Easy-to-summit peaks in Colorado

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of May 22-28, 1997
Kayaking in the Land of 10,000 Lakes
Easy-to-summit peaks in Colorado
Backpacking trips on the east coast
Hiking trails near Red Lodge, Montana
Around-the-world airfare packages

Easy-to-summit peaks in Colorado
Question: A friend and I are going to be in Colorado this summer. Estes Park is one destination. Also, the Collegiate Peaks for more hiking. My goal is to summit one or two 14,000-footers. Could you inform me of some good ones for beginners? You know, easy ones that are not too technical because we have no experience? I believe that once we do this, we may be hooked for good.

Ross Cusic
Bloomington, Indiana
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: On your way over to the Collegiates from Estes Park, stop off at the clump of mountains just outside of Breckenridge known as the Mosquito Range. Here you can bag three relatively easy fourteeners in one stop. One of the reasons that Sherman, Lincoln, Bross, and Democrat Peaks are so easy is that the trailheads start at about 11,000 feet. So instead of climbing 14,000 feet, you're really climbing about 3,000 feet.

The Mosquitoes run north and south, parallel to Highways 9 and 91. The easiest way to get there from Estes Park would be to take I-70 to Breckenridge. Exit south at Breckenridge and take Highway 9 through town. You'll begin to notice some massive peaks looming up to your west. To make sure you're climbing the right peaks, I'd stop in Breckenridge and ask for more specific directions.

Though this is across the state, another gorgeous peak — especially if you hit it in wildflower season — is Uncompaghre near Ouray. From Gunnison, take Highway 50 west to Highway 149. Take that south to Nellie Creek Road. The trailhead is approximately 5 miles up the road.

Search the archives | Ask the Adventure Adviser

©2000, Mariah Media Inc.

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Got Wanderlust?

Escape your daily grind with Outside’s best getaways.

Thank you!