Colorado’s Best Fourteeners for Alpine Hiking Adventures This Summer

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Eighty million years after continental plates collided and forced the Rocky Mountains skyward, the Chinese ruler Shun began making ritualized ascents of small mountains around his kingdom. During this Xia Dynasty 4,000 years ago, countless disciples emulated their emperor and unknowingly introduced peak bagging to the world.

Fast-forward several millennia—more precisely to 1923—when Colorado mountaineers Bill Ervin and Carl Blaurock followed Shun’s lead by becoming the first to climb all 54 Colorado peaks higher than 14,000 feet. In 2020 alone, Golden, CO-based nonprofit Colorado Fourteener Initiative (minimizing environmental impacts through education and trail building) estimates that 300,000 ‘fourteener’ devotees will attempt to “bag a ‘teener.”

While every hiker, climber, or mountain runner has their favorites, and any “best…

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