14ers 101: Everything You Need to Know About Colorado’s 14ers

by

Article Categories: Hiking Tips
Article Tags: CO 14er | Colorado

Colorado is home to 58 mountains that stand taller than 14,000 feet. These mountains are known as the “14ers” and they attract climbers from all over the world. If you’re looking to climb all of them, some of them, or just one of them, here are a few things you need to know. In this article, we will provide an overview of the Colorado 14ers, provide helpful resources, a downloadable list, maps, trail guides to each peak, and offer some tips on how to summit them all!

 

What Are The Colorado 14ers?

To be ranked as an official CO 14er, the mountain’s peak must have at least 300 feet of prominence, which is the distance it rises above the lowest saddle that connects to the nearest, higher peak. The peaks considered on most CO 14er lists are all named points. There are many points above 14,000 feet that don’t make it on the lists due to not having an official name, or other debated reasons.

 

How Many 14ers Are In Colorado?

Colorado has a total of 58 14ers on most lists. 53 of the these peaks have 300 feet or greater of prominence, and 5 peaks are considered sub peaks, and often included in the list of Colorado 14ers.

The most common list of 14ers used is the list of 58 we have below in this article. You may also frequently hear about “Sunlight Spire” which is a named point that only recently was determine through geological surveys to be above 14,000 feet (it previously was thought to be shorter), yet this peak remains off of most lists.

 

Colorado 14ers List & Trail Guides

In the list below, we have all of the Colorado 14ers, plus clicking on each below will lead you to an article giving you everything you need to know about hiking that peak.

Rank Mountain Peak Mountain Range Elevation Prominence Hiking Class (easiest route)
1 Mount Elbert Sawatch Range 4401.2 m
14,440 ft
2772 m
9,093 ft
1
2 Mount Massive Sawatch Range 4398 m
14,428 ft
598 m
1,961 ft
2
3 Mount Harvard Sawatch Range 4395.6 m
14,421 ft
719 m
2,360 ft
2
4 Blanca Peak Sangre de Cristo Range 4374 m
14,351 ft
1623 m
5,326 ft
2
5 La Plata Peak Sawatch Range 4372 m
14,343 ft
560 m
1,836 ft
2
6 Uncompahgre Peak San Juan Mountains 4365 m
14,321 ft
1304 m
4,277 ft
2
7 Crestone Peak Sangre de Cristo Range 4359 m
14,300 ft
1388 m
4,554 ft
3
8 Mount Lincoln Mosquito Range 4356.5 m
14,293 ft
1177 m
3,862 ft
2
9 Castle Peak Elk Mountains 4352.2 m
14,279 ft
721 m
2,365 ft
2
10 Grays Peak Front Range 4352 m
14,278 ft
844 m
2,770 ft
2
11 Mount Antero Sawatch Range 4351.4 m
14,276 ft
763 m
2,503 ft
2
12 Torreys Peak Front Range 4351 m
14,275 ft
171 m
560 ft
2
13 Quandary Peak Mosquito Range 4349.9 m
14,271 ft
343 m
1,125 ft
1
14 Mount Evans Front Range 4350 m
14,271 ft
844 m
2,770 ft
2
15 Longs Peak Front Range 4346 m
14,259 ft
896 m
2,940 ft
3
16 Mount Wilson San Miguel Mountains 4344 m
14,252 ft
1227 m
4,024 ft
4
17 Mount Shavano Sawatch Range 4337.7 m
14,231 ft
493 m
1,619 ft
2
18 Mount Princeton Sawatch Range 4329.3 m
14,204 ft
664 m
2,177 ft
2
19 Mount Belford Sawatch Range 4329.1 m
14,203 ft
408 m
1,337 ft
2
20 Crestone Needle Sangre de Cristo Range 4329 m
14,203 ft
139 m
457 ft
3/4
21 Mount Yale Sawatch Range 4328.2 m
14,200 ft
578 m
1,896 ft
2
22 Mount Bross Mosquito Range 4321.6 m
14,178 ft
95 m
312 ft
2
23 Kit Carson Mountain Sangre de Cristo Range 4319 m
14,171 ft
312 m
1,025 ft
3
24 Maroon Peak Elk Mountains 4317 m
14,163 ft
712 m
2,336 ft
3
25 Tabeguache Peak Sawatch Range 4316.7 m
14,162 ft
139 m
455 ft
2
26 Mount Oxford Collegiate Peaks 4315.9 m
14,160 ft
199 m
653 ft
2
27 Mount Sneffels Sneffels Range 4315.4 m
14,158 ft
930 m
3,050 ft
3
28 Mount Democrat Mosquito Range 4314.5 m
14,155 ft
234 m
768 ft
2
29 Capitol Peak Elk Mountains 4309 m
14,137 ft
533 m
1,750 ft
4
30 Pikes Peak Front Range 4302.31 m
14,115 ft
1686 m
5,530 ft
1
31 Snowmass Mountain Elk Mountains 4297.3 m
14,099 ft
351 m
1,152 ft
3
32 Windom Peak Needle Mountains 4296 m
14,093 ft
667 m
2,187 ft
2/3
33 Mount Eolus San Juan Mountains 4295 m
14,090 ft
312 m
1,024 ft
3
34 Mount Columbia Sawatch Range 4290.8 m
14,077 ft
272 m
893 ft
2
35 Missouri Mountain Sawatch Range 4289.8 m
14,074 ft
258 m
847 ft
2
36 Humboldt Peak Sangre de Cristo Range 4289 m
14,070 ft
367 m
1,204 ft
2
37 Mount Bierstadt Front Range 4287 m
14,065 ft
219 m
720 ft
2
38 Sunlight Peak San Juan Mountains 4287 m
14,065 ft
122 m
399 ft
4
39 Handies Peak San Juan Mountains 4284.8 m
14,058 ft
582 m
1,908 ft
1
40 Culebra Peak Culebra Range 4283 m
14,053 ft
1471 m
4,827 ft
2
41 Ellingwood Point Sangre de Cristo Range 4282 m
14,048 ft
104 m
342 ft
2
42 Mount Lindsey Sangre de Cristo Range 4282 m
14,048 ft
470 m
1,542 ft
3
43 Little Bear Peak Sangre de Cristo Range 4280 m
14,043 ft
115 m
377 ft
4
44 Mount Sherman Mosquito Range 4280 m
14,043 ft
259 m
850 ft
2
45 Redcloud Peak San Juan Mountains 4280 m
14,041 ft
438 m
1,436 ft
2
46 Pyramid Peak Elk Mountains 4274.7 m
14,025 ft
499 m
1,638 ft
4
47 Wilson Peak San Juan Mountains 4274 m
14,023 ft
261 m
857 ft
3
48 North Maroon Peak Elk Mountains 4274 m
14,022 ft
329 ft
100 m
4
49 San Luis Peak La Garita Mountains 4273.8 m
14,022 ft
949 m
3,113 ft
1
50 Wetterhorn Peak San Juan Mountains 4274 m
14,021 ft
498 m
1,635 ft
3
51 Mount of the Holy Cross Sawatch Range 4270.5 m
14,011 ft
644 m
2,113 ft
2
52 Huron Peak Sawatch Range 4270.2 m
14,010 ft
434 m
1,423 ft
2
53 Sunshine Peak San Juan Mountains 4269 m
14,007 ft
153 m
501 ft
2
Unofficial 14ers
With Names
* Mount Cameron Mosquito Range 4343 m
14,248 ft
46 m
152 ft
2
* El Diente Peak San Juan Mountains 4320 m
14,175 ft
60 m
264 ft
3
* Challenger Point Sangre de Cristo Range 4293 m
14,086 ft
60 m
264 ft
2/3
* North Eolus San Juan Mountains 4280 m
14,042 ft
65 m
212 ft
3
* Conundrum Peak Elk Mountains 4278 m
14,037 ft
69 m
225 ft
2

 

Downloadable 14ers List

Simply click the link and copy our Google Sheet, or copy and paste into an Excel or CSV file to track your own progress.

Click here for our downloadable 14ers list.

 

Colorado 14ers Maps

We made this map of each of the 14ers in Colorado that is color coded by mountain range.

 

CO 14er Hiking Resources

 

Trail Guides

https://hikingandfishing.com/
https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/14ers.php

 

Weather Forecasts

https://www.mountain-forecast.com/
https://www.weather.gov/

 

Trip Planning and GPS Tracking Resources

https://fatmap.com/
https://www.gaiagps.com/map/
https://www.onxmaps.com/backcountry/app
https://caltopo.com/

 

Paper Maps

https://amzn.to/3qtZcWS
https://amzn.to/3RPPgTh

 

Trail Maintenance Organizations

https://www.14ers.org/

 

Why The Colorado 14ers?

The Colorado 14ers are a popular climbing destination for many reasons. They are some of the tallest mountains in the United States and they offer stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. In addition, many of them are relatively easy to access and there is a variety of trails to choose from. Colorado is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, and combine that with a challenge of summiting these peaks, it brings adventurers from around the world.

 

How Long Does It Take To Complete The CO 14ers?

For some, it takes decades, and for others it can be a couple years, a couple months, or the speed record at just over 14 days. The truth is that, it can vary widely by your goals, objectives, and even your “rules” for bagging all of the peaks.

 

14er Communities & Other Hiking Communities

There are some online communities that can be extremely helpful for meeting adventure friends, capturing condition reports, asking question, or just seeing what others are doing on these Colorado hikes. Find the communities that best fit what you are looking for, but here are a few suggestions specifically tailored to those wanting to tackle 14ers:

Facebook Group: Colorado 14ers
Facebook Group: 14ers.com
Facebook Group: Colorado Backcountry Ski & Snowboard
Meetup Groups: https://www.meetup.com/topics/hiking-colorado-14ers/
Reddit Group: 14ers

 

Tips For Your First 14ers

Fourteeners in Colorado, while accessible, can be extremely dangerous. People die every year climbing 14ers. While it is mostly on the more difficult peaks, there are rescues every season of inexperienced individuals that embarked on even some of the “easier” peaks. It is important to remember that at elevation, and in terrain as rugged as the Colorado rockies, having proper preparation, gear, physical ability, and sound of mind is essential to staying safe.

 

Start With The Easy Ones

If you are new to hiking, you shouldn’t start with a fourteener. If you are an experienced hiker, you likely still should be starting with some of the easier 14ers. Quandary, Bierstadt, Handies, Evans, Sherman, Grays, Torreys, Huron, and a few others are common first 14er peaks.

 

Plan Your Route And Do Research

You should know your route, the trail, and surrounding trails perfectly. You should bring a paper map in addition to your phone. Be prepared to not have any cell service.

 

Hydration & Food is Crucial

You need to bring plenty of water and electrolytes (gatorade is a great idea). Don’t underestimate how many calories you are burning, plus the elevation which will affect your hydration. Bring way more than you think you need. It will save you. Read our guide on hiking food.

 

Get In Shape First

If you haven’t done hiking with the same amount of mileage or elevation gain as the 14er you plan on tackling, you should start on a lower elevation hike. In addition, if you have never been above 12,000 feet in elevation before, you should do some exploring at high elevation on some easier hikes off the road to see how you respond.

 

Hike With A Partner

Hiking alone increases risks, and if you are planning your first 14er, you should be bringing someone else. Preferably someone with experience.

 

Be Prepared For All Weather Conditions

You should be bringing the 10 essentials on your first 14er hikes. If you don’t know what these are, then do some research before you embark. This also means wearing layers, and ensuring you have a wind and waterproof layer with you.

 

Give Yourself Plenty Of Time

14ers are notorious for rapid weather changes, and lightning, hail, and rain storms around noon in the summer. That’s why you’ll hear everyone saying you should be starting very early. Probably in the dark with a headlamp.

 

 

Tips For Finishing The 14ers

When I started to write this section, I had loads of ideas for tips. But when I got down to thinking harder about the key to success on the 14ers, I realized that finishing them was not even remotely the best part. It was meeting friends, growing as a person, facing adversity, seeing some of the most beautiful places on the planet, sacrificing things for mountains, and simply enjoying the journey. Enjoying the journey even when it gets hard. Embracing that sometimes you may not want to go on that hike, or wake up that early, or sleep in a tent again.

When it comes down to it, the key to finishing the fourteeners is recognizing all of the beauty in the journey of crossing off these mountains in different parts of Colorado. If you find the joy in the entire process, and find joy in even the negative parts of the process, you’re all set.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when it comes to the Colorado 14ers. But don’t let that stop you from experiencing these incredible mountains. Just remember to be prepared

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about