If you’re into the Colorado hiking and climbing scene, you know all about the 14ers, the peaks that rise to elevations of more than 14,000 feet. Colorado has more of those than any state in the country, 58 high points that hit that magic number.
To say that the 14ers are popular is an understatement. Many of these peaks get crowded in the summer, with packed trails and clogged trailhead parking lots. Looking for a moment of solitude in the mountains? That’s not likely among the 14ers during the peak season of summer hiking. You’ll need to hit ’em up in less friendly conditions that surround winter for that.
But there are plenty of other mountains in Colorado. Believe it or not, most of them don’t top 14,000 feet. And because of that, they’ve become the forgotten mountains of the peak bagger realm.
Fine by me. I like the 13ers. They’re wild, beautiful and largely absent of people. My experience in the 13ers is a little limited, but memorable just the same.
Enough words. Just take a look and you’ll see what I mean.
You can hike this one and many others just up the road from Denver, and chances are, you will see few people.
Just south of Missouri Mountain are these beauties.
Yankee Boy Basin is home to some seriously amazing 13er scenery.
See what I mean?
The 13ers can be quite dramatic, even if their names are not.
One word. Wow.
Did I say wow? Yes. Yes I did.
They look good in snow, too.
A knockout, right?
Indeed, they are. In all seasons.
So there ya go. It doesn’t have to be 14,000 feet to be awesome. There are more than 600 of these amazing 13,000-foot rockpiles out there. Plenty to explore away from crowds.