Trekking the Peaks of Colorado

The state of Colorado is graced with beauty unsurpassed by many states within the USA. This western state is graced with a landscape full of valleys, mountains, lakes, plateaus, deserts, and rushing rivers. Needless to say, Colorado has it all, especially if you’re keen to get outside!

There is no shortage when it comes to activities for the outdoor/extreme sports junkie, including mountain climbing, white-water rafting, SUP, and of course snow skiing/snowboarding.

I am sharing with you our experience hiking some of the most beautiful scenery in Colorado, during summer and winter months…and, of course, with our trusted k-9 companion, Olive, the shiba inu.

Exploring the craggy mountains a/k/a ‘Rocky Mountains’ requires a certain level of physical and mental strength. Many of the tallest mountains “14ers” as they are called, allow for the most breathtaking scenery and photo opps (photos below).

Side note here: as with many geological/natural/environmental questions, those who are interested tend to argue – this is the case with the ‘true’ number of 14ers. There is an ongoing debate as to exactly how many 14ers truly exist in Colorado. As per the Colorado Geological Survey, there are 58 peaks which exceed 14,000 ft. in elevation. So, we’ll go with this number for now . . .58 it is!

While most all 14ers are indeed difficult to summit for even the most experienced mountaineer, there are several [14ers] which are, for the most part, ‘family friendly’, including Grays PeakMt. Bierstadt, Mt. Democrat, Mt. Evans, and Mt. Sherman, all of which are above 14,000 ft (4,267 meters) in elevation. And yes, it’s difficult to breathe where the air is rarified! Note ‘family friendly’ assumes the hiker is in moderate-good physical and mental health.

For more information on the above-mentioned four 14ers, visit www.14ers.com. This website is chock-full of helpful information such as up-to-date mountain weather reports, route maps, photos, and trip review. Check it out!

Below are a handful of our favorite photographs which we took during our adventures backpacking/trekking/climbing in beautiful Colorado. As with any journey, one must be equipped with the right gear. For the majority of the hikes we have done in Colorado, and surrounding states in the USA, we have been incredibly pleased with gear from Kathmandu (check them out by clicking the following link HERE) – Enjoy!

Grays Peak

Elevation: 14,270 ft. / 4,350 meters

See MAP HERE

Mountain pond gray's peak
Grays Peak: near the trailhead. Crystal clear waters one will pass whilst trekking through this beautiful Rocky Mountain land!
flowers gray's peak 2
Grays Peak: yes, there are wildflowers. . . and lots of them!
Olive 2 Gray's Peak
Grays Peak: Olive just taking in the beauty surrounding us as we begin our trek towards the mountain
Olive 1 Gray's Peak
Grays Peak: Olive and I just getting warmed up for this hike!

 

olive crossing the gray's peak pond 3
Grays Peak: view from the lowlands below the summit
olive and i atop gray's peak in snow
Grays Peak: Nearing the saddle between Grays and Torreys Peaks…Olive telling me to “move quicker!”
saddle of gray's peak from below snow
Grays Peak: the ‘saddle’ which connects two 14ers, being Grays & Torreys and is at 13,707 ft (4,178 m). One can summit both 14ers during the same hike if weather & strength permits! We submitted Gray’s only which is 14,270 ft / 4,350 meters.
Friends atop Gray's Peak 2
Grays Peak: resting on summit with fellow mountaineers before descending
Friends atop Gray's Peak
Grays Peak: hanging out on summit with a team hiking the Continental Divide trail, which extends from Mexico all the way to Canada and runs 3,100 miles / 5,000 km. The Continental Divide trail follows along the Rocky Mountains and traverses five states — Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico
Friend standing on craggy peak on Gray's peak
Grays Peak: friend showing off his rock climbing skills. They don’t call the Rockies ‘rocky’ for nothing.

 

Mt. Sherman

Elevation: 14,036 ft. / 4,278 meters

See MAP HERE

Mt Sherman_Olive and Josh 2_08302014
Mt. Sherman: Olive and I making headway as we climb – what a view we had!
Mt Sherman Olive on rocks_09082014
Mt. Sherman: scrambling up the craggy rock face of this mountain. . .Olive is a trooper!
Mt Sherman_view from summit 2_08302014
Mt. Sherman: Nearing the summit. A view of the route behind me
Mt Sherman_olive and friends_08302014
Mt. Sherman: Fellow dog and their masters – making new friends
Mt Sherman_Olive 3 atop summit_08302014
Mt. Sherman: Olive feeling quite proud after having reached summit! 
Mt Sherman_kathmandu backpack josh and olive pic
Mt. Sherman
Mt Sherman_Josh and Olive_08302014
Mt. Sherman: On summit…chowing down on a banana with Olive!
Mt Sherman_hikers atop summit_08302014
Mt. Sherman: Fellow mountaineers on summit
Mt Sherman Olive 2_082014
Mt. Sherman: On summit…just a ridiculously photogenic dog!
Mt Sherman_cairn_08302014
Mt. Sherman: Cairn letting Olive and I know we had reached the summit

Mt. Quandry

Elevation: 14,265 ft. / 4,347 meters

See MAP HERE

Mt Quandary_10052015
Mt. Quandry: stunningly beautiful!
Mt Quandary Mountain Goat_10052015
Mt. Quandary: mountain goat checking us out as we hike upwards to the summit

Mt. Democrat

Elevation: 14,148 ft. / 4,349 meters

See MAP HERE

 

 

Mt Democrat_viewpoint 2
Mt. Democrat: view of the valley below as we climb closer to the summit
Mt Democrat_nearing the summit Olive and clouds
Mt. Democrat: olive nearing the summit, before her masters, as usual!
Large enough cairn
Mt. Democrat: cairn on summit
Mt Democrat_14170'_with lindz and kathmandu backpack on summit
Mt. Democrat: we’ve made it to the summit! 

 

 

Mt. Bierstadt

Elevation: 14,060 ft. / 4,285 meters

See MAP HERE

Josh and Lindz - Bierstadt
Mt. Bierstadt: us after just having trekked across the lowlands (in background). Now on the trail which leads to the summit!
MT. Bierstadt view from Mt. Evans. Mt. B was the first 14er we accomplished summit
Mt. Bierstadt: view of the summit (which we reached)

Mt. Evans

Elevation: 14,264 ft. / 4,347 meters

See MAP HERE

IMG_0648
Mt. Evans: checking out fellow hikers and tourists before embarking on the route to the summit!
DSCF0083
Mt. Evans: Olive and Josh – geared up and hiking towards the trailhead
Mt Evans Lindz in flight - 09102014
Mt. Evans: the classic ‘fly’ pose overlooking Summit Lake
IMG_0699
Mt. Evans: one of the many mountain goats which threatened to charge (just threatened)

 

His final look before he charged..
Mt. Evans: mountain goats

 

Even near the cities of Denver and Boulder one can find beautiful half-day to full-day hikes, such as these pictured below.

Josh resting with kathmandu backpack

Indian Peaks Wilderness Trail - Josh and olive kathmandu hiking backpack
Indian Wilderness – near Boulder, Colorado

Indian Peaks Wilderness - Boulder_josh and kathmandu backpack

Elk RMNP_12172015
Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park: the elk bulls were not at all shy
Boulder hike_josh with kathmandu backpack
Taking in the sights of Boulder ‘open space’
Bear Lake - RMNP_kathmandu packpack josh hiking in snow
Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park: hiking over Bear Lake (yes, under the foot of snow and ice there is a lake)

 

3 thoughts on “Trekking the Peaks of Colorado

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