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  • Writer's pictureJoanna Lee

2019, an Introduction to Colorado Mountains

Updated: May 12, 2023

July 1, 2019

Mount Spalding (13,842 feet) & Mount Evans (14,265 feet)

4.83 miles; 1969 feet elevation gain

Total time: 3 hours 13 minutes

We camped the night before this climb at Hefferman Gulch. In the morning we woke up and drove up to Summit Lake where we started our hike. This was our first 14er ever and we certainly underestimated the lack of oxygen at this elevation, but we took it slow and steady and were fine. It was very quiet on a weekday, we only saw a few other groups. There was still a lot of remaining snow on Mt. Spalding but mostly clear after that. The loop isn't truly a route but we followed alltrails route and made it a loop, the descent in basically straight down to the road/parking lot. There was still a lot of snow on this part so we glissaded down a lot of it.


July 16, 2019

Mt. Sherman (14,035 feet)

Route: Alltrails (via Four Mile Creek)

4.75 miles; 2045 feet elevation gain

Total time: 3 hours 6 minutes

We camped the night before on Four Mile Creek road. We drove the short distance to the gate (12,000 feet) in the morning and started our hike around 5am. The sunrise was absolutely stunning!! There was still a lot of snow remaining with no clear trail so some parts of the trail were hard to follow, we ended up just picking a path up a snowfield. We only encountered a few groups on the way up but it was fairly busy on the way down. We glissaded for a bit on the descent again.


September 14, 2019

Mt. Flora*

Route: Alltrails (from Berthoud Pass)

*did not summit

We were attempting to do a sunrise summit but severely overestimated how long this would take. We reached 12,800 feet and it was still pitch black. It was also significantly colder and more windy than we expected. We huddled behind a group of rocks and ate our breakfast burritos while we debated how long we could last waiting for the sunrise. The answer was not long enough. We bailed and caught the sunrise on the descent, as we warmed up from being the coldest I have ever been. It was a stunning sunrise but we were definitely defeated by the mountain this day.


September 18, 2019

Mt. Parnassus (13,579 feet)

Route: Alltrails (via Watrous Gulch)

7 miles; 3338 feet elevation gain

Total time: 3 hours 46 minutes

We drove to the trailhead in the morning and started hiking around 6am. This ended up being one of our favorite hikes of 2019. It was so peaceful and perfect September weather. The wildflowers were absolutely beautiful, as was the sunrise. We didn't see anyone until the very end of the hike. We said we would definitely be back in 2020, stay tuned for that story.


September 28, 2019

Quandary Peak*

Route: Alltrails

4.78 miles; 1867 feet elevation gain

Total time: 3 hours

*did not summit

We got an early start at 4am and had the trail basically to ourselves. It was cold when we started but not terrible, once we got above the tree line the wind picked up significantly. We braved it for a while but eventually gave up since the dogs were getting very cold. It was fairly busy on the way down and the parking lot was full when we finished. I said I would be back to conquer this "easy 14er". Stay tuned for my second attempt in 2020.

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