Colorado has 54 official peaks that are 14,000 feet or higher, as well as some other peaks that are too close to other 14’ers to qualify themselves. The highest is Mt. Elbert at 14,433. Many of them can be summitted with a dayhike, but many of them require technical climbing ability and equipment. Some peaks are non-technical in mid-summer but technical the rest of the year.
Here is my list of the best 14’ers to hike. None of these require technical climbing in mid-summer.
Long’s Peak: The 15th highest fourteener at 14,255 feet is also Colorado’s northernmost, and is one of the few high peaks that is East of the Continental Divide. This mountain is located within Rocky Mountain National Park and is accessed from a trailhead and tent campground off of the Peak to Peak Highway. The Keyhole route is the most popular hiking route to the summit, although there are other routes that are slightly more difficult but less crowded. If the 14 mile total length seems too much for a dayhike, you can backpack camp at the Boulderfield, which is an amazing experience in itself. If you choose to camp at the boulderfield, be sure to make your reservations months in advance.
Mt. Elbert: The highest point in Colorado, near Twin Lakes and Leadville, makes a perfect length dayhike of around 9 miles, with no real difficult sections. Ascend to the summit knowing you will be standing atop the highest piece of land for over 500 miles in any direction. And on a clear day, you will know it from the views.
Mt. Bierstadt: This mountain near Georgetown is an easy drive up from Denver and an easy 7.4 mile dayhike. Ascend to 14,060 feet and watch the tourist cars crawl like ants to the top of Mt. Evans nearby. Check out my guide and GPS tracks here: Mt. Bierstatd GPS Tracks