Best 14ers in Colorado for Beginners

Easy Colorado 14ersOne of the best ways to enjoy the amazing landscape of Colorado while getting some exercise is hiking a 14er. What’s a 14er, you ask? This is an affectionate nickname for mountain peaks that are higher than 14,000 feet in Colorado. There are 53 official 14ers in Colorado, with an additional five that don’t make official lists because of a technical detail.

If you’ve never hiked a 14er before or are a beginner to the world of hiking, we’ve assembled a list of the best 14ers in Colorado for beginners. Grab your hiking gear, break in your boots and get ready to climb!

Mt. Bierstadt

Mt. Bierstadt is a great choice to cut your teeth on one of Colorado’s beautiful 14ers. This is a very popular mountain located in the Mount Evans wilderness, which is a gorgeous part of the state. There is a bit of a scramble near the top, but as many 14ers have this, it’s good practice and experience if you intend to do more. While it may not be the shortest mileage wise, it’s a good balance of steepness throughout the hike and a great 14er for a beginner.

Mt. Evans

Also located in the Mount Evans wilderness, not too far from Idaho Springs, this is another great 14er in Colorado for beginners. While there are a few different routes to take, most people consider the Mount Evans and Mount Spalding Loop Trail to be the ideal spot. You have spectacular views throughout the hike and actually climb two mountains during the trek. The only downside of Mt. Evans is that people can drive up close to the summit, so if you’re looking for peace and serenity atop a mountain it might not be what you expected. That being said it’s an amazing hike and a beautiful view from the summit!

Best 14ers in Colorado for Beginners

Grays & Torrey’s Peak

  • Grays Peak Elevation: 14,270ft
  • Torrey’s Peak Elevation: 14,267ft
  • Mileage: 7.7 Miles
  • All Trails Links

There’s only one thing that’s more satisfying than hiking one of Colorado’s epic 14er’s in a day…. Hiking two! While it’s possible to hike both of these mountains separately, the most common way to do it is to knock out both in one journey. Located in the Arapaho National Forrest there are a number of glacial streams in the area and beautiful views all the way up. While it’s definitely a tough hike with some scrambling, it’s a great Colorado 14er for beginners.

Mt. Sherman

Another one of the best 14ers in Colorado for beginners is Mt. Sherman. With a trail that’s less than 5 miles roundtrip, plus just 2,000ft of elevation gain, this is a great one to start with. This trail is very popular and can get crowded so it’s always recommended leaving as early as you can! Like most 14ers there’s some scrambling to be had, but the views always make it worth it. Located in the Pike National Forest, Mt. Sherman is a beautiful part of the Mosquito Range.

Beginner Colorado 14ers

Handies Peak

If you’re looking for a beginner 14er that’s a bit further out and away from Denver and the front range, Handies Peak is a great option. This is part of the Southwest Ridge of the San Juan Mountains and a beautiful area of Colorado. It’s approximately 50 minutes northeast of Eureka, although many hikers choose to access this hike from the scenic Alpine Loop that begins nearest to Lake City, CO. Less popular than the others options on your list, this is a 14er that’s doable for someone new to hiking, but will show you a very unique part of this state without the crowds.

Mt. Elbert

Admittedly, all the 14ers one this list are easier than this one, but considering that it’s the highest mountain in Colorado, we think the added mileage makes it more than worth the extra effort! Most people start from Leadville and choose the North Trail which provides you a whopping, 4,442ft of elevation gain! While it’s not a beginner mountain per-say, it’s not technical and the elevation is fairly gradual for most of the hike. It make not be the first 14er you should try, but it’s classified in the beginner class and if you have some mountain experience it can provide some serious bragging rights if you make it to the summit!