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1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby tornado » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:36 pm

Hello all,

My girlfriend and I will be making a trip out west from Kansas late this week and I am wanting to show her why I have to make a trip to CO each year to attempt a 14er. She's agreed to try a 14er but has said, "don't expect a summit" and I respect that so I just want to give her a taste of a couple mile hike that will provide some amazing views for her to get a sense of why I like to do what I like to do but not be pushing for a summit at all. I've thought about Huron, for a view of the Apostles, but we'll be in a small car and that would make the hike too far. So my question is...what peak offers great views pretty much right off the bat from the trailhead that would get her excited. I've researched many, many hours but can't make up my mind. She's never been to Colorado before and I 'reallllly' want her to like it :wink: It can't be in the San Juans and has to be a 14er are the only restrictions. I've thought about Sherman and some other easier ones but I want beauty since we're not going to be pushing for a summit.

Thank you

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby planet54 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:48 pm

If you are not going to the top,then the Maroon Bells will knock her socks off right off the bus.She might think that you are crazy too!!
Last edited by planet54 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby mouse_rat » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:53 pm

Grays and Torreys are not bad scenery-wise after about .5 miles. Also they are easy enough that you both have a good chance of summiting. The road is rough, but IMO passable to the trailhead in a passenger car if you are ok taking it on a rough dirt road.

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby Tory Wells » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:02 pm

It's not as exciting "right off the bat", but the hike to Chasm Lake under the Diamond of Longs Peak is one of the best hikes in the state. It is a little longer at ~7 miles roundtrip but well worth the effort.

I will also second the hike to Crater Lake under the shadow of the Maroon Bells...simply spectacular and a pretty easy hike.
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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby MtHurd » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:09 pm

Maroon Bells will knock her socks off before she even gets out of the car. Capital will as well. For knock your socks off factor from the start, even the San Juans can't compete with the Bells or Capital.

Sorry, but I think anything in the front, Mosquitos, or Sawatch won't knock her socks off, and that includes Longs.

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby RJansen77 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:12 pm

Barry Raven wrote:Maroon Bells will knock her socks off before she even gets out of the car. Capital will as well.


+1 for the Bells, coming around the turn on Maroon Creek Road is enough to drop just about any jaw
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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby Mountainspirit » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:46 pm

RJansen77 wrote:
Barry Raven wrote:Maroon Bells will knock her socks off before she even gets out of the car.


+1 for the Bells, coming around the turn on Maroon Creek Road is enough to drop just about any jaw

+1000 for the Bells - there are few places so accessible that rival the beauty.

However, if you want to take a different angle altogether - you could also drive up Mt. Evans and walk up to the summit (1/4 mile) from the parking lot - giving her a taste of a 14er summit.
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With the beauty of the days gone by." - Van Morrison

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby Kitten » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:48 pm

My addition to all the other posts would be the trailhead that goes to Lindsey, it has amazing views at the beginning of the hike.

Here is a picture (I had to resized it but you will get the idea)
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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby LetsGoHigher » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:53 pm

Kitten wrote:My addition to all the other posts would be the trailhead that goes to Lindsey, it has amazing views at the beginning of the hike.

Here is a picture (I had to resized it but you will get the idea)


+ 1 (as enthusiastically as possible) The drive in is amazing too
Last edited by LetsGoHigher on Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Is that the summit?

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby tylermacguire » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:53 pm

If you went to Holy cross she could probably hike to Notch Mt and get a great view of HC. Also, if she has never been to Colorado, a drive over Loveland Pass might be a pretty jaw dropping experience for her. I recently had a friend visit form back east and she was blown away just driving around here in Silverthorne.

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby madbuck » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:24 pm

Which day(s) are you looking at? The Leadville Trail 100 race is this weekend, so Winfield/Leadville/Twin Lakes will be quite crowded.

Maroon Bells, as suggested, answers your question precisely.

Another thing to consider, if you want her to love Colorado, is to make sure she enjoys some other great stuff as well, such as mountain towns. Maybe she'll really dig Aspen, but (thankfully and by choice!) most of the women I know do not. For similar views, amazing wildflowers, and just a bit longer drive, Crested Butte is fantastic. And if you wanted to see 14ers -- hiking or not -- what about sitting in a hot spring in the stars beneath the Sawatch Range at Mt. Princeton resort? You can enjoy the town of Buena Vista, and any of the local hikes will have great views. Or you can head further up Cottonwood Pass and do short hikes to a waterfall, a ghost town, and Ptarmigan Lake, for example. Similarly, I like the ideas above of driving over Loveland Pass. Adding on shorter,actual summit hikes (e.g. Sniktau) will give her summit views and a sense of accomplishment.

Which areas of the state have you visited already? I would opt for something 'new' if were me, unless you already have a favourite. Now, I get the concept of "bagging" the 14ers, but when it comes to seeing them, I think there are hundreds of more strikingly beautiful places in the state (accessible by compact car) than, say, Bierstadt or Bross, and to my discerning eye, I can't tell the exact height from the ground. In that case, by not discriminating by height, you open yourself to numerous beautiful wildflower and lake hikes below other gorgeous mountains.

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby JsinDeAZ » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:33 pm

if it's her first, hit bierstadt from the west side for a newb, visual cornucopia is a given :)
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