Environment

Colorado's Most Popular Fourteeners Today

Mount Bierstadt.
Mount Bierstadt. 14ers.com
The third annual 14ers.com analysis of the most popular Colorado fourteeners shows that their use by hikers continues to go up in most major ranges in the state and particularly along the Front Range, where the numbers are nearly as elevated as the peaks themselves.

Click the top image to see a slideshow of the Colorado fourteeners with the most hiker use (plus a bonus second-place finisher) in all seven ranges represented in the study, conducted by the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative.

The first CFI study covered the year 2015, and it estimated the number of hiker-use days at 260,000. In the analysis for 2016, that total went up to 311,000. For the latest report, based on data from 2017, the figure has risen to 334,000 — a more than 22 percent increase over just two years.

Note that 334,000 hiker use days doesn't necessarily translate to 334,000 individuals, since some people scale multiple fourteeners in a single day.

Use estimates went down in only two ranges: the Sawatch, which fell from 115,000 in 2016 to 89,000 last year, and Sangre de Cristo, down from 17,000 to 13,000 over the same span. In the Elk Mountains, meanwhile, the days of use held steady at approximately 9,000.

But hiker usage at four other ranges is up, with the Front Range fourteeners — Mount Bierstadt, Torreys Peak/Grays Peak, Mount Evans, Pikes Peak and Longs Peak — experiencing a genuine boom. Around 72,000 hiker-use days were recorded in 2015, and 75,000 in 2016. Circa 2017, the estimate is 110,000, an increase of almost one-third.

Continue to see 14ers.com hiker use estimates for every Colorado fourteener, as well as those for both 2015 and 2016, illustrated by photos from the website. That's followed by a methodology to explain how the digits were calculated.

click to enlarge Torreys Peak/Grays Peak. - 14ERS.COM
Torreys Peak/Grays Peak.
FRONT RANGE FOURTEENERS IN 2017

Best combined estimate: 110,000
2016 estimate: 75,000
2015 estimate: 72,000

1. Mount Bierstadt — 35,000-40,000#
2016 estimate: 20,000-25,000
2015 estimate: 20,000-25,000

2. Torreys Peak/Grays Peak — 25,000-30,000*
2016 estimate: 20,000-25,000
2015 estimate: 20,000-25,000

3 (tie). Mount Evans — 15,000-20,000
2016 estimate: 10,000-15,000
2015 estimate: 10,000-15,000

3 (tie). Pikes Peak — 15,000-20,000
2016 estimate: 15,000-20,000
2015 estimate: 7,000-10,000

3 (tie). Longs Peak — 15,000-20,000
2016 estimate: 7,000-10,000
2015 estimate: 7,000-10,000

TENMILE RANGE FOURTEENER

Best estimate: 24,000
2016 estimate: 18,000
2015 estimate: 18,000

Quandary Peak — 20,000-25,000
2016 estimate: 15,000-20,000
2015 estimate: 15,000-20,000
SAWATCH RANGE

Best combined estimate: 89,000
2016 estimate: 115,000
2015 estimate: 95,000

1. Mount Elbert — 20,000-25,000*
2016 estimate: 25,000-30,000
2015 estimate: 20,000-25,000

2. Mount Massive — 7,000-10,000^
2016 estimate: 7,000-10,000
2015 estimate: 7,000-10,000

3 (tie). Mount Harvard — 5,000-7,000^
2016 estimate: 7,000-10,000
2015 estimate: 3,000-5,000

3 (tie). La Plata Peak — 5,000-7,000*
2016 estimate: 5,000-7,000
2015 estimate: 5,000-7,000

3 (tie). Mount Shavano/Tabeauche Peak — 5,00-7,000*
2016 estimate: 3,000-5,000
2015 estimate: 5,000-7,000

3 (tie). Mount Belford/Mount Oxford — 5,000-7,000^
2016 estimate: 7,000-10,000
2015 estimate: 7,000-10,000

3 (tie). Mount Princeton — 5,000-7,000*
2016 estimate: 10,000-15,000
2015 estimate: 5,000-7,000

3 (tie). Mount Yale — 5,000-7,000
2016 estimate: 7,000-10,000
2015 estimate: 7,000-10,000

3 (tie). Huron Peak — 5,000-7,000*
2016 estimate: 10,000-15,000
2015 estimate: 7,000-10,000

4 (tie). Mount Antero — 3,000-5,000
2016 estimate: 3,000-5,000
2015 estimate: 3,000-5,000

4 (tie). Mount Columbia — 3,000-5,000^
2016 estimate: 3,000-5,000
2015 estimate: 3,000-5,000

4 (tie). Missouri Mountain — 3,000-5,000^
2016 estimate: 5,000-7,000
2015 estimate: 3,000-5,000

4 (tie). Mt. of the Holy Cross — 3,000-5,000
2016 estimate: 5,000-7,000
2015 estimate: 3,000-5,000

SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS

Best combined estimate: 48,000
2016 estimate: 43,000
2015 estimate: 20,000

1. Handies Peak — 5,000-7,000*
2016 estimate: 3,000-5,000
2015 estimate: 3,000-5,000

2 (tie). Uncompahgre Peak — 3,000-5,000
2016 estimate: 3,000-5,000
2015 estimate: 3,000-5,000

2 (tie). Mount Eolus — 3,000-5,000
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: <1,000

2 (tie). Windom Peak/Sunlight Peak — 3,000-5,000
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: 1,000-3,000

2 (tie). Mount Sneffels — 3,000-5,000*
2016 estimate: 5,000-7,000
2015 estimate: 1,000-3,000

2 (tie). Redcloud Peak/Sunshine Peak — 3,000-5,000*
2016 estimate: 3,000-5,000
2015 estimate: 1,000-3,000

2 (tie). Wetterhorn Peak — 3,000-5,000
2016 estimate: 3,000-5,000
2015 estimate: 1,000-3,000

2 (tie). San Luis Peak — 3,000-5,000
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: 1,000-3,000

3 (tie). Mount Wilson — 1,000-3,000
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: <1,000

3 (tie). El Diente Peak — 1,000-3,000
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: <1,000

3 (tie). Wilson Peak — 1,000-3,000*
2016 estimate: 3,000-5,000
2015 estimate: <1,000

MOSQUITO RANGE

Best combined estimate: 41,000
2016 estimate: 34,000
2015 estimate: 33,000

1. Mount Sherman — 20,000-25,000*
2016 estimate: 15,000-20,000
2015 estimate: 10,000-15,000

2. Mount Lincoln/Mount Bross/Mount Democrat — 15,000-20,000*
2016 estimate: 15,000-20,000
2015 estimate: 15,000-20,000

SANGRE DE CRISTO RANGE

Best combined estimate: 13,000
2016 estimate: 17,000
2015 estimate: 14,000

1 (tie). Blanca Peak/Ellingwood Point — 1,000-3,000*
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: 1,000-3,000

1 (tie). Crestone Peak — 1,000-3,000
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: 1,000-3,000

1 (tie). Crestone Needle — 1,000-3,000
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: 1,000-3,000

1 (tie). Kit Carson Peak/Challenger Point — 1,000-3,000*
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: 1,000-3,000

1 (tie). Humboldt Peak — 1,000-3,000
2016 estimate: 3,000-5,000
2015 estimate: 3,000-5,000

1 (tie). Culebra Peak — 1,000-3,000
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: <1,000

1 (tie). Mount Lindsey — 1,000-3,000
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: 1,000-3,000

1 (tie). Little Bear Peak — 1,000-3,000
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: <1,000

ELK MOUNTAINS

Best combined estimate: 9,000
2016 estimate: 9,000
2015 estimate: 7,000

1 (tie). Castle Peak — 1,000-3,000*
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: 3,000-5,000

1 (tie). Maroon Peak — 1,000-3,000
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: <1,000

1 (tie). Capitol Peak — 1,000-3,000
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: <1,000

1 (tie). Snowmass Mountain — 1,000-3,000
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: <1,000

1 (tie). Pyramid Peak — 1,000-3,000
2016 estimate: 1,000-3,000
2015 estimate: <1,000

*Indicates data drawn from CFI TRAFx recorders, with data gap and early/late season infills from either previous years or nearby peak data. All other estimates are interpolated from a correlation between TRAFx data and reported 14ers.com peak use statistics.

^Indicates US Forest Service counter at trailhead to provide upper bound on hiking use for 14ers accessed by the trailhead.

#Indicates US Forest Service counter and trailhead register analysis.

Range and overall totals are adjusted to account for the frequent practice of summiting multiple peaks in one day.
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