August 1 marks National Mountain Climbing Day. It was established in honor of Bobby Matthews and his friend Josh Madigan, who successfully climbed the 46 high peaks of New York State’s Adirondack Mountains. These two young men climbed the final 46th peak (Whiteface Mountain) on August 1, 2015 and were formally inducted into the “Adirondack 46er Club” in May, 2016. In honor of this National Holiday, we've decided to put together a list of our favorite mountains and hikes, ranging from Class 1's all the way to Class 4's (where climbing comes into play), near Denver. Get out there and explore!
*Pro Tip: Click each photo for more information about each hike!*
Staunton Ranch and Bugling Elk Loop Trail Staunton State Park, Evergreen Class: 1
Staunton Ranch and Bugling Elk Loop Trail is a 8.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Pine, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. However, the trail is divided up by sections, making it possible for a much shorter hike with equally great views!
Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail Rocky Mountain National Park Class: 2
Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail is a 9.5 mile out and back trail featuring outstanding views, an Alpine Lake and Waterfalls. This 5 star hike is rated as difficult and offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September.
Mt. Bierstadt/Mt. Evans via The Sawtooth Guanella Pass, Clear Creek County Class: 3
The Sawtooth is a classic alpine ridge that connects two popular 14ers, Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans. The long, engaging scramble is what makes this route a classic, ending in an exposed ledge that provides reasonable access to the west face of Mt. Evans.
Capitol Peak - Maroon Bells White River National Forest Class: 4
With incredible views of your intended conquest for the entire approach, this is a truly unique hike. Trek through cattle grazing grounds to Capitol Lake before spending hours talus-hopping, traversing, and scrambling along Capitol's famous "Knife Edge" and ridge. This mountain isn't regarded as Colorado's hardest 14er for nothing!