Pair Up: Copping Two Colorado Fourteeners In A Day
Summiting a 14,000-foot peak is a popular pastime in Colorado, since 56 of the 68 14ers in the continental U.S. lie within its borders. And a handful are close enough to cop in a single day.
Climbing two 14ers in a day requires proper clothing, adequate food and water, and a good sense of when to turn back, as Alpine weather changes quickly.
SnoCountry.com took a look around Colorado’s 14ers and came up with a trio of accessible hikes that can produce two 14,000 foot-plus summits in one day.
In eastern Summit County near Arapahoe Basin, Grays Peak and Torreys Peak can be had on a moderate trail that runs 3.5 miles and gains 3,000 feet to the 14,267-foot summit of Grays. Cross the saddle between them -- a 575-foot drop/rise in elevation and one mile in length -- and scramble up a loose-rock route to Torreys Peak summit at 14,270. Descent side-saddles off Torreys and intersects main trail.
In the Mosquito Range over Hoosier Pass from Breckenridge, ascent of Mt. Democrat and Mt. Cameron begins with a climb that rises to 12,600-foot saddle. Another 1,600 feet reaches Mt. Democrat at 14,148 feet. Head to the northeast back through the saddle and up onto the ridge that tracks to summit of Mt. Cameron (14,238). Descend back the way you came.
Above Aspen, the Elk Mountains have eight 14ers – including Capital Peak (14,130) and Conundrum Peak (14,060) that can be had in a day. This is a long trip – 14 miles roundtrip from main trailhead -- with difficult sections. Most of hike tracks Capital Creek until a sudden steep hump to summit. A short drop into a saddle at 13,790 feet and then a scramble back up to Conundrum. Descent begins south of summit back to basin and trail.
For more on Colorado’s 14ers, click here.