Suggestion for 14er in Breckenridge Area?

Colorado 14er peak questions, condition requests and other info. 14er Trip Reports, Condition Reports
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Suggestion for 14er in Breckenridge Area?

Postby melissakansas » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:58 pm

Good afternoon! We are taking a trip to CO this summer, specifically the Breckenridge area around the 4th of July. I hope we can do 1-2 14ers this trip. I have done two 14ers already in that area: Quandary and Sherman. Wanted to get suggestions on which of these three are "better" (yes I know this is subjective).


Or any other in the area. I feel comfortable doing a moderate peak, but I am coming with someone who hasn't hiked a 14er before (so I want it to be a good first experience).

If anyone has information on these three, or others, please post I'm specifically looking for estimated hiking time, whether they are nice hikes (i.e. pretty, or just all rocky), etc. Any info is helpful!


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Re: Suggestion for 14er in Breckenridge Area?

Postby Tornadoman » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:06 pm

The three 14ers that you mention are all easily done from the same trailhead (Kite Lake) in a day. Hitting the summits of all of them, plus the lesser ranked "Cameron" which is between Democrat and Lincoln should be about the same difficulty as Quandary, (and will probably take about the same amount of time). The best of the group is Lincoln, than Democrat, and Bross is last by far, in my opinion. Democrat is quite rocky, Lincoln is somewhat rocky at the real top, and Bross is a loose, scree mess at the top. I thought that the views from these peaks are decent, probably better than the views from Sherman, but not as nice as the views from Quandary.

I should mention that the actual summit of Bross is on private land and climbing to the summit is illegal. Many people climb to the top anyway, so use your judgement (the trail passes quite close to the true summit).

I see your user name, what part of Kansas are you from? I am in the Wichita area.

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Re: Suggestion for 14er in Breckenridge Area?

Postby BenfromtheEast » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:13 pm

Tornadoman said it well. You can always climb Democrat first and decide on the others from there.

Also check out Huron Peak. It's an easier 14er, very scenic, and not too far from Breckenridge.

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Re: Suggestion for 14er in Breckenridge Area?

Postby peter303 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:54 pm

The northern Sawatches are not that far away. Its about 15 minutes from Breckenridge to the Copper mountain turnoff. Then another 30 minutes over Fremont Pass thru Leadville to the northernmost trailhead of Elbert/Massive. Elbert is considered the easier of the two.

Within 30 minutes south of Leadville there a dozen Sawatches.

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Re: Suggestion for 14er in Breckenridge Area?

Postby huffy13 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:49 pm

If you are set on staying in Breck, I think the Democrat, Lincoln, Cameron and Bross loop is your best bet. It isn't too hard at all, but it is a little rocky and scree-filled in places, mainly the descent of Bross. I think Huron is a great one, but anything in the Sawatch range is at least an hour drive from Breck. For the drive time, I almost think the Grays/Torreys hike is worth it...and it is about a 15 min. shorter drive to get there. Any one of the peaks near Leadville are great and if you don't mind getting up an hour earlier so you can get off to a good, early start, by all means get one of them...they are far more scenic than the Decalibron loop from Kite Lake. IMHO
Seems like the times that I need a mountain the most are the times that I can not get to them.

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Re: Suggestion for 14er in Breckenridge Area?

Postby melissakansas » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:44 pm

Wow everyone, thanks for the good suggestions! I was excited before, and even more so now!

Yes, I think we will stay in Breck, so we have other things to do that week in and around town. I really would love to come back next summer and check out some other ranges, since I will have about tapped out the Mosquito and Tenmile Ranges (hopefully) after this trip.

Where is good suggested lodging (cities) for Sawatch and Elk Mountain Ranges? Buena Vista, Leadville, Aspen, Glenwood Springs?

I actually grew up in Wichita! Live in Lawrence now, go Jayhawks! :-)

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Re: Suggestion for 14er in Breckenridge Area?

Postby TravelingMatt » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:20 pm

If you want to stay in one place and hit a variety of ranges, the I-70 corridor (Dillon/Silverthorne/Frisco) is your best bet. I live here for a reason. :D

Leadville has a couple of decent hotels and a lot of lousy ones. The only chain is the Super 8 and it sucks. Also, Leadville has a lot of events during the summer, when the entire town sells out.

Buena Vista and Salida are good options for the central and southern Sawatch. Not a lot of chains but plenty of independent motels, and usually plenty of rooms available. Anywhere you want to stay the rates will be higher on the weekends; my experience is this is most pronounced in Bunie for some reason.

For the Elk range you might as well stay in Aspen. Carbondale hotels aren't a whole lot cheaper, and Aspen is closer and more interesting.

If you bring a tent and/or are able to sleep in your vehicle, your flexibility increases greatly, as does your remaining disposable income.
13ers. I'm halfway through. What's YOUR excuse?

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Re: Suggestion for 14er in Breckenridge Area?

Postby Tornadoman » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:53 am

I like to stay in Salida for the Sawatch, and I like the Days Inn there. As mentioned above, Salida lodging is cheaper than Buena Vista's for some reason. Salida is more interesting than Leadville in my opinion, so I generally stay there even if it makes the drive to 14er trailheads a bit longer. The historical district (downtown I suppose) is a fun place to walk around with it's variety of shops. Make sure to try Amica's pizza while you are there. I don't have enough experience with the Elks to offer much advice there.

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