The Summit 62: Summit County’s highest mountains |

The Summit 62: Summit County’s highest mountains

Summit Daily file photoThe view looking north off Fletcher Mountain at 13,951 feet. Summit County claims home to 62 of Colorado's 600 peaks over 13,000 feet.

O.K. – I am a mountain freak. This could’ve been a day to get things done. This could’ve been a day to sleep in. This could’ve been an easy day. But I go running off to Summit County to climb Quandary Peak. … And I hurt myself, BAD. I thought I was about to puke on the ground and then fall in it. But that didn’t happen and I got home, and I bagged my first 14’er.

– August 18, 1999

SUMMIT COUNTY – Four and a half years ago I was living in Denver and decided spontaneously one night to climb Quandary peak the next morning. The evening after that climb, I wrote the journal entry above.

Little did I know, in that small house on Parkview Avenue in downtown Littleton, that four years after I would be living in Wildernest with a commanding view of the Williams Fork Mountains and living my life around climbable mountains.

Whoever named Summit County picked about as appropriate a name for this place as possible.

Earlier this year, I picked up a copy of Gerry Roach’s “Colorado 13ers, From Hikes to Climbs.” Tucked away in the back is a lengthy list of the Centennial state’s ranked and named thirteeners. With over 600 peaks listed, it was a few weeks before I realized just how many of the listed mountains are in Summit County.

Then one night I sat down in front of my vast collection of maps, opened up that book and a beer and started plotting. Three hours later, I had a number: 62.

Including Summit County’s three fourteeners, that’s how many peaks around here rise above 13,000 feet.

The Gore Range has the most high points with 29 thirteeners. The Continental Divide along the eastern and southern borders contains 20 summits on the list, though it also contains the county’s two highest points, Gray’s and Torrey’s peaks. The Tenmile only has 13 peaks on the list, but it rounds out the top five with Quandary Peak, Fletcher Mountain and Pacific Peak.

Altogether, over 30 of Colorado’s 500 highest peaks are right here in Summit County. Eight of them are among Colorado’s 100 highest.

The statistical possibilities of this list rival that of an interleague baseball game, but eventually I’d simply like to stand on top of every mountain on this list.

Hopefully I’ll never feel as bad as I did coming down off of Quandary Peak in 1999.

Hiking Peaks 101:

Time is running out to climb Summit’s peaks. With so many high-mountain possibilities located within a hiking distance of virtually anybody’s front door, a few things are worth keeping in mind:

* Start early and finish early. Summer thunderstorms can come unexpectedly. Always try to be off of a summit and heading back to treeline by noon.

* Always carry the ten essentials: extra food, extra water, map, compass, rain gear, emergency fire starter, sunscreen, sunglasses, flashlight or headlamp, and pocket knife. A first-aid kit is also a good idea.

* Study the route above treeline before you get there, both on maps and by scouting it by eye from below.

* Leave word of your itinerary with others. Make note of how long you expect the hike to take, when you expect to be back, and how long to wait before sending out the cavalry.

The List of Summit’s Peaks

1 Grays Peak,14,270 feet, Divide

2 Torrey’s Peak, 14,267 feet, Divide

3 Quandary Peak, 14,265 feet, Tenmile Range

4 Fletcher Mountain, 13,951 feet, Tenmile Range

5 Pacific Peak, 13,950 feet, Tenmile Range

6 “Drift Peak,” 13,900 feet, Tenmile Range

7 Crystal Peak, 13,852 feet, Tenmile Range

8 Mt. Edward, 13,850 feet, Divide

9 “Atlantic Peak,” 13,841 feet, Tenmile Range

10 Argentine Peak, 13,738 feet, Divide

11 Wheeler Mountain, 13,690 feet, Tenmile Range

12 Bald Mountain, 13,684 feet, Divide

13 Peak 10, 13,633 feet, Tenmile Range

14 Father Dyer Peak, 13,615 feet, Tenmile Range

15 North Star Mountain, 13,614, feet Divide

16 Mt. Powell, 13,580 feet, Gore Range

17 Grizzly Peak, 13,427 feet, Divide

18 Eagles Nest, 13,420 feet, Gore Range

19 Mt. Guyot, 13,370 feet, Divide

20 “Mt. Silverthorne,” 13,357 feet, Gore Range

21 Hoosier Ridge, 13,352 feet, Divide

22 “The Thorne,” 13,333 feet, Gore Range

23 Ruby Mountain, 13,277 feet, Divide

24 Geneva Peak, 13,266 feet, Divide

25 “Peak G,” 13,260 feet, Gore Range

26 “Peak Z,” 13,245 feet, Gore Range

27 Landslide Peak, 13,238 feet, Divide

28 “Peak Q,” 13,230 feet, Gore Range

29 “Peak F,” 13,230 feet, Gore Range

30 Red Mountain, 13,229 feet, Divide

31 “Peak C,” 13,220 feet, Gore Range

32 “Peak E,” 13,220 feet, Gore Range

33 Red Peak A, 13,215 feet, Divide

34 “Peak L,” 13,213 feet, Gore Range

35 Jacque Peak, 13,205 feet, Tenmile Range

36 Lenawee Mountain, 13,204, feet Divide

37 Peak 9, 13,195 feet, Tenmile Range

38 Red Peak B, 13,189 feet, Gore Range

39 Santa Fe Peak, 13,180 feet, Divide

40 Mt. Valhalla, 13,180 feet, Gore Range

41 Mt. Helen, 13,164 feet, Tenmile Range

42 Guyselman Mountain, 13,140 feet, Gore Range

43 Sullivan Mountain, 13,134 feet, Divide

44 “Rain Peak,” 13,130 feet, Gore Range

45 Black Benchmark, 13,129, feet Gore Range

46 “Peak N,” 13,121 feet, Gore Range

47 “Cupid,” 13,117 feet, Divide

48 Gore Thumb, 13,100 feet, Gore Range

49 “Peak C Prime,” 13,100 feet, Gore Range

50 “Peak H,” Gore Range

51 “Mt. Solitude,” 13,090 feet, Gore Range

52 Keller Mountain, 13,085 feet, Gore Range

53 “Peak ,” 13,085 feet, Gore Range

54 “North Traverse Peak,” 13,079 feet, Gore Range

55 Whale Peak, 13,078 feet, Divide

56 “Z Prime,” 13,075 feet, Gore Range

57 East Partner Peak, 13,057, feet Gore Range

58 “Peak D,” 13,047 feet, Gore Range

59 “Grand Traverse,” 13,041 feet, Gore Range

60 “Peak U,” 13,041 feet, Gore Range

61 “Golden Bear Peak,” 13,010 feet, Divide

62 “Climber’s Point,” 13,005 feet, Gore Range

Peaks in quotations marks have names are not accepted by the U.S. Geological Survey.

This list created by Richard Chittick based on Gerry Roach’s list of thirteeners found in the back of “Colorado 13ers” and USGS and Trails Illustrated maps. Input on the accuracy of this list is

encouraged and suggestions can be e-mailed to

Richard Chittick spends his free time hiking in an effort to climb every named peak in Summit County. He can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at

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