Hi everyone! I hope you are having a good week! We are half way through! I’m writing to you from Orlando, FL for a work trip. It was a bit of crazy transition from Banff to Orlando. I traded cool mornings with mountain air to humidity at all times. I’m getting really excited for the weekend because my best friend from college is visiting. One thing on the agenda is Hiking a 14er. For those of you who aren’t from CO, hiking a 14er is hiking a mountain with a summit above 14,000 ft. But don’t worry, you don’t start at sea level! You start at about 9,000-10,000 feet.
I’m really excited to hike in CO this weekend! This summer has been pretty busy, but I love getting to the mountains when I’m in town. Hiking a 14er takes a bit of planning, location, timing, and weather are pretty important. When hiking your first 14er, check out this post for Packing your hiking bag. In general, you will be up early to get on the road. Colorado thunder storms can be a scary thing, especially when you are hiking above tree line. If you are above tree line, you have little to no protection from storms.
Most 14ers take between 5-7 hours to hike depending on the route. There are a lot of well-traveled routes. I use 14ers.com to research hikes. On their website you can see the routes, pictures, and even trip reports on specific hikes. This website gives you so much information before your hike! It’s really helpful.
There are some easier 14ers which are close to Denver. A few I recommend are-
- Quandary- near Breckenridge, this was my first 14er and I really enjoyed it. The end gets difficult because there are a lot of rocks, but this hike is easy to get to and really pretty.
- Bierstadt- this hike is about 45 minutes past Idaho Springs. There is a long walk from the parking lot before you start hiking upward, but it’s a relatively easy hike. I’ve had a few Midwest friends do this one on their visits!
- Grays and Torrey’s- This is an awesome hike because you can do two 14ers in one day. There is a well-traveled trail, and one that is more difficult over Kelso’s ridge. This hike is pretty close to Bakerville off I-70 so about 1.25 hours from Denver.
6 tips for hiking a 14er
- Go early (see above). No one wants to get stuck in a thunderstorm.
- Research the route and travel in advance
- Pick a great place to eat lunch after!
- The first time I hiked a 14er, I was happy to go with an experienced group! They were able to show me the ropes and help me out.
- Pack sunscreen and sunglasses! Recently I’ve heard of people getting sunburn on their eyelids, and it’s really painful!
- Make sure to pack enough water, I prefer a camelbak in my hiking backpack for the day!ENJOY!
Linking up with Amanda