10 Stunning Mountains in Colorado

Written by Tracy Graham
Updated: September 27, 2022
© iStock.com/SeanXu
Share this post on:

The mountains in Colorado are some of the most beautiful in the country. For mountain lovers, Colorado is one of the best places to be. The stunning Rocky Mountains are the mountains that most people think about when they think about Colorado. But Colorado is also home to the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and several other impressive mountain ranges.

Whether you love hiking, skiing, camping, or mountain climbing the mountains in Colorado offer all the excitement, adventure, and majesty you could wish for. Because of the altitude of the state and the elevation of the mountains in Colorado if you’re visiting from out of state to go hiking, skiing, or mountain climbing you may need to take a couple of days to adjust to the altitude before you attempt any outdoor activities.

10 Mountains In Colorado

There are dozens of impressive mountains to hike and climb in Colorado. But if you want to see the best views from the mountains in Colorado and get a sense of what Colorado is really all about you should visit any of these mountains in Colorado:

Mount Elbert

Twin Lakes Reservoir

©iStock.com/SeanXu

Located in: San Isobel National Forest

Height: 14,440 feet

Nearby City:  Leadville

Known For:  Mount Elbert is the highest point in Colorado and the highest of the mountains in Colorado. It’s also the second highest point in the lower 48 states. The views from the summit of Mount Elbert are breathtaking, if you can get up there. The high altitude can make it tough for even experienced hikers to take on the climb. There are five primary trails that will take hikers to the summit.

The gentlest trail is the North Mount Elbert Trail which takes hikers up the northeast ridge of the mountain. It’s not an especially difficult hike so hikers of all abilities can do it. But, hikers should know that it can take 7-9 hours to reach the summit for less-experienced hikers. If you’re going to hike to the summit makes sure that you’re physically able to handle that and make sure that you pack plenty of water, snacks and weather appropriate clothing. Hikers can pick up the North Mount Elbert Trail easily from Leadville.

Pike’s Peak

Pike’s Peak Colorado

©iStock.com/William Reagan

Located in: Pike National Forest

Height: 14,111 feet

Nearby City:  Colorado Springs

Known For: Pike’s Peak is probably the most well-known mountain in Colorado. It sits just outside of Colorado Springs, a town with a long history. Pike’s Peak is a popular tourist destination and it’s got lots of amenities that make it comfortable and accessible. There is a paved toll road that goes up the mountain so people can drive almost to the summit. There are restaurants, gifts shops, and lookouts on the road that leads to the top of the mountain. Camping is an option but there are plenty of hotels and other places to stay in Colorado Springs that are close to Pike’s Peak.

If you are going to hike or bike Pike’s Peak start with the Barr Trail. That’s the most popular trail and it takes hikers up to the summit from the east. Be prepared for a tough climb though. The elevation rises quickly and the trail is about 14 miles.

The summit of Pike’s Peak is a National Historic Landmark and it’s also the home of the United States Army Pikes Peak Research Laboratory, where the Army studies the impact of high altitude on the human body.

Mount Evans

Mt Evans

©iStock.com/Paul Hamilton

Located in: Mount Evans Wilderness

Height: 14,265 feet

Nearby City: Denver

Known For: Mount Evans is one of the most recognizable mountains in Colorado because it hangs impressively over the Denver city skyline. Whenever photos or images of Denver show a mountain in the background that mountain is Mount Evans. Mount Evans is a popular destination for hikers, runners, and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. But this mountain has one unique thing that other mountains don’t have: it’s own scenic drive.

The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is a 21 mile stretch of paved round that winds up over Mount Evans almost to the summit of the mountain but not quite. This byway makes for a stunning drive and makes the beauty of the mountain accessible to anyone who can drive. So even those who can’t hike can see pristine mountain lakes, fields of wild mountain flowers, snow capped peaks, and stunning views. There are lots of lookouts where cars can pull off and people can get out to admire the stunning mountain views all around.

Mount Massive

Mount Massive

©Jeffrey Beall / Creative Commons – License

Located in:

Height: 14,419 feet

Nearby City:  Leadville

Known For: Mount Massive stands fairly close to Mount Elbert on the outskirts of the small town of Leadville. Leadville was originally a mining town but now it hosts many of the tourists and hikers who come to the area specifically to hike, run, bike, and explore Mount Elbert and Mount Massive.

Mount Massive is the third highest peak in the lower 48 states behind Washington’s Mount Whitney and Mount Elbert. Even though this is a very tall mountain the primary trail to the summit isn’t that difficult. Intermediate and over hikers can easily handle this hike. Hiking up to the summit of Mount Massive will take you past some stunning glacial lakes where you can see deer, moose, mountain goats, elk, and many other animals. There are some water crossings that you’ll have to go through hiking to the summit so be prepared for water crossings and hike carefully in cold weather when there could be ice and snow.

Castle Peak

Castle Peak Colorado

©iStock.com/northwoodsphoto

Located in: Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

Height: 14,265 feet

Nearby City:  Crested Butte

Known For: Castle Peak is one of the more unique mountains in Colorado because it sits adjacent to a snowfield that that Conundrum Peak on the other side. The glacial snowfield and Colorado weather mean that hiking Castle Peak almost always means a snow hike. The only time the trail isn’t a snow climb is during the hottest part of the summer when the trail becomes a loose gravel trail. It’s best to avoid hiking this peak during the summer and embrace the snow covered majesty by hiking when it’s cold enough to snow. As long as you take the right precautions and have the right equipment hiking in the snow can be a wonderful experience.

The Northeast Ridge Trail up Castle Peak is the easiest climb to the summit but you may be scrambling through some deep snow depending on what time of the year you visit Castle Peak. You may come across some bikers and horseback riders on trails that cross the Northeast Ridge Trail that are close to the base of the mountain.

Mount Harvard

Mount Harvard, Colorado

©jokermanj / Creative Commons – License

Located in: San Isobel National Forest

Height: 14,419 feet

Nearby City:  Buena Vista

Known For: Mount Harvard is the fourth highest peak in the lower 48 states. This mountain in Colorado is another very popular hiking , fishing, and camping destination but it is a wilderness destination that doesn’t have any of the amenities that Pike’s Peak has. The trip the summit can be quite a challenge even for experienced hikers. But after some minor rock climbing and scrambling the views from the summit are absolutely majestic.

The primary trail to the summit is only 14 miles, but because the last half of the trek is difficult and involves steep inclines and some rock scrabbling most hikers do this hike as a two day hike where they get about three fourths of the way to the summit on the first day, camp overnight, and then hit the last quarter mile or so to the summit the next day. The best way to approach the summit is to take the Horn Fork Valley Trail to Bear Lake, then camp near Bear Lake and do the final ascent the next day.

Pyramid Peak

Pyramid Peak

©EE One / Creative Commons – License

Located in: Elk Mountains

Height: 14,036 feet

Nearby City:  Aspen

Known For: Pyramid Peak is a rather remote mountain that is only recommended for experienced hikers and trail runners. The primary trail to the summit is only about 7 miles but because it’s tough terrain it can take all day to get to the summit depending on your physical fitness and experience with this kind of hiking or trail running. Camping spots are available for multiple day hikes but those spots need to be reserved in advance. In the summer months the camping spots fill up quickly so book ahead of time.

The best approach to the summit of Pyramid Peak is to start at Maroon Lake and pick up the Crater Lake trail in the forest past the lake. Before you get to the lake you will see the entrance to the Pyramid Trail. Take that trail to get to the summit. But beware- the trail isn’t well marked at higher elevations so you will need a trail map and a GPS to stay on track. You can also take a side trail that loops around Crater Lake before heading for the summit it you want to see some of the wild life in the area and a beautiful mountain lake.

Uncompahgre Peak

Uncompahgre Peak

©iStock.com/nick1803

Located in: Uncompahgre National Forest

Height: 14,308 feet

Nearby City:  Lake City

Known For: Uncompahgre Peak is definitely one of the more challenging mountains in Colorado to hike. It’s a volcanic mountain even though it’s not actually a volcano and it has a very steep ascent. If you can make it up the quick ascent you’ll be treated to winding mountain paths through some of the most beautiful mountain plateaus in the country. Flat mountain meadows with mirror smooth lakes, wildflowers, and many different native animals await hikes to make the tough trek up Uncompahgre Peak.

It is a difficult climb and only experienced hikers should attempt it. To get to the summit the best approach is to take Uncompahgre National Forest Service Trail Number 239, which starts from the end of the Nellie Creek Road, east-southeast of the peak. Follow that trail and after some quick scrambling to get up a steep ascent the trail is less strenuous and is rather a pleasant hike to the top.

Mount Lincoln

Mount Lincoln

©Thomson200 / Creative Commons – License

Located in: Pike National Forest

Height: 14,285 feet

Nearby City:  Alma

Known For: Mount Lincoln is a popular hiking spot because hikers can usually hit the summits of Mount Lincoln, Mount Bross, and Mount Democrat all in one hike. The peak of Mount Lincoln is usually snow-covered though, so you should carry some climbing and snow spikes with you unless you’re hiking in the very hottest part of the year.

The best way to start the climb to the top of Mount Lincoln is to get the Kite Lake Trailhead, at the end of Park County Road 8. From there it’s a pretty straightforward climb to the top. There was a brief period where Mount Lincoln was closed to hikers but the latest information receive is that the trails are open to hikers again.

Blanca Peak

Blanca Peak Colorado

©iStock.com/RoschetzkyIstockPhoto

Located in: Sangre De Cristo Mountains

Height: 14,350 feet

Nearby City:  Alamosa

Known For: Blanca Peak rises almost directly out of the stunning Lake Como. This area in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains is a very popular spot with hikers and campers. But, it’s not a tourist destination so it never gets overly crowded. The trail from Lake Como up through the mountain is beautiful. And along the way you can see many of the wild animals that visit the lake. But the Lake Como trail isn’t the only option for getting to the summit.

Everyone starts at Lake Como because that’s where the parking lot is. But then you can choose from three different trail options to get to the summit.  The first is to take the trail from Lake Como which is the most popular option. The second option is taking the Huerfano River Valley Access Trail. But, this is a trail that’s really only for experienced hikers. It’s a tough trail over snowy and rocky terrain. The last option is to access the Blanca trail from Route 160. There’s a 4×4 road that hikers can use to get up about halfway onto the mountain. From there they can pick up another trail that will take them to the summit.

10 Tallest Mountains In Colorado

  • Mount Elbert
  • Mount Massive
  • Mount Harvard
  • Blanca Peak
  • La Plata Peak
  • Uncompahgre Peak
  • Crestone Peak
  • Mount Lincoln
  • Castle Peak
  • Grays Peak

Highest Point In Colorado

Mount Elbert-14,440 ft

Up Next:


The Featured Image

Twin Lakes Reservoir
Mount Elbert
© iStock.com/SeanXu

Share this post on:

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.