A group of hikers with the Denver Botanic Gardens took a wildflower tour on Mount Evans. (Lyn Alweis, Denver Post file)

These five peaks are time-tested hikes for novice fourteener folks. All but Mount Elbert are close enough to the Denver metro area that hikers can sleep in their own beds before driving to the trailhead, although they would need very early wake-up calls to climb the peak and be off the summit before noon to avoid lightning storms.

  • Mount Bierstadt (14,060): Elevation gain, 2,850 feet; Round trip to summit, 7 miles; Nearest town, Georgetown.
  • Grays Peak (14,278): Elevation gain, 3,000 feet; Round trip to summit, 8 miles; Nearest town, Silver Plume.
  • Mount Sherman (14,036): Elevation gain, 2,100 feet; Round trip to summit, 5 miles; Nearest town, Fairplay.
  • Mount Elbert (14,440): Elevation gain, 4,700 feet; Round trip to summit, 9.5 miles; Nearest town, Leadville.
  • Quandary Peak (14,271): Elevation gain, 3,300 feet; Round trip to summit, 6 miles; Nearest town, Breckenridge.

Source: Colorado Mountain Club

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