Seven Outdoor Wonders of Colorado, Part 7
The Top Fourteeners in Colorado by Mile Hi Rafting!
Mile Hi Rafting loves Colorado and loves the adventure Colorado brings. With our white water rafting trips, ATV, UTV tours and camping excursions we fully embrace all that Colorado has to offer. In the last edition of the Outdoor Wonders of Colorado series, we will look at the grandest Wonder of Colorado, the Fourteeners. There are 54 mountains in Colorado with summits over 14,000 feet above sea level. The view from the top of any is spectacular and definitely worthy of writing home to mother about. We will look at a few of the fourteeners and what they have to offer!
Spectacular views, donuts and a train? Absolutely! Pikes Peak is one of the most visited mountains in North America, and second most popular mountain in the world! It also carries some of the richest history for our nation. Atop this peak Katherine Bates was inspired by the stunning scenery and wrote ‘America the Beautiful’ in 1893. To get to the top, you can hike, drive or take a train. One of the few fourteeners that provides a paved road to the summit, Pikes Peak Highway offers bike, car and foot races annually. The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is open year round, and winds past waterfalls, aspen and open forests, aside from the striking and awe- inspiring views! From the summit of Pikes Peak, you can partake of warm donuts, and see five states on a clear day.
Mt. Evans offers the highest paved road in North America just 60 miles west of Denver. At the mountain’s top, there is a quarter mile trail to the 14,264 foot summit. Along the drive to the top, you are bound to see mountain goats, buffalo, and big horn sheep. They are known as the ‘White Mountain Goats’ of Mt Evans, as this is the only area these rare mountain goats are seen.
This is the easiest fourteener to hike and offers the closest proximity to Denver. The shortest route requires only a 3 mile trek to the summit. However, if adventure is knocking at your door, you can hike a three mountain challenge in one day. Summit Mt Bierstadt via Sawtooth ridge, a class 3 trail, which connects you with Mt Evans and Mt Spalding. A long day of hiking, but worth the effort!
This is the highest fourteener in the Rocky Mountains of North America. It is the second highest mountain in the contiguous United Sates. Mt Elbers lies in the center of Colorado, just southwest of Leadville. The trails are marked as a class 2 level and often referred to as the ‘gentle giant’.
Mt Wilson and Pyramid Peak
These two peaks are the most difficult climbs of all fourteeners. These peaks are available to all hardcore adventure enthusiasts. The north face offers a snow climb and alpine scramble. Mt Wilson is a good choice for conditioning or training in preparation for bigger mountains.
Come Camping with Mile Hi on Your Way To Summit a Fourteener!
Let Mile Hi do the hard work for you and take you to your camping spot, so all you have to worry about is what to pack! We have a variety of tent sites along Clear Creek as well as forested sites. With a large open fire pit, a river to enjoy, and rafting or ATV options, you will be set for your camping excursion! At Mile Hi Rafting we pride ourselves in being flexible on helping you customize any combination of options to create your own experience! As a family owned and operated company, we have the personality to make your vacation memorable, exciting and fun!