Mountaineering in the Rocky Mountain National Park
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[A list gathered from the latest available authorities, of the named mountain summits in this State exceeding 14,000 feet in altitude, Compiled for the Colorado Mountain Club by Ellsworth Bethel and James Grafton Rogers.]

Colorado is the mountain State of the Union. Of the 55 named peaks of the United States (exclusive of Alaska) which exceed 14,000 feet in height, Colorado has 42, California 12, and Washington 1. There are, probably, at least 5 more peaks of this altitude in Colorado which remain unnamed. It is estimated that one-seventh of the State stands above 10,000 feet in altitude, that it contains at least 350 peaks above 11,000 feet, 220 above 12,000 feet, 150 above 13,000 feet, and 47 above 14,000.

The highest peak in the United States proper is Mount Whitney, Cal. (altitude, 14,501 feet). According to the records of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, Mount Elbert, Colo., ranks second (altitude, 14,419.6 feet); Mount Rainier, Wash., ranks third (altitude, 14,408 feet), and Mount Massive, Colo., ranks fourth (altitude, 14,404 feet). According to the records of the United States Geological Survey, Mount Rainier ranks second and Mount Elbert and Mount Massive rank third and fourth, respectively, both having the same altitude, 14,402 feet. Blanca Peak, Colo. (altitude, 14,390 feet), ranks fifth in the United States.

In the following table the first column gives the name of the mountain, the second column the altitude of the peak above sea level, the third column the survey or other authority from which the figure is derived, the fourth column the mountain range to which the peak belongs, and the fifth the county in which it lies. In the third column the letters U. S. C. & G. S. signify that the figure is fixed by the records of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. U. S. G. S. indicates the records of the United States Geological Survey; Colo. G. S., that it is taken from the Colorado Geological Survey; Hayden, that it is derived from the Hayden survey of Colorado; Wheeler, from the Wheeler survey; and O. A. C., from work done by Prof. L. G. Carpenter and students of the Colorado Agricultural College. Pikes Peak and Longs Peak were determined by checked spirit leveling and are probably correct within 1 foot. Those credited to the United States Geological Survey were determined by vertical angulation and are probably correct within 10 feet, while those credited to Hayden and Wheeler were determined many years ago by mercurial barometer and may be in error as much as 100 feet.

Recent determinations have reduced the elevations of Mount of the Holy Cross and Buckskin Mountain so they no longer belong in this list, The name Crestone supplants Three Tetons, and Mount Wilson has been adopted in place of Glacier Mountain.

Mount Evans, Longs Peak, and Pikes Peak are visible from Denver, and Grays Peak and Torreys Peak can also be seen from some parts of the city. Pikes Peak is visible from Pueblo and Colorado Springs.


Mountain peaks in Colorado exceeding 14,000 feet in altitude.

Mountain. Altitude. Authority. Range. County.


1. Mount Elbert14,419
U. S. C. & G. S.
U. S. G. S.
2. Mount Massive14,404
U. S. C. & G. S.
U. S. G. S.
   do   Do.
3. Blanca Peak14,390   doSangre de CristoHuerfano, Costilla, Alamosa.
4. Mount Harvard14,375HaydenSawatchChaffee.
5. Grays Peak14,341   doFrontSummit, Clear Creek.
6. Torreys Peak14,336   do   do   Do.
7. La Plata Mountain14,332U. S. G. S.SawatchChaffee.
8. Uncompahgre Peak14,306   doSan JuanHinsdale.
9. Mount Lincoln14,276Colo. G. S.MosquitoPark.
10. Mount Evans14,260U. S. G. S.FrontClear Creek.
11. Castle Peak14,259   doElk MountainsPitkin, Gunnison.
12. Quandary Peak14,256   doParkSummit.
13. Longs Peak14,255C. A. C.FrontBoulder.
14. Mount Wilson14,250U. S. G. S.San MiguelDolores.
15. Mount Antero14,245HaydenSawatchChaffee.
16. Mount Shavano14.219   do   do   Do.
17. Crestone Peak14,233   doSangre de CristoSaguache, Custer.
18. Mount Cameron14,233Colo. G. S.MosquitoPark.
19. Mount Princeton14,196HaydenSawatchChaffee.
20. Mount Yale14,187   do   do   Do.
21. Old Baldy Peak14,176   doSangre de CristoCostilla.
22. Mount Bross14,163Colo. G. S.MosquitoPark.
23. San Luis Peak14,149U. S. G. S.La GaritaSaguache.
24. Mount Sneffles14,141   doSan JuanOuray.
25. Maroon Peak14,126   doElk MountainsPitkin,
26. Pikes Peak14,110   doFrontEl Paso.
27. Kit Carson Peak14,160HaydenSangre de CristoSaguache, Custer.
28. Mount Windom14,084U. S. G. S.Needle MountainsLa Plata.
29. Mount Eolus14,079   do   do   Do.
30. Culebra Peak14,069HaydenCulebraLas Animas, Costilla, La Plata.
31. Sunlight Mountains14,013U. S. G. S.Needle MountainsLa Plata.
32. Red Cloud14,050   doSan JuanHinsdale.
33. Mount Bierstadt14,046   doFrontClear Creek.
34. Mount Sherman14,038   doMosquitoPark.
35. Stewart Peak14,032HaydenSawatchSaguache.
36. Wilson Peak14,626U. S. G. S.San MiguelSan Miguel.
37. Wetterhorn Peak14,020   doSan JuanOuray, Hinsdale.
38. Grizzly Mountain14,020   doSawatchPitkin, Chaffee.
39. Sunshine Peak14,618   doSan JuanHinsdale,
40. Handies Peak14,008   do   do   Do.
41. Mount Democrat.14,000Colo. G. S.MosquitoPark, Lake.
42. Pyramid Peak14,000U. S. G. S.Elk MountainsPitkin.


Sunrise, Sunset, and Length of Day.

Date. Sunrise. Sunset. Length of day. Date. Sunrise. Sunset. Length of day.
Hours. Minutes. Hours. Minutes. Hours. Minutes. Hours. Minutes. Hours. Minutes. Hours. Minutes.
Jan. 1725448923 July 154457321447
Feb. 17125211009 Aug. 15007181418
Mar, 16385541117 Aug. 155137021349
Apr, 15486271239 Sept. 15296361307
May 15036571354 Sept. 155426141232
June 14367261450 Oct. 15585471149
June 154337341501 Nov. 16315021031
July 14377361459 Dec. 1704439935
The longest day of the year is June 21—15 hours 2 minutes.
The shortest day of the year is December 21—9 hours 21 minutes.
The time of earliest sunrise is 4.33 o'clock, from June 10 to June 20.
The time of latest sunrise is 7.25 o'clock, from January 1 to January 6.
The time of the latest sunset is 7.36 o'clock, from June 25 to July 5.
The time of the earliest sunset is 4.38 o'clock, from December 5 to December 9.

The above table applies to the Rocky Mountain National Park (latitude 40° north, longitude 105° 45' west) and refers to Standard time, a correction having been made reducing local mean time to standard time.

The above table is accurate, within two or three minutes, for any year. It refers to the rising and setting of the upper rim of the sun, and assumes that the eye is 15 feet above the level of the plane of land.

It should be noted that for points located in valleys the actual time of sunrise will be later and the actual time of sunset will be earlier, but the time of twilight will more than offset this decrease in the length of the day. This table is based on one prepared by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.


The Curvature of the earth amounts to 8 inches in 1 mile, and increases as the square of the distance. On a perfectly level area, such as the surface of a lake, a horizontal line, if extended for 1 mile, would be 8 inches, or 0.667 foot, above the level surface; if extended for 2 miles it would be four times 0.667, or 2.667 feet, above the level surface; if extended for 3 miles it would be nine times 0.667, or 6 feet, above the level surface, and so forth, increasing as the square of the distance.

At a distance of 125 miles the curvature of the earth would amount to 15,625 times 0.667, or 10,417 feet. Therefore from Longs Peak, or any other 14,000-foot peak, one can see the surrounding country to a distance of 125 miles, provided the elevation of the surrounding country is 4,000 feet or more above sea level. Mountain peaks can be seen at a still greater distance. The refraction of the atmosphere, which is variable, has a slight effect upon the visibility of distant objects.

The horizon is often, though incorrectly, assumed to be horizontal, and distant peaks of the same or less elevation than the point of observation appear to be higher, since they project above the horizon. This illusion is often apparent in the mountains, and accounts for the fact that it is sometimes difficult to determine by eye which is the higher of two summits, since to an observer on one the other appears higher.


"The Rocky Mountain National Park," a bulletin of general information, published each year and distributed free upon request to the Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D. C.

"Glimpses of our National Parks," by Robert Sterling Yard, a bulletin of general information, distributed free upon request to the Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D. C.

"The National Parks Portfolio," by Robert Sterling Yard, contains a booklet on "The Rocky Mountain National Park," With many photographic views. Can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.; price 35 cents in loose sheets, 55 cents bound in boards.

"The Geologic Story of the Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado," by Willis T. Lee, 1917. 89 pages, with many photographic views. For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C. 30 cents.

"The Book of the National Parks," by Robert Sterling Yard; Elaborately illustrated. Contains a chapter on Rocky Mountain National Park. Price $3.00 net; Scribners, 1919.

"The Top of the Continent," by Robert Sterling Yard. 244 pp. Illustrated. Rocky Mountain Park on pages 16-43. Scribners, 1917.

"Mountaineering in Colorado—The Peaks about Estes Park," by Frederick H. Chapin. Appalachian Club, Boston, 1889; also London, 1890. 168 pages. Illustrated.

"Wild Life in the Rockies," by Enos A. Mills. Houghton Mifflin, 1909. 263 pages.

"The Spell of the Rockies," by Enos A. Mills. Houghton Mifflin, 1911. 301 pages. Illustrated.

"Rocky Mountain Wonderland," by Enos A. Mills. 1915. 362 pages, map.

"In Beaver World," by Enos A. Mills. 1913. 223 pages.

"The Story of Scotch," by Enos A. Mills.

"Your National Parks," by Enos A. Mills. 532 pages. Illustrated. Rocky Mountain National Park, pages 175-189, 491-494. Price, $2.50. Houghton Mifflin, 1917.

"A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains," by Isabella L. Bird (Bishop). Putnam's, 1890, 296 pages. Illustrated.

"A Ragged Register," by Anna E. Dickinson.

"Kady," by Patience Stapleton.

"Going Abroad Overland," by David M. Steele. Putman's 1917. Rocky Mountain Park, pages 125-137.

"Mountain Trails and Parks in Colorado," by L. B. France, Denver, 1887. 224 pages.

"The Squirrels, Chipmunks, and Gophers of Colorado," by Robert B. Rockwell. Published by the Colorado Mountain Club, 1916.

"Climatology and Vegetation in Colorado," by W. W. Robbins. Published in the Botanical Gazette, vol. 49, 1910.

"The Colorado Climatic Provinces," by George A. Barker. Published in the Colorado School Journal, December, 1915.

"Colorado Climatology," by Robert E. Trimble, Bulletin 182 of the Agricultural Experiment Station of the Colorado Agricultural College, 1912.


The hotels in Estes Park, Moraine Park, Allens Park, and Grand Lake, furnish comfortable accommodations and excellent meals. Many of the hotels are electric lighted; many have rooms with private baths; and several also have private cottages and tents accommodating from one to six persons. Several of the hotels have garage facilities for visitors' cars, Some of the hotels are building additions and several new hotels are being erected. The hotels are often filled during July and August, and accommodations should be secured in advance. Most of the hotels are located on patented land and the National Park Service exercises no control over the rates or operation of these hotels. The list and rates given below are offered for information, but no responsibility is assumed as to their correctness:

No.1 Hotel. Post-office address. Capacity. Rates.

EEstes ParkEstes Park50$15.00 to $25.00 per week.
EHupp     do75$16.00 to $20.00 per week.
EBrown Tea Pot Inn     do30$3.50 to $6.00 per day.
EJosephine Hotel     do
Rooms only $2.00 to $4.00 per day.
EJosephine Cafe     do
Meals only.
1Stanley Hotel and Manor     do300$28.00 to $84.00 per week.
2Lewiston     do50$22.50 to $40.00 per weak.
3Elkhorn Lodge     do200$21.00 to $45.00 per week.
4Crags     do75$17.50 to $40.00 per week.
5Big Thompson     do250$21.00 to $85.00 per week.
7Lester's     do100$16.00 to $23.00 per week.
8Rockdale     do50$15.00 to $22.50 per week.
9Baldpate Inn     do30$18.00 to $24.00 per week.
10Lawn Lake Lodge     do15Meals, $0.75; lodging, $1.00.
11Fall River Lodge     do50$15.00 to $30.00 per week.
12Horseshoe Inn     do60$17.00 lo $30.00 per week.
13Moraine LodgeMoraine Park75$16.00 to $30.00 per week.
14Steads     do200$12.00 to $20.00 per week.
15Brinwood     do75$14.00 to $22.50 per week.
16Y. M. C. A. Camp     do400$12.50 per week.
17Forest Inn     do50$20.00 per week.
18Fern Lodge     do50$20.00 per week.
19Bear Lake Lodge     do50$20.00 per week.
20Spragues     do50$17.50 to $20.00 per week.
21Long's Peak Inn     do--Lunches and teas.
22Wigwam Tea RoomLong's Peak P. O.100$18.00 lo $45.00 per week.
23Columbines     do64$16.00 to $24.00 per week.
24Hewes-Kirkwood Inn     do50$18.00 to $25.00 per week.
25Timberline Cabin     do10Meals, $1.00; lodging, $1.25.
26Copeland Lake LodgeAllens Park50$15.00 to $18.00 per week.
27National Park Hotel     do50     Do.
28Lehman's HotelGrand Lake25$2.00 a day.
28Langles Hotel     do20     Do.
28Kauffman House     do30$2.50 a day.
28Narwata Hotel     do25     Do.
28Rapids Lodge     do50     Do.
29Camp Wheeler ("Squeaky Bobs")     do20$3.00 a day.
--McDonald'sMonarch Lake--

1Corresponding numbers on map opposite page 14 indicate the locations of the hotels or camps. Hotels indicated above by (E) are located in Estes Park Village.

Mrs. C. R. Berger (Estes Park) has a number of cottages and tent-houses at McCreery's ranch, furnished for light housekeeping, for rent at $75 to $135 for the season. Cottages may also be rented from C. H. Bond (Estes Park), from Hayden Bros. (Estes Park), and from Estes Park Conference (Estes Park).

The Lewiston, Hupp, Estes Park, Big Thompson, and occasionally others are open all the year. The other hotels are open during the summer season only.


Horses may be obtained from:

J. Frank Grubb.
Lige Rivers (Stanley Stables).
Howard James (Elkhorn Lodge).
Longs Peak Inn.
Hewes-Kirkwood Inn.
Wiley Wood (Moraine Park Livery).
T. H. Lehmkuhe (Grand Lake).

The usual rates for a horse are $3 per day, $15 per week, and $55 per month.

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Last Updated: 5-Jan-2007