Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
Forum rules
Please do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website. For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
chiggiebeeeese
Posts: 3
Joined: 11/13/2018
14ers:summits1 
13ers:summits2 
Trip Reports (1)

Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by chiggiebeeeese » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:46 am

I am pretty new to the whole 14er scene, as I have only climbed one. I was wanting to take a trip with some buddies this summer and backpack a 14er, preferably camping one
or two nights. We did Humboldt peak last summer, and while the South Colony lakes are awesome, that hike was a beast because we didnt have a car that could make it up to the 4wd trailhead haha. I was wondering if there are any good peaks with a good camping area (lake, stream, etc nearby for water) that would be good for a few beginners.
User avatar
KRBoyce
Posts: 8
Joined: 5/8/2019
14ers:summits20 winter1 
13ers:summits4 

Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by KRBoyce » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:00 am

Maybe consider Pikes Peak via Barr Trial. Its a beastly 22 mile round trip, but you can spend the night at Barr camp, and finish the mountain the next day. Plus if you decide you don't want to hike all the way back down you could have someone drive to the top to pick you up.
Going Up
User avatar
stephakett
Posts: 774
Joined: 5/30/2014
14ers:summits28 
13ers:summits34 
Trip Reports (1)
Contact:

Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by stephakett » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:02 am

the best options for something like that are going to be something with a long approach. you might consider harvard from horn fork basin (i'm planning to do that this summer) or the standard route up massive.
“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.” (Aldous Huxley)
User avatar
highpilgrim
Posts: 3038
Joined: 3/14/2008
14ers:summits58 
13ers:summits82 winter1 
Trip Reports (1)

Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by highpilgrim » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:05 am

Missouri Gulch. Steep at the beginning, easy after it mostly, with plenty of options on what and how far to hike.

Good camping just above timberline.
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
Hunter S Thompson

Walk away from the droning and leave the hive behind.
Dick Derkase
User avatar
dwoodward13
Posts: 428
Joined: 3/26/2011
14ers:summits58 winter12 
13ers:summits101 winter3 
Trip Reports (1)

Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by dwoodward13 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:07 am

Holy Cross would probably be a good choice for this. Nice camping area close to a stream (but be ready for bugs). The trail coming back down from the summit into the trees can be a bit tricky, and many people have got lost, but CFI has made some great improvements in recent years. You also have to regain elevation on the way back to the car, but I've always thought that was a bit over blown. Go slow and steady, or maybe camp for two nights to break it up.

Most 14ers on the beginner level don't really make sense to backpack into imo. The trails just aren't that long and camping options can be limited. If you are ok with car camping at a trailhead and doing a day hike to the summit that opens up a lot more options. Handies and Huron would be great choices for that.
User avatar
stephakett
Posts: 774
Joined: 5/30/2014
14ers:summits28 
13ers:summits34 
Trip Reports (1)
Contact:

Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by stephakett » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:04 am

dontbugme wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:49 am
Check out Yale. You can have a few beers in BV then head to the trail head area for plenty of camping areas.
i had a GREAT camping spot at the trailhead for yale, there's a dropoff across from the parking lot right next to a stream with a HUGE flat area for tents.
Last edited by stephakett on Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.” (Aldous Huxley)
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 8255
Joined: 5/4/2005
14ers:summits51 winter16 
13ers:summits41 winter13 
Trip Reports (16)
Contact:

Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by Scott P » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:05 am

Harvard, Belford, and Massive come to mind.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
User avatar
Corey17
Posts: 38
Joined: 8/7/2013
14ers:summits58 winter8 
13ers:summits23 winter1 
Trip Reports (1)

Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by Corey17 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:12 am

Harvard and/or Columbia jumps to mind for me, that was my first overnight. Horn Fork basin is beautiful with plentiful camping, and only a few miles in from the TH. Then you could pick Harvard, Columbia, or both from camp pretty well. Blanca and/or Ellingwood with a camp at Lake Como could be nice, but that road is infamous for a reason. Most other peaks that "require" a camp (Wilsons, Crestones, Capitol, Snowmass, etc) are far more difficult and less suited for beginners.
User avatar
huffy13
Posts: 986
Joined: 8/3/2007
14ers:summits22 
13ers:summits6 
Trip Reports (28)

Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by huffy13 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:59 am

I highly recommend overnight camping at Winfield. There's a great water source, vault toilet facilities and the campground is beautiful. There are a lot of great options as far as 14ers goes. The most obvious and easiest is Huron Peak. It is also one of the best Sawatch 14ers when it comes to views during the climb. There is also the option of LaPlata from it's non-standard SW ridge route. It's a short drive from Winfield but doesn't see as many crowds as it's standard route. You also have the option of Belford, Oxford and Missouri. The Missouri Gulch TH is on the road towards Winfield. I've stayed at Winfield multiple times and every time I've stayed there I have seen a nice amount of wildlife and I've never had issue with any other campers as far as noise or anyone messing with our camp.
Seems like the times that I need a mountain the most are the times that I can not get to them.
chiggiebeeeese
Posts: 3
Joined: 11/13/2018
14ers:summits1 
13ers:summits2 
Trip Reports (1)

Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by chiggiebeeeese » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:42 pm

Thanks for the advice guys! Belford looks good as does Holy Cross. This may be a dumb question (almost assuredly is), but isn't it unwise to camp above treeline in case of a thunderstorm? The only other peaks i have camped on we have always camped below treeline.
peter303
Posts: 3270
Joined: 6/17/2009
14ers:summits34 
13ers:summits12 
Trip Reports (3)

Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by peter303 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:44 pm

Mt Evans from one of the Chicago Lakes. The whole hike is kind of long with 12 miles and 4800', is is broken up by camping a night before and maybe after at one of the two Chicago Lakes. Hike 3R2 in Roach 3rd edition.

Mount Democrat from car camping at Kite Lake 4.2 miles and 2100'. Roach hike 6R7. Extra credit is all four 14ers in area 7.2 miles and 3500'. Some vehicles may lack the clearance to make it to Kite Lake, so you might need some extra hiking.
User avatar
Cide
Posts: 73
Joined: 12/17/2018
14ers:summits31 winter3 
13ers:summits1 

Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by Cide » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:46 pm

highpilgrim wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:05 am
Missouri Gulch. Steep at the beginning, easy after it mostly, with plenty of options on what and how far to hike.

Good camping just above timberline.
\:D/
"Salients in the Void"
Post Reply