How to “Easily” Hike Four 14ers in One Day

14er1Hik­ing a 14er is a big under­tak­ing that involves prepa­ra­tion and plan­ning as well as some impres­sive phys­i­cal fit­ness. Hik­ing many of the 14ers in the Rocky Moun­tains usu­al­ly takes between 5 and 9 hours apiece. That’s a long time for a stren­u­ous moun­tain excur­sion that will leave you exhaust­ed on the couch watch­ing re-runs of Friends for the remain­der of your day. So, how do you feel about tak­ing on not two, not three, but four of these mas­sive moun­tains in one day? Sounds hard you say? It’s actu­al­ly eas­i­er than you think.

It’s all about choos­ing the right four moun­tains. The “eas­i­est” hikes with­out a doubt are Mt. Demo­c­rat, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Lin­coln, and Mt. Bross locat­ed in south­west­ern Col­orado. Camp­ing at the base of Demo­c­rat near Kite Lake is the key to your piece-o-cake mul­ti-bag 14er success.

To get there, take Col­orado 9 to the tiny town of Alma, stock up on sup­plies, and then head up the dirt road toward Kite Lake. There’s free camp­ing along­side the road about five miles up. If that camp­ing is tak­en (it will be ear­ly on week­ends), then just head up to the camp­ing area where plen­ty of spots should reside. It’s $3 for a car and $12 for a campsite.

14er2The camp area is already at about 12,000 ft. After your rest­less night on that paper thin camp­ing pad, you’ll be accli­mat­ed to the alti­tude and have a nice head start on the moun­tain. That’s only a 2,000 feet gain you need to con­quer! It gets even eas­i­er after Demo­c­rat; head back down the same trail and up the next ridge to Cameron. This is a bar­ren, windy peak with views of the oth­er three 14ers. From here, you just fol­low the nice trail over to Lin­coln, and then to Bross. Descend­ing less than 1,000 feet between the peaks, makes for more of a hill-climb­ing-like expe­ri­ence. Be sure to take pho­tos with the wood­en signs at every peak. Now you have a long, steep climb down to the car that is ubiq­ui­tous on 14ers. Your knees will be yelp­ing ouch about halfway down.

The last and most impor­tant step is to brag to all your friends about how you climbed four 14ers in one day. Yay You! Oh, and I guess watch a few episodes of Friends. 

Update: Mt. Bross is pri­vate­ly owned and is offi­cial­ly closed to hik­ers. You can cur­rent­ly only hike the oth­er three summits.