Colorado calls itself home to many things. It is the heart of ski country, with some of the best ski areas in the country. It has some of the best rafting that you can find in the world on the Arkansas River which includes Brown’s Canyon, the most popular section of rafting in the country. Colorado is also home to over 50 mountains that rise above 14,000 feet in elevation. Climbing one of these peaks, also known as a fourteener, is considered to be quite an accomplishment and draws people from all over the country. Each peak is rated between one and fifty-three based on their elevation.
The Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains located in south central Colorado is home to many of the fourteeners in Colorado. The Sawatch Range contains five of the top ten tallest fourteeners including the tallest of all Colorado’s fourteeners; Mt. Elbert. Mt Elbert, outside the town of Leadville, stands at a staggering 14,443 feet of elevation. The view from atop Mt. Elbert is breathtaking and offers stunning panoramas of the Rocky Mountains. There is nothing quite like being at the highest point in Colorado.
Located in the Front Range is Pike’s Peak and is arguably the most famous of the fourteeners. Its popularity is partly due to the fact that it is one of the easiest to summit due to multiple ways there are to ascend to the summit. One can take a train ride, drive, bike, or (if you are feeling old fashioned) hike to the top. Pike’s is well known for two famous races that occur annually at the mountain. First is the Pike’s Peak Marathon, which in addition to a 26.2 mile race, includes a 7,700 foot elevation change. The other race is the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb which is a time trial style race to the summit. Rod Millen won the race so many times that the race is affectionately called Millen’s Mountain.