If you’re looking for a series of adventures within close geographical proximity to one another, have a passion for writing about or telling your story and think there might be some extra time in your schedule for a bit of volunteer trail cleanup work, there’s one challenge that’s built especially for you: Colorado’s Fourteeners, a series of 53 mountain peaks that exceed 14,000 feet.
While it’s true that some of the climbs are only for experienced trekkers, others are relatively easy. All take you through an outdoor paradise of wildlife, scenery, flora and fauna that is unrivalled anywhere on Earth. (Enjoy the windflowers, like the Indian Paintbrush, below, but please do not pick any. The flowers are as much a part of the landscape as the peaks themselves, and ought to remain right where they are!)
You’ve undoubtedly heard of a few of the peaks by name: Pikes Peak, the most famous, served as the inspiration for the writing of America the Beautiful; Mount Evans, just west of Denver, was named for John Evans, who did much to develop Denver (the town of Evanston, Illinois was named for him); and, Long’s Peak, which presides over the majestic beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park.
A few things to consider before gallivanting off to the top of your chosen peak:
Respect the Altitude and its Effects: The thinner air in Colorado’s higher elevations can quickly result in altitude sickness, which is typically brought on by doing too much, too soon, at too high an altitude, with little or no hydration. Take your time to acclimate to the area before exerting yourself. A day or two spent in leisurely activities at lower altitudes will pay off once you’ve begun your hike.
Pack It Out: Colorado prides itself on encouraging a “Leave No Trace” attitude toward exploring its wilderness areas. As the name implies, it’s fine to explore all you want (stay on trails unless otherwise indicated). But there should be no trace that you were there once you’ve left. This includes packing out everything you brought with you.
When preparing to make your trip, check out our Men’s Adventure Wear and Women’s Adventure Wear to select just the right combination of rugged and casual clothing that will help you to thoroughly enjoy your travels to the Wild West, whatever your elevation!
(Click the link at the end of this sentence for more information about Colorado’s Fourteeners.)