The History Behind Colorado’s Tallest 14er Mt. Elbert
Colorado's love affair with our state's tallest 14er mountain dates back to the year 1874. Henry W. Stuckle of the Hayden Survey is credited as being the first person to the top of Colorado's 'Gentle Giant', a mountain that is now climbed by almost 25,000 people every year.
Mount Elbert may be the tallest 14er mountain in the state, but many also consider it one of the easier mountains to climb. It takes no rock climbing or mountaineering experience to make it to the summit of the mountain, just several hours of day hiking.
What is the Elevation of Colorado's Mount Elbert?
The ultra-prominent 14,440-foot fourteener is the highest peak in the Sawatch Range. The mountain has a prominence of 9.073 feet. The mountain is located in Lake County, Colorado about 16 miles southwest of Leadville, Colorado.
The Namesake of Mount Elbert
The mountain got its name from the man who served as Governor of Colorado while it was still a territory. Samuel Hitt Elbert was the Governor territory and served one year as Governor of the state of Colorado before serving for 20 years in the state's court system.
Mount Elbert vs Mount Massive
In the 1970s, many in Colorado favored the nearby Mount Massive over Mount Elbert as Colorado's highest peak. The two mountains are almost the same size with Mount Elbert reaching 14,440, while Mount Massive tops out at 14,429 feet. Tales of mountaineers stacking rocks to form a giant cairn actually happened but it wasn't enough to officially make Massive the tallest peak.
Scroll on for 25 facts you may not know about Colorado's tallest peak.