Slc vs denver mountains. Utah vs Colorado mountains.

14ers in California and Washington state or any other peak in the USA
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Jbrow327
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Slc vs denver mountains. Utah vs Colorado mountains.

Post by Jbrow327 » Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:16 pm

Hey guys. I am 28 and I've lived in the slc utah area my whole life. I have never been to denver. Weird I know.
How does the front range in denver compare to the wasatch in slc? How about Colorado and Utah in general? I'm assuming when it comes to big mountains utah cant really compare to Colorado and when it comes to desert Colorado cant really compare to utah, right?
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Re: Slc vs denver mountains. Utah vs Colorado mountains.

Post by Ptglhs » Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:46 pm

With the exception of Kings Peak Utah's 13ers don't see anywhere near the level of traffic that Colorado's fourteeners do. They're further away from roads so many, maybe most, of CO's 14ers can be done as day hikes, unlike a 40mile slog to get to and from Emmons Ridge. I believe Utah's are slightly younger, geologically speaking, which is why they are on average a bit harder than CO's. If you've climbed above 12k in Utah you should be just fine on anything below 2+. If you've experience on UT class 3 then you should be fine on nearly any of the 14ers.

Hope this helps. I can't comment on the Wasatch in particular, nor the relative aridity of the 2 states.
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Re: Slc vs denver mountains. Utah vs Colorado mountains.

Post by Scott P » Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:25 am

Ptglhs synopsis is good.
How does the front range in denver compare to the wasatch in slc?
There are many differences between the two ranges and other than they are both mountain ranges, they aren't that similar.

The Front Range is a folded range while the Wasatch is a fault block range. This is why the Wasatch is overall much steeper than the Front Range.

The Wasatch is also overall more rugged, but the Front Range does have some rugged mountains in places like the Indian Peaks and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Overall, the Front Range is higher than the Wasatch, but the timberline is much lower in the Wasatch.

The high peaks in the Wasatch are also closer to the cities than are the high peaks in the Front Range.

Overall, the Wasatch gets a lot more snow than the Front Range, but the Front Range gets a lot more summer rain and a lot more thunderstorms.

These are just some of the differences.
I'm assuming when it comes to big mountains utah cant really compare to Colorado and when it comes to desert Colorado cant really compare to utah, right?
It depends on what you mean by "big mountains" and comparison. If you mean only alpine mountains, Colorado has more alpine mountains than Utah does. Utah's mountains do tend to rise higher above their bases though, so usually look bigger. Overall, I'd say that Utah's mountains are more rugged, but Colorado is where to go to get elevation when it comes to the sheer number of peaks in the 12, 13, and 14,000 foot ranges. Utah has a lot more peaks that are difficult to climb. Utah has several times more peaks that are technical than Colorado does, though most of the most difficult peaks in Utah are below timberline.

Climbing the big peaks in winter tends to be much easier in Colorado than Utah because of accessibility.

As far as the desert goes, there are places in Colorado that compare quite well with some of the canyon areas of Utah. Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado National Monument, the Mcinnis Canyons, and the Delores River Canyons all compare well to places such as Canyonlands National Park or the San Rafael Swell. Where Colorado doesn't do as well in that catagory is with the number of slot canyons. Colorado does have slot canyons, but Utah has far more.

As far as the very highest peaks in each state goes, finishing Utah's 13ers requires about the same effort as finishing the Colorado 14ers. Both are similar in technical difficulty. Colorado has more 14ers than Utah has 13ers, but Utah's 13ers tend to be a lot farther from the roads. Most Colorado 14ers are climable as day hikes by average hikers. None of Utah's 13ers are (by average hikers). All the Utah 13ers but Tokewanna require 20-40 mile hikes round trip.
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Re: Slc vs denver mountains. Utah vs Colorado mountains.

Post by Jbrow327 » Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:27 am

Thanks guys. Very informative.
I have a job where I drive from slc to grand junction and back 4 times a week. So I get to see a lot of different scenery on the way. I go to Clifton on the east side of the grand valley. Is that the san Juan range I can see to the south from interstate 70? Are there any 14ers within view?
Thanks.
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Re: Slc vs denver mountains. Utah vs Colorado mountains.

Post by Conor » Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:55 am

I do think the traffic is picking up on the wasatch front. Bcc and lcc are slammed on the weekends (and despite what many think, even on sundays).

Last time i ran up pfifferhorn the pine lake below was as busy as brainerd lake.

I do agree, the wasatch is generally more "rugged". But there is something for everyone in both ranges. Colorado scrambling rankings tend to be light, especially here on this forum.
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Re: Slc vs denver mountains. Utah vs Colorado mountains.

Post by Scott P » Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:10 am

Jbrow327 wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:27 am
Is that the san Juan range I can see to the south from interstate 70?
Yes.
Are there any 14ers within view?
Yes. You can see Uncompaghre, Wetterhorn, and Sneffels. The San Juans are Colorado's best range, at least in my opinion.
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Re: Slc vs denver mountains. Utah vs Colorado mountains.

Post by Scott P » Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:17 am

Conor wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:55 am
I do think the traffic is picking up on the wasatch front. Bcc and lcc are slammed on the weekends (and despite what many think, even on sundays).
For sure. Same with the Alpine Loop and Mill Creek. Unless you arrive early, good luck finding parking at the popular trailheads. Luckily there are a lot of less popular routes and areas in the Wasatch, but the popular trails are getting really crowded. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a shuttle bus system soon, similar to the one at Maroon Lakes.
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Re: Slc vs denver mountains. Utah vs Colorado mountains.

Post by Jbrow327 » Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:25 am

Scott P wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:17 am
Conor wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:55 am
I do think the traffic is picking up on the wasatch front. Bcc and lcc are slammed on the weekends (and despite what many think, even on sundays).
For sure. Same with the Alpine Loop and Mill Creek. Unless you arrive early, good luck finding parking at the popular trailheads. Luckily there are a lot of less popular routes and areas in the Wasatch, but the popular trails are getting really crowded. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a shuttle bus system soon, similar to the one at Maroon Lakes.
Also, mirror lake highway when it's open seems to be way busy the last few years. Especially mirror lake and provo river falls.
Scott P you have a ton of knowledge on this. What is the nearest 13er to mirror lake highway? Also is there any road in Utah or Wyoming where you can actually view kings peak?
Thanks.
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Re: Slc vs denver mountains. Utah vs Colorado mountains.

Post by Scott P » Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:29 am

Jbrow327 wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:25 am
What is the nearest 13er to mirror lake highway?
Tokewanna, NW Wasatch, and Wasatch BM but they are not that close to the Mirror Lake Highway.
Also is there any road in Utah or Wyoming where you can actually view kings peak?
You can see if from I-80 and several of the approach roads to and in the national forest.

Interestingly, you can't see South Kings, the second highest mountain in Utah from any road.
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Re: Slc vs denver mountains. Utah vs Colorado mountains.

Post by Jbrow327 » Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:34 am

Scott P wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:29 am
Jbrow327 wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:25 am
What is the nearest 13er to mirror lake highway?
Tokewanna, NW Wasatch, and Wasatch BM but they are not that close to the Mirror Lake Highway.
Also is there any road in Utah or Wyoming where you can actually view kings peak?
You can see if from I-80 and several of the approach roads to and in the national forest.

Interestingly, you can't see South Kings, the second highest mountain in Utah from any road.
Cool. Thanks. Have you ever been on the dirt road that goes from coalville to the L corner of utah with Wyoming? That has some good views across the canyon that mirror lake highway runs through. Probably 13ers, but I dont know.
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Re: Slc vs denver mountains. Utah vs Colorado mountains.

Post by Oman » Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:23 am

There are big non-mountain differences. The brown cloud in SLC is worse than in Denver. Housing prices higher (worse) in Denver. Denver has much more and better theater, music, museums, pro sports, and restaurants (Los Carboncitos + El Taco de Mexico = Blue Iguana). For politics, SLC is a purple island in a red state; Denver is a blue island in a purple state.
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Re: Slc vs denver mountains. Utah vs Colorado mountains.

Post by 12ersRule » Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:16 am

Oman wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:23 am
There are big non-mountain differences. The brown cloud in SLC is worse than in Denver. Housing prices higher (worse) in Denver. Denver has much more and better theater, music, museums, pro sports, and restaurants (Los Carboncitos + El Taco de Mexico = Blue Iguana). For politics, SLC is a purple island in a red state; Denver is a blue island in a purple state.
Their skiing is better. However traffic getting to and on the mountain is starting to get obnoxious at Alta and Snowbird.

Beer - I think we've got 'em. Although, they have some decent spots.
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