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Denver 14er Treks for Newbies

group of people with hiking bags in the outdoors

Owing to the amazing elevations around the apartments for rent in Denver, CO, you’ve got some prime opportunity to hike a few 14ers if you call this area home. In case you weren’t aware, though, the 14er is a rather unique kind of hiking experience, one that takes you, figuratively speaking, to the tops of the world:

“Colorado has 58 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet (known as "fourteeners" or "14ers" locally) — the most of any state. Outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels will find peaks ranging from easy to very difficult, with hiking trails for exploring the state's scenery, wildlife and rugged beauty.”

It’s a fun time, if you’re up for the challenge. You’ll need to start easy, though, and take note of a few tips that will help you conquer the 14er with flying colors. That’s exactly what we’ll be filling you in on today, as we take a look at the best advice for hiking your first 14er and provide some options on the easiest intro hikes that will ease you into doing it the right way on your first outing.

Tackling Your First 14er

First things first, what do you need to know before attempting a 14er? The Coloradoan has already wrestled with this topic, and come up with 10 short tips you should bear in mind if you plan on hiking a 14er, which, by and large, boil down to preparation:

  • Take precautions — Wouldn’t want to be caught out in the mountains unawares now, would you? Make sure that everyone knows where you’re going before your hike, and has a way to get in touch with you in case of an emergency.
  • Pick the right peak — Part of the focus for today. You don’t want to tackle a 14er that’s too tough for you, so take it easy on your first time out so that you can gain the proper skills for attempting more difficult walks.
  • Make good preparations — If you think you’ll need it on your hike, be sure to pack it in your bag and take it with you. Few things are worse than discovering that you need something out there on a hike and don’t have it, so plan to have it and not need it instead. Trust us, it’ll save you some major headaches.
  • Keep your eyes on the weather — It should go without saying, but the best time to attempt a 14er is when the trails and weather are clear. If a storm’s a brewing, stay home. If you feel like a storm might impact your hike, stay home. Plan your first 14er on a day where you’re confident the weather will stay clear. This way, you’ll maximize your chances of success.
  • Try to get in shape — Did you know you’ll be able to move around easier on your hike when you’re in shape? Going for long distances and carrying gear around while you do it takes physical strength and cardiovascular endurance. Improve both to ensure you’re at your best on your upcoming hike.
  • Start/end early — Kind of an extra tip for helping you experience the best weather on your hike, you’ll want to make sure you head out early in the morning and finish up by the early afternoon to avoid the worst of those Colorado storms and have an easy hike.
  • Pack enough fuel — And by fuel, we’re not talking about gas for the truck, we’re talking about calories to keep you moving on your hike. Beyond snacks to keep your proverbial motor running, you’ll also want plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and at peak performance.
  • Find the right fit — Comfortable footwear will make all the difference on this excursion. Do yourself a favor, and find some quality, comfortable hiking boots that will support your feet on this long venture. Remember, comfort and utility come before style, and it’s better to feel good than look good when it comes to a challenging 14er hike.
  • No dogs allowed — This is a simple enough tip to follow. Dogs are fun, but less so when you’re trying to tackle your first 14er, so leave the four-legged-friend behind this time so that you can concentrate completely on your hike.
  • Be realistic — Try not to over-glamourize this experience. It should be fun, if you take the necessary precautions and make all your preparations, but stay down to earth about your abilities. If you need to back off, do so, and try to hit your ultimate goal next time around if this time doesn’t pan out.

In addition to this (already important) advice, remember to have fun while you’re outdoors. Being outside in Colorado is always a treat, so soak up the majesty of your surroundings while you have the opportunity.

Beginner 14ers to Try

Now, we mentioned early you have nearly fifty 14ers to choose from across Colorado, but we want to stick to the easy ones to start, right? Thankfully, this is pretty much a numbers game, and you’ll find that the easiest 14ers are the ones whose elevations just barely get over 14,000 feet:

  • Mount Bierstadt — 14,060 feet
  • Grays Peak — 14,278 feet
  • Mount Sherman — 14,036 feet
  • Mount Elbert — 14,440 feet
  • Quandary Peak — 14,271 feet

Of course, this is but one assemblage of good beginner options. If you’re looking for a slightly different take on the best slopes to hit first, check out the Coloradoan’s list of Top 5 Beginner Fourteeners, which will provide an alternate perspective on which peaks to tackle first.

These Apartments for Rent in Denver CO Put You Near the Best Hikes

If you start to get the taste for tackling 14ers, know that you’ll have plenty to choose from when you call The Henry home. Located in the pristine setting of Platt Park, you’ll find that these residences don’t just offer great access to all of the wonderful wilderness adventures around Denver, but are also perfectly positioned to get you right in touch with that bustling Mile High City action as well. Come see what it’s all about. Drop us a line, learn what The Henry can offer you, then make this your new Denver home today.