Colorado County Highpoints

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Colorado County Highpoints
Created On: Jul 21, 2009
Last Edited On: Nov 25, 2011

Welcome to Colorado's County Highpoints

Vermilion Peak (right) and...Vermilion Peak, San Juan County

From the notchPettingell Peak, Grand County

Colorado has 64 counties. Of these, 43 counties have mountains and 21 are on the plains. The plains counties include Denver, Colorado's state capitol. Climbing the county highpoints is an interesting and educational challenge, which offers a well-rounded sampling of the state's geography. All county high points may be climbed by a class 4 or easier route, putting all 64 highpoints within reach of the average climber.

Several years ago I developed an interest in climbing all the mountainous county highpoints in my home state of Colorado. This goal has led me into a variety of hiking experiences, into many of the remote corners of the state. Each highpoint offers unique features and its own particular beauty, as well as unique mountaineering and orienteering challenges.
North Face of BlancaBlanca Peak, three counties


The elevation of the highpoints in mountainous counties ranges from 9836' Thunder Butte in Douglas County, to 14,440' Mount Elbert in Lake County. In the plains counties, elevations are mostly below 6000', although Elbert County, east of Douglas County, reaches 7360'. As you would expect, several counties share highpoints in common.

Mountainous Counties

Mountains dominate the western two-thirds of Colorado. All the county highpoints are on mountains documented on SummitPost, though not necessarily on the summits of those mountains. The links in the list below will take you to the appropriate SummitPost page.

County High Point Range Elevation Information
Alamosa Blanca Peak Sangre de Cristo 14,345' Three counties' high point
Archuleta Summit Peak San Juans 13,300' South San Juan Wilderness
Boulder Longs Peak Front Range 14,259' Rocky Mountain National Park
Chaffee Mount Harvard Sawatch 14,420' Third highest in Colorado
Clear Creek Grays Peak Front Range 14,278' Highest point on North American Continental Divide
Conejos Conejos Peak San Juans 13,172' Shares the county name
Costilla Blanca Peak Sangre de Cristo 14,345' Three counties' high point
Custer East summit of Crestone Peak Sangre de Cristo 14,260' East summit is 34' lower than west summit
Delta Mount Lamborn Elk 11,396' Gunnison National Forest
Dolores Mount Wilson San Juan 14,250'
Douglas Thunder Butte Front Range 9,836' Lowest mountainous highpoint. Site of Hayman Fire.
Eagle Mount of the Holy Cross Sawatch 14,005' Was once a National Monument
El Paso Pikes Peak Front Range 14,115' Can reach the summit by foot, tramway, or car
Fremont Bushnell Peak Sangre de Cristo 13,105' Straddles the Saguache and Fremont county line
Garfield Flat Top Mountain Flat Tops 12,354' Flat Tops Wilderness
Gilpin James Peak Indian Peaks 13,294' James Peak Wilderness
Grand Pettingell Peak Front Range 13,553' on the Continental Divide just north of Eisenhower Tunnel
Gunnison Castle Peak Elk 14,265' High point for Pitkin County also. Southernmost 14er in Elk Range.
Hinsdale Uncompahgre Peak San Juan 14,314' Highest peak on Colorado's western slope
Huerfano Blanca Peak Sangre de Cristo 14,345' Huerfano County high point is slightly northeast of summit
Jackson Clark Peak Medicine Bow Mountains 12,951' Rawah Wilderness
Jefferson Buffalo Peak Kenosha 11,589' Lost Creek Wilderness
La Plata Mount Eolus San Juan 14,083' Remote
Lake Mount Elbert Sawatch 14,440' Colorado state highpoint
Larimer Hagues Peak Mummy 13,560' Rocky Mountain National Park
Las Animas West Spanish Peak Sangre de Cristo 13,626' Spanish Peaks Wilderness
Mesa Leon Peak Grand Mesa 11,236' The summit features a 20th century abandoned fire lookout
Mineral Phoenix Peak San Juan 13,895' Also known as Gwynedd Mountain and Creede Crest. La Garita Wilderness. Near the Wheeler Geological Area.
Moffat Black Mountain Elkheads 10,815' Finding the true summit may be the biggest challenge.
Montezuma Hesperus Mountain La Plata 13,232'
Montrose Castle Rock San Juan 11,453' Highest one of 18 officially named Castle Rock's in Colorado
Ouray Mount Sneffels San Juan 14,156' Regarded by many as Colorado's most beautiful mountain.
Park Mount Lincoln Mosquito 14,291'
Pitkin Castle Peak Elk 14,265' High point for Gunnison County also. Southernmost 14er in Elk Range.
Pueblo Greenhorn Mountain Wet Mountains 12,347' Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness
Rio Blanco Northwest arm of Orno Peak Flat Tops 12,027' Two miles northwest of Orno Peak's summit
Rio Grande Bennett Peak San Juan 13,203' Walkup grassy slopes
Routt Mount Zirkel Park 12,180' Mount Zirkel Wilderness
Saguache Crestone Peak Sangre de Cristo 14,294' West summit of Crestone Peak
San Juan Vermilion Peak San Juan 13,894' Least populated county
San Miguel Wilson Peak San Juan 14,017' Lizard Head Wilderness
Summit Grays Peak Front Range 14,278' Highest point on North American Continental Divide
Teller Devil's Playground Front Range 13,060' Also see Sentinel Point route

Plains Counties

In eastern Colorado, the highpoints are subtle rises on the Great Plains, and sometimes not even that. However, at least one of these highpoints has its own page on SummitPost. Reaching these highpoints has little to do with mountaineering and everything to do with driving long distances over the plains, following directions, gaining access to land, and straining to discern the highest point. It is a rare and unusual person who can enjoy that, but more power to 'em!

County High Point Elevation Information
Adams DIA Ridge 5,665' Easy drive up, exit I-70.
Arapahoe Smoky Hill Ridge 6,215' No longer outside of town.
Baca Carrizo Mountain 5,280' If you can find Carrizo Mountain, the highpoint is a small rise on the mesa top. No permission required.
Bent San Jose Ranch Mesa 4,855' Permission and short uphill hike required.
Broomfield Rocky Flats 5,845' SE corner of CO 128 and Indiana Street
Cheyenne Bledsoe Ranch Road 5,255' Bledsoe Ranch. Permission and short hike required.
Crowley Schubert Hill 5,220' Schubert Ranch. 2.5 mile hike.
Denver Kipling & Belleview 5,685' Alley just east of Kipling, north of Jellison.
Elbert Elbert Rock 7,360' Five areas, including two small rock outcrops, compete for the HP title.
Kiowa Selenite Bluff 4,690' Davis Ranch. Near Lincoln County line.
Kit Carson Bledsoe windmill 5,290' A mile or two from Cheyenne County highpoint. Both on private land.
Lincoln County line rise 5,960' Drive up. Access permission not required.
Logan State line bluffs 4,940' On ranchland owned by a private grazing association. Ask permission.
Morgan Judson Hills 4,935' Private ranch; contact owner in advance.
Otero Dry Bluff 5,260' Comanche National Grassland
Phillips Phillips county line rise 4,120' 11 areas vy for HP honors. One of them is the lowest county HP in Colorado.
Prowers Two Buttes 4,711' Twin peaks rise sharply from the plains, offering a rare climb in eastern Colorado. Private land.
Sedgwick Sand Hills 4,120' Lowest county HP, along with Phillips County. Concrete block and a large stump marking the HP.
Washington Presidents Hill 5,420' An imperceptible rise on a county line road.
Weld Bison Butte 6,385' Guided nature walk is part of the bargain on the Terry Bison Ranch.
Yuma Yuma corner 4,445' An imperceptible rise on a county line road.

Colorado County Map



Map Courtesy of Digital Map Store.

External Resources

 West Face of James PeakJames Peak, Gilpin County


Hiking Colorado's Summits (guidebook)

www.cohp.org

Colorado Counties lists of John

Honor Roll

Flat Top Mountain, Flat Tops WildernessFlat Top Mountain, Garfield County


Credit to cohp.org and peakbagger.com for this list of people who have touched all of Colorado's county highpoints. There may be many more.
First glimpse of Bushnell...Bushnell Peak, Fremont County

Kevin Baker
Layne Bracy
John Collard
Renata Collard
Phil Congdon
Beckie Covill
Dave Covill
Teresa Gergen
Adam Helman
Doug Hill
Dawn Howard
Kirk Mallory
John Kirk
Bob Martin
John Mitchler
S Mueller
Dan Nielsen
David Olson
Gerry Roach
Jennifer Roach
Gary Swing
Patrick Thornley
G Vandersluis
Charlie Winger
Jobe Wymore

Gallery

A pictorial directory of the county highpoints...

Looking up at Bennett Peak.Bennett Peak, Rio Grande County

Black MountainBlack Mountain, Moffat County


Blanca Peak from Ellingwood PointBlanca Peak, Alamosa, Costilla, and Huerfano counties

Buffalo PeakBuffalo Peak, Jefferson County


Bushnell Peak and gambel oak....Bushnell Peak, Fremont County

Castle and Conundrum August 2007Castle Peak, Gunnison and Pitkin counties


Castle Rock from Buckhorn RoadCastle Rock, Montrose County

 Clark Peak towers above Hang...Clark Peak, Jackson County


Conejos Peak from the SouthwestConejos Peak, Conejos County

 The Peak Crestone Peak, Custer and Saguache counties


You ever dance with the devil by the pale moonlight?Devil's Playground, Teller County

View of Elbert from the south...Mount Elbert, Lake County


EolusMount Eolus, La Plata County

This is the eastern edge of...Flat Top Mountain, Garfield County


Grays Peak above Horseshoe...Grays Peak, Clear Creek and Summit counties

Looking north across the...Greenhorn Mtn, Pueblo County


The West Face of Hagues Peak...Hagues Peak, Larimer County

Mount Harvard from Bear LakeMount Harvard, Chaffee County


Hesperus MountainHesperus Mountain, Montezuma County

Mount of the Holy Cross June 2007Mount of the Holy Cross, Eagle County


James Peak, north ridge.James Peak, Gilpin County

Mt. Lamborn (left) and its...Mount Lamborn, Delta County


Typical boulder scrambling...Leon Peak, Mesa County

Lincoln from the road going...Mount Lincoln, Park County


Hoar Frost on Longs PeakLongs Peak, Boulder County

Northwest OrnoOrno NW, Rio Blanco County


Pettingell Peak as seen from...Pettingell Peak, Grand County

The gentle south slopes of...Phoenix Peak, Mineral County


Pikes Peak with fresh snow,...Pikes Peak, El Paso County

Snow storm clears off of...Mount Sneffels, Ouray County


Summit Peak north faceSummit Peak, Archuleta County

The scorched summitThunder Butte, Douglas County


Tim on the Uncompahgre Peak...Uncompahgre Peak, Hinsdale County

Vermilion PeakVermilion Peak, San Juan County


West Spanish Peak, October...West Spanish Peak, Las Animas County

First light on Wilson Peak.Wilson Peak, San Miguel County


Wilson TraverseMount Wilson, Dolores County
Mt. Zirkel from the saddle...Mount Zirkel, Routt County

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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McCannster

McCannster - Apr 3, 2011 9:17 pm - Voted 10/10

Prowers County HP

Just made a page for the Prowers County HP, a plains high point, but hey, it's actually a hill!

http://www.summitpost.org/two-buttes-prowers-county-hp/708071

Jeremy Hakes

Jeremy Hakes - Nov 17, 2011 10:01 am - Voted 10/10

Broomfield

Actually, your map DOES include Broomfield on there... that little blob of existence. :)

Viewing: 1-2 of 2