View Full Version : Which 14er?

05-20-2011, 10:47
I noticed that Mt. Elbert, Mt. Massive, and San Luis Peak are all accessible from the CT. I may only have time to do one. Any opinions on which one is the most scenic would be appreciated.

05-20-2011, 11:00
San Luis is definitely most remote, least visited, and most easily walked from the CT. It only takes about an hour round trip, so you might actually make time for one of the harder ones, too. Elbert or Massive will have crowds, but more sense of accomplishment. Massive has my vote for scenery, but only because the trail is a little longer and you see more along the way.

The Solemates
05-20-2011, 11:20
we did elbert and loved it

05-20-2011, 13:56
Mt. Elbert is the highest point in Colorado and second highest in the contiguous USA. (14,440') If you are only doing one, thats the one. You should consider picking up San Luis Peak as well if the weather is nice. It's quick and easy.

05-21-2011, 03:28
I did Massive last year and it was amazing. I've never done Elbert or San Luis though. I imagine the scenery on Elbert is just about the same as Massive since they're right next to each other.

05-21-2011, 03:37
If you already are doing the CT Mt Elbert DOES NOT take that much more time to do! You can even bypass a small amount of CT and take some alternate routes up/down Elbert instead of taking the CT proper. It's like a blue blaze in some ways.

05-22-2011, 16:58
Thanks everybody! I'm considering doing all three now. Will I need additional maps besides the Bear Creek Survey maps (haven't ordered them yet to look for myself) if I wish to take the Blue Blazes to keep from back-tracking?

05-22-2011, 17:09
Jaime Compos has an excellent list of maps needed to hike 14ers near the CT:

Hit CTRL F in your browser and look for:

"Fourteeners and Alternate Routes Along The Colorado Trail"

The Bear Creek maps (as with most trail specific maps) won't show the wider corridor to take most alternate routes and/or side trips. You'll want to take the appropriate TI map if you wish to hike certain 14ers.

Not ideal, but if you have the Bear Creek map and want a wider view (without spending the $11 per map needed), the Delorme Gazetteer for CO will show most of the side trails from the CT (if without much detail). (http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeCCtdItemDetail.jsp?item=108&section=10048)

Not really meant for hiking, it may be OK for some of the more popular and well marked 14ers. Cut it into the appropriate sections for the mountain you wish to hike.

If you can, try not to hit 14ers on weekends as they can get crowded.

Good luck!

05-23-2011, 14:08
If you can, try not to hit 14ers on weekends as they can get crowded.

Mags gives really good advice but I'll disagree with this one. For someone coming from Alabama and not used to the HIGH high country, it could be helpful to have others around. These Mountains in question aren't technical so the crowds don't equal rocks falling on you like they do on other peaks.

There is plenty of isolation elsewhere on the CT.

If you really really hate crowds and are there on a weekend, hike before dawn and watch the sunset from the top... you'll likely be alone.

This may be over ambitious but I plan on climbing: Massive, Elbert, Missouri, Belford, Oxford, Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Shavano, and San Luis during my thru attempt this summer depending on weather and energy levels. Might skip on Columbia, not sure... I don't have a timetable so I can take as long as needed to hike so I figure it will be nice to try and enjoy some summits. This Hike has the potential to double the number of 14'ers Ive climbed.

I hope to see a few of you out there.... or UP there.

05-23-2011, 15:04
TI has recently released new versions of map #140 (Weminuche Wilderness) and #141 (Telluride, Silverton, Ouray, Lake City) These cover the CDT from Wolfcreek Pass to 6 miles West of Spring Creek Pass (Segments 4-11) and CT Segments 22-26. They use the latest trail data are 100% up to date at the present time.

Although these maps lack the navigational details provided by the Mapbooks, they are great for a bigger picture and for figuring out the names of peaks you pass along the way. The Mapbooks will get you there and these maps will tell you what you are looking at.

They look like the older ones which may still be on shelves, so make sure they have a copyright revision of 2010 or 2011.

One note of caution - the Mapbooks and gps waypoints for both the CT and the CDT in Colorado use the newer NAD83 map datum. The TI maps use the old NAD27 datum. You should change this setting back and forth in your gps to make it match whichever maps you are using. (In a recreational gps, NAD83 and WGS84 can be used interchangeably)

05-29-2011, 10:11
Heading south, the first Mt. Elbert trail exits the CT at Mapbook mile K013XT of segment 11. This trail is one that has been re-worked by CFI (Colorado Fourteeners Initiative). You do not need any additional maps to find it or hike up it. If you come down the south trail you will rejoin the CT at K044XT. Again, no extra maps are necessary. This is one of the most climbed peaks in Colorado and these trails are well marked and hard to miss. You will likely see more people in segments 10 and 11 than you will anywhere else along the CT and 95% of them will be climbing Mt. Elbert or Mt. Massive. The turnoff to Mt. Massive in segment 10 was recently rebuilt by CFI and is at waypoint J101XT. It is clearly marked and again, hard to miss. The CT goes very close to San Luis Peak and again, no additional maps are necessary. It is is particularly enjoyable because it comes without all the people. It is also a good place to meet someone to give you a ride down into Creede if you decide to go via the jeep trail instead of Spring Creek Pass. Most of the San Luis climbers go in and out that way. If you decide you like peak bagging and choose to go over Hope Pass to do Missouri, Oxford, Belford, and possibly Mt. Harvard then you should probably get TI map 129 to help find the way in and out again to the CT. This is a fun side trip as you can do three 14er's in a single day.