Colorado has the highest mean elevation of any state in the United States. It’s home to 58 mountain peaks higher than 14,000 feet—more than any other state in the U.S—making it a mountain sports mecca. “Bagging” these fourteeners is a goal for many Coloradans and visitors to the state—and for some, it’s an obsession.
The Colorado 14ers South Topographic Map Guide provides the most accurate and convenient set of maps for the fourteeners of the Elk, San Juan, and Sangre de Cristo ranges of southern Colorado. These peaks are generally more difficult than their northern counterparts in the Front, Mosquito, Tenmile, and Sawatch Ranges. Even the easier exceptions, such as Humboldt, Sunshine, Redcloud, and Handies Peaks have their unforgiving slopes. Crestone Peak and Little Bear in the Sangre de Cristos, along with Capitol Peak and the Maroon Bells in the Elk Range, are often in the running when talk turns to the “hardest” fourteener. Given such subjective elements as physical conditioning, skill of party members, weather and season, there is no definitive answer, but all deserve the utmost respect and attention to route finding.
Each map page provides accurate trail statistics including trail mileages, total elevation gain and loss, trailhead elevations and elevations at trail junctions, and directions to trailheads. Route information includes climbing class (i.e. difficulty rating) and points of reference along the route. The maps include both 2WD and 4WD trailhead locations for the standard, recommended route. The standard route is the most sustainable route recommended by land managers in effort to preserve the fragile alpine environment of these peaks.
More convenient and easier to use than folded maps, but just as compact and lightweight, National Geographic’s Topographic Map Guide booklets are printed on “Backcountry Tough” waterproof, tear-resistant paper with stainless steel staples. A full UTM grid is printed on the map to aid with GPS navigation.
Peaks found in this map guide include:
- Elk Range: Capitol Peak, Castle Peak, Conundrum Peak*, Maroon Peak, North Maroon Peak*, Pyramid Peak, Snowmass Mountain
- San Juan Range: El Diente Peak* , Mount Eolus, North Eolus*, Handies Peak, Redcloud Peak, San Luis Peak, Mount Sneffels, Sunlight Peak, Sunshine Peak, Uncompahgre Peak, Wetterhorn Peak, Mount Wilson, Wilson Peak, Windom Peak
- Sangre De Cristo Range: Blanca Peak, Challenger Point, Crestone Needle, Crestone Peak, Culebra Peak, Ellingwood Point, Humboldt Peak, Kit Carson Peak, Mount Lindsey, Little Bear Peak
* Unofficial 14er – Summit above 14,000 feet, but considered unofficial because the peak does not rise 300 feet above the saddle that connects to a higher peak.