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Climb a mountain

May 18, 2013
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Pikes Peak

The closest fourteener to Colorado Springs also boasts the most elevation gain of any - 7,600 feet over 12.6 miles from Manitou Springs - from the arid foothills to the wind-swept tundra and rocky summit at 14,115 feet. Arrange an overnight stay at Barr Camp halfway up so you don't have to try the entire slog up and down in one day. barrcamp.com

 

Mount Evans

Denver officials, worried a highway to the top of Pikes Peak would impact tourism in the state capital, built their own road mostly to the top of this 14,264-foot peak. The road means there are several hiking options, including a 16-mile, 5,600-foot round trip from Echo Lake and a 130-foot climb from the top of the highway. mountevans.com

 

Mount Sherman

This nondescript hump of a mountain makes for one of the easier fourteener climbs - 2,100 feet and 5 miles - but the views won't feel easy, as all of the Front Range and Sawatch Range and the Arkansas River Valley open up before an endless blue sky. It's near the town of Fairplay, and the trailhead is easy to access. tinyurl.com/3rr9c35

 

Mount Princeton

This mountain towers over the town of Buena Vista and the Arkansas River, one of the more recognizable in Colorado for its pointed shoulders and fierce-looking jagged summit. It's actually an easy (comparably) walk up, and a vehicle with decent clearance can make it to 11,000 feet, with a round-trip hike of 6.2 miles. tinyurl.com/ma9wvk

 

Humboldt Peak

The Sangre de Cristo Range, a jagged spine in southern Colorado, is home to some of the tougher fourteeners in the state, but the gentle slopes of this mountain are an exception. It's a long day, and many climbers backpack into the beautiful South Colony Lakes basin to camp the night before the climb. tinyurl.com/bvfj2qn

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