The 14er Peaks Blog

Humboldt Peak: 14,064 ft, 14er Rank #37/53

Humboldt Peak

Humboldt Peak: 14,064 ft, 14er Rank #37/53

Humboldt Peak - featured on Colorado 14ers Map 12 of 16 - is one of the easier fourteeners to climb in the Crestones area of the Sangre de Cristo Range and sees more hikers than any of the other 14er peaks in the range (according to Colorado Fourteener Initiative's 2015 use estimates), though still far fewer than the Sawatch and Front Range peaks. Humboldt Peak was named by German immigrants in the Wet Mountains Valley after Alexander van Humboldt - a German naturalist and explorer active in the first half of the 19th century. Best known for his wide-ranging scientific expedition to...

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Crestone Peak: 14,294 ft, 14er Rank #7/53; Crestone Needle: 14,197 ft, 14er Rank #19/53

Crestone Peak: 14,294 ft, 14er Rank #7/53; Crestone Needle: 14,197 ft, 14er Rank #19/53

Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle - often called simply 'The Crestones' and featured on Colorado 14ers Map 12 of 16 - are some of the most striking peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Range as well as some of the more challenging Colorado 14ers to climb. Rising prominently from the Wet Mountain Valley in the east and the San Luis Valley in the west, the Crestones receive more climbers than, for example most of the Elk Mountains Peaks (according to the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative) but far less than most Front Range or Sawatch 14ers. The Crestones (right of center) rise dramatically...

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Challenger Point: 14,081 ft, 14er Rank #34/53; Kit Carson Peak: 14,165 ft, 14er Rank #23/53

Challenger Point: 14,081 ft, 14er Rank #34/53; Kit Carson Peak: 14,165 ft, 14er Rank #23/53

Challenger Point and Kit Carson Peak - featured on Colorado 14ers Map 12 of 16 - are the two northernmost 14ers of the Sangre de Cristo Range. Usually climbed together as their summits are very close to one another (0.6 mile hike apart), Challenger Point is really a subpeak of Kit Carson Mountain, which itself is part of the Crestone Group of peaks west of the town of Westcliffe and east of the town of Crestone. Kit Carson Peak was named for Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson, a fur trapper, wilderness guide, war veteran and indian fighter who lived in the mid-1800s. Though he...

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Snowmass Mountain: 14,092 ft, 14er Rank #31/53

Snowmass Mountain: 14,092 ft, 14er Rank #31/53

Snowmass Mountain - featured on Colorado 14ers Map 11 of 16 - is another tough Elk Mountains fourteener located deep in the Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness. Not to be confused with nearby Snowmass Peak (13,630' elevation) or the Snowmass ski resort hills, remote Snowmass Mountain does not lend itself to a simple day hike. Snowmass Mountain is often misidentified, as it sits unassumingly off from Snowmass Peak, which looms over Snowmass Lake. Snowmass Mountain is the peak with the arrow pointing to it in the picture below (photo from Snowmass Lake): "Snowemas Lake Panorama" (CC BY-ND 2.0) by mtneer_man Based on an expedition by the...

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Capitol Peak: 14,130 ft, 14er Rank #29/53

Capitol Peak: 14,130 ft, 14er Rank #29/53

Often considered the most difficult 14er (or certainly among them), Capitol Peak - featured on Colorado 14ers Map 11 of 16 - lies deep in the Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness hidden away from view by most roads. Capitol Peak is not nearly as crowded as many other Colorado fourteeners due to remoteness and difficulty; Colorado Fourteeners Initiative estimated less than 1,000 hiker use days in 2015 compared to, say, Grays and Torreys Peaks in the Front Range that saw more than 20,000. Named Capitol Mountain by the Hayden Survey in 1874, they did not attempt to summit the peak.  From that trek,...

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