Colorado is known for its towering mountains. If you’re an avid hiker, these mountains are perfect for you. The Ouray and Silverton areas contain multiple 14’ers that offer breathtaking views throughout the entire hike. Start planning your summer trip to Ouray to take on one or more of these beautiful hiking opportunities.
Mt. Sneffels – 14,157 ft
Mt. Sneffels is a well-known 14’er in the Ouray area. As one of the closest peaks to Ouray, Mt. Sneffels is a tough, yet rewarding hike through forests and meadows. However, the latter portion of the trek up this mountain lacks a set trail. Come prepared as a high clearance or 4 wheel drive vehicle is necessary to reach the trailhead. Hiking this mountain requires a lot of preparation, but once you reach the top, it’s worth the effort!
Handies Peak – 14,048 ft
Handies Peak lies between Ouray and Silverton. Traverse through beautiful mountain meadows on one or both of the trailheads to the summit. Grizzly Gulch trailhead is longer, more scenic, and the most common route to the top. However, American Basin trailhead also reaches the summit in a shorter distance.
Mt. Eolus – 14,085 ft
Located closer to Silverton, Mt. Eolus is another great climb. It has two summits, but the southern summit is the highest. Reaching this summit will require some rock scrambling and, as with most 14’ers, getting to the top before noon in order to be able to safely descend before dark.
Uncompahgre Peak – 14,314 ft
This peak is the highest of Western Colorado and the 6th highest peak in the entire state. Despite its elevation, it is one of the easier climbs in the San Juan range. As you trek through its meadows and trees, the views are continuously stunning. The alpine meadow at the summit offers a beautiful and rewarding climb.
Redcloud Peak – 14,037 ft
Redcloud Peak is another rewarding 14’er in the San Juan Mountain Range. It gets its name from the red coloring of its summit. Earlier in the hike, you will trek through the mountain’s meadows before the route gets rockier. Like Handies Peak, the trail begins at Grizzly Gulch trailhead.
Hiking each of these peaks is fun, rewarding, and beautiful. However, with any 14’er, it’s important to remember that the probability of harsh weather conditions increases later in the day. Start each trail early so you can get off the summit before the weather rolls in. And remember that depending on what time of year you want to go on your hike you need to make sure that the trail is open.