juan Range

Mt Sneffels is the second highest summit in the San Juan mountains and known as the “Queen of the San Juans”. Mt Sneffels is situated in the Mt Sneffels Wilderness of the Uncompahgre National Forest. There are only 15 miles of constructed trails in the 16,587 acre wilderness, making it truly wild.

Starting at the upper trailhead involves a rough road accessible with a 4WD vehicle. The lower trailhead is more accessible to 2WD vehicles, 1.25 miles below the upper trailhead.

The San Juan Range is home to world class outdoor recreation. American Basin, California & Hurricane Pass, and Stony Pass are a couple of examples of the natural beauty of the area.

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

The route description follows the standard route via Lavender Couloir.

From the Yankee Boy upper trailhead follow the trail until you reach the Blue Lakes Trail junction. Head right at the junction, hiking up a low-grade rocky trail before turning right up a steep gully. Continue for around 500 ft vertical gain up the loose dirt/gravel on unclear trail. Despite its grade, there are no switchbacks here, so this bit is brutal.

Reach a saddle at 13,500 ft, and turn left up Lavender Couloir. This gully is of similar grade but composed primarily if larger talus blocks. It funnels hikers up to just below 14,000 ft. This part of the mountain is fairly shaded, so the top if often full of snow into July. As the gully narrows and becomes cliffed out near the top, angle to the left, and pass through a V-notch (the most difficult part). Continue along a vague trail, angling up and to the right. The summit is only about 100 ft up and is clear from this point. Hike up along some solid rock to reach the summit.

Trailhead Directions

Huron Peak (14,003′), Sawatch Range

Huron Peak (14,003′), Sawatch Range

Huron Peak (14,003′), Sawatch Range

Huron Peak is known as one of the most beautiful hikes in the Sawatch Mountain Range of Colorado. It is the most remote peak in the range, located within the San Isabel Nation Forest, and offers views of wilderness in every direction from it’s small summit.

It’s not entirely clear how the peak got it’s name, but the most likely is that Huron Peak is named after a North American tribe. Huron Peak wasn’t officially recognized as a 14er until 1956, when the U.S.G.S recorded it’s height for the first time.

The Sawatch Mountain Range is home to fourteen other 14,000′ peaks, such as La Plata Peak, Missouri Mountain, Mt Antero, and the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains, Mt Elbert.

According to the book “A Climbing Guide to Colorado’s Fourteeners“ documented evidence shows that the highest point of the Three Apostles, Ice Mountain was not climbed until October 4, 1931 by a man named John L. Hart. For mountains in Colorado that is actually a very late date for a first ascent to happen which just shows how isolated and steep the area is.

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

From the trail-head hike up through the forest for about .5 mile. Cross a small stream and follow the numerous switchbacks on a steep hillside. Near 11,700, there’s an excellent view of The Three Apostles, all 13,000′ mountains. The trail eventually turns east, approaching a high basin northwest of Huron.

Hike out of the basin onto the upper slopes and eventually crest the north ridge. Follow the trail west onto Huron’s northwest face and ascend a steep, rocky pitch before returning (left) to the crest of the north ridge. Once you’re on the north ridge again, hike a short ways to the summit and enjoy the amazing views.

Trailhead Directions

La Plata Peak (14,336′), Sawatch Range

La Plata Peak (14,336′), Sawatch Range

La Plata Peak (14,336′), Sawatch Range

La Plata Peak, in the middle of the Sawatch Range, is known for it’s distinctive Ellingwood Ridge, popular among climbers. The Northwest Ridge trail starts from Highway 82 and follows the northern ridge that divides the La Plata basin from La Plata Gulch. There are several other routes to the summit, such as the Southwest Ridge. “La Plata” is Spanish for “The Silver”, a reference to the many silver deposits in the area.

The Sawatch Mountain Range is home to fourteen other 14,000′ peaks, such as Huron Peak, Mt Antero, Missouri Mountain, and the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains, Mt Elbert.

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation

Know when to turn around. Turned around near 12,000′ due to heavy winds and low visibility, despite what initially appeared to be a picture perfect day.

Video Tour

Trail Directions

From the trailhead hike east into the woods crossing South Fork Lake Creek. Turn right after the bridge and hike a small distance to cross La Plata Gulch on a smaller bridge. Head right and reach a small clearing almost 100 yards after the bridge crossing. In the clearing, there is a smaller trail that heads off to the east – stay right on the main trail. Eventually the trail has log and stone steps making a steep climb through the forest.

Climb briefly to a small, level area above 12,000′ where you will find a large square boulder near the trail. Turn left and climb to the northwest ridge. Next hike to the base of a large buttress and follow the trail as it turns right and climbs around to the west side of the ridge. If you lose the trail, turn left and climb directly up to the top of the ridge. As you near the top ,curve around to the west side, turn left and follow the trail to the summit.

Trailhead Directions

Quandary Peak (14,265′), Ten Mile Range

Quandary Peak (14,265′), Ten Mile Range

Quandary Peak (14,265′), Ten Mile Range

Quandary Peak is the only 14,000′ peak in the Ten Mile Range. The summit provides great views of other nearby peaks such as Northstar Mountain, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Democrat, and Mt Bross to the south. To the north you see Pacific and Crystal Peak, as well as the Gore Range in the distance.

The mountain lies about 6 miles (10 km) south-southwest of the town of Breckenridge, making it a popular Class 1 route in winter as well.

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

The trail begins climbing immediately through dense forests. After about 0.3 miles there is a large boulder to the right of the trail, turn right. The trail is clear during the summer months, but in the event that it is covered with snow it’s easy to miss this turn. After gaining about 700′, you’ll start to pass through some clearings, some of which are fairly flat, at 11,300′.

You reach tree line quickly at this point providing better views. The ridge pops into view around 11,800′. The trail starts along the left side of the ridge. Follow the switchbacks up towards the ridge crest. From here the summit is visible. Angle left along some flats to stay on the ridge. From here the trail gets rockier and steeper. At 13,400′ ft trail stops switchbacking and heads straight up to the summit straight ahead.

Trailhead Directions

Missouri Mountain (14,067′), Sawatch Range

Missouri Mountain (14,067′), Sawatch Range

Missouri Mountain (14,067′), Sawatch Range

Missouri Mountain lies deep in Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains and is part of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. With eight “14ers” (peaks exceeding 14,000′ in elevation), the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness has the highest average elevation of any Wilderness Area except in Alaska.

The other Collegiate 14ers include Huron Peak (14,003′), Mt. Columbia (14,073′), Mt. Oxford (14,153′ ), Mt Yale (14,196′), Mt Belford (14,197′), La Plata Peak (14,336′), and Mt Harvard (14,420′).

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

The first 3.5 miles is strenuous, with an elevation gain of 3,740 feet. The next 3.3 miles has an elevation loss of 1,670 feet. Follow the Missouri Gulch Trail into upper Missouri Gulch (approx. 2.5 miles). As the trail ascends to 12,600 feet, it turns abruptly east to climb up to Elkhead Pass.

A cairn marks the turn off here for the ascent of Missouri Mountain. Turn west and climb the grassy slopes and a loose talus slope toward the low point on Missouri’s northwest ridge. From the ridge, hike southeast to Missouri’s summit.

Trailhead Directions

Mt Elbert (14,433′), Sawatch Range

Mt Elbert (14,433′), Sawatch Range

Mt Elbert (14,433′), Sawatch Range

Mt Elbert is the highest peak in the 3,000 mile long Rocky Mountains, a mountain chain which stretches from Canada to Mexico. The peak is situated near the small town and lakes of the same name, Twin Lakes. Despite it’s size. the peak is a Class 1 hike, making it a relatively gentle giant (for a 14er).

The Sawatch Mountain Range is home to fourteen other 14,000′ peaks, such as Huron Peak, La Plata Peak, Missouri Mountain, and Mt Antero.

Mt Elbert, at 14,433′, is the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains.

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

Black Cloud trail is the least traveled but the most beautiful way to summit Mt Elbert. This trail is an alternative route to the more heavily used North and South Mount Elbert Trails for climbing Colorado’s highest peak.

This trail passes through spruce-fir and aspen stands, then through rock beds to ruins of mining operations and cabins. Continuing your hike will bring you to timberline, South Elbert, and eventually Mount Elbert at 14,433 feet in elevation.

Trailhead Directions

Mt Sherman (14,036′), Mosquito Range

Mt Sherman (14,036′), Mosquito Range

Mt Sherman (14,036′), Mosquito Range

In the middle of the Mosquito Range lies Mt Sherman, rising above the western edge of South Park, in central Colorado. The peak is named for the Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, who served under General Ulysses S. Grant during the Civil War.

Keep in mind that this mountain is on a mining claim owned by the Day Mine Company in Leadville. This is located on private property and is not public land. Misuse of this trail could lead to closure. Please respect private property.

Other 14,000′ peaks located in the Mosquito Range include Mt Democrat, Mt Cameron, Mt Lincoln, and Mt Bross.

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

The standard route starts at the Fourmile Creek trailhead and heads up the southwest ridge. From Fairplay, drive south just one mile on 285. Turn right onto County Road 18 and drive 10 miles to the Leavick upper parking area at 11,200 ft. In good conditions, the gate at Leavick is open and 4WD and burly 2WD cars can make it up to 12,000 ft, with various pulloff spots along the road.

From the Leavick upper parking area, begin up the road, passing a gate at 12,000 feet which leads to the Dauntless Mine and some old wooden buildings at 12,300 feet.

Continue northwest into a basin below Hilltop Mine and follow the old road up to the mine at 12,900 feet. From here, head west as the grade increases and hike up loose rock along a rough trail to the 13,140-foot-high saddle between Mount Sherman on the right (north) and 13,748-foot Mount Sheridan on the left (south).

Next, navigate to the right on Mt. Shermans southwest ridge, following braided trails along the ridgeline. After a few hundred feet the ridge begins to narrow but stays wide enough to avoid any danger. There are some scrambly spots than can be avoided with good route finding skills. Continue up along the ridge crest to the mountains long, flat summit. Find the summit cairn and the summit register (a PVC pipe attached to a pole), sign your name and enjoy the views.

Trailhead Directions

Mt Democrat (14,148′) , Mt Cameron (14,238′), Mt Lincoln (14,148′), and Mt Bross (14,172), Mosquito Range

Mt Democrat (14,148′) , Mt Cameron (14,238′), Mt Lincoln (14,148′), and Mt Bross (14,172), Mosquito Range

Mt Democrat (14,148′) , Mt Cameron (14,238′), Mt Lincoln (14,148′), and Mt Bross (14,172), Mosquito Range

DeCaliBron” (Mt Democrat, Mt Cameron, Mt Lincoln, Mt Bross) provides an opportunity to summit four 14,000′ peaks in one day. The linkup involves a fairly steep hike up Mt. Democrat, followed by a prolonged walk along several ridges. The technical difficulty on this climb never exceeds class 2, but the amount of time above 13,000 feet is substantial, as is your exposure to weather.

Mt Sherman is the only other 14er that is situated in the Mosquito Range.

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation

Video Tour

Trail Directions

From the Kite Lake trailhead, cross the creek and head north from the lake. Ascend Mt Democrat first, taking switchbacks to the saddle between Democrat and Cameron. Turn left (west) and scramble to the summit of Mt. Democrat. After enjoying Democrat’s summit, descend back to the saddle. Hike east to the summit of Mt. Cameron, which is not ranked but is usually included as one of the six unranked summits to be included in the 59 list.

From Cameron descend south to the saddle between Cameron and Lincolnon. Lincoln’s summit cap involves a small amount of boulder hopping and is the tallest of the group. Next descend back to the saddle between Lincoln and Cameron and traverse to Cameron’s east side to avoid having to re-climb to the top. Continue around the cirque to Bross. The descent down Bross is very steep, going down a scree filled gully.

Trailhead Directions

Grays(14,270) and Torreys(14,267) Peak, Front Range

Grays(14,270) and Torreys(14,267) Peak, Front Range

Grays(14,270) and Torreys(14,267) Peak, Front Range

Grays and Torreys Peak are the two highest points on the Continental Divide, with Grays Peak being the highest point.

Since the peaks are in close proximity to each other, it is popular to hike them both in one day. The trailhead was the third most popular leading to a 14,000′ peak in 2018, behind Quandary Peak and Mt Bierstadt.

Weather

GPS Route with Elevation