While Colorado's 58 fourteeners grab all the attention and glory, there's something to be said for a boundless bevy of thirteeners in the state.

Climbing to the peak of a fourteener is both challenging and rewarding. To summit at least one fourteener is a common bucket-list item for Colorado hikers and that's why the trails of so many of the state's highest peaks so crowded and littered with climbers. If you want to get away from the crowds, why not try a thirteener or two.

Having less crowded trails is one good reason to go tackle one of Colorado's 583  summits that tower over 13,000 feet. I can almost guarantee your trek to the top won't feel any less challenging than scaling a fourteener, and your sense of accomplishment will be just as great.

The mountain views of a lesser peak are still going to be spectacular and breath-taking and you'll have the chance to experience some backcountry and views most people are never going to see because so many of them are flocking to the taller peaks.

Some 13,000+ foot options for you are Square Top Mountain near Idaho Springs, Homestake Peak near Leadville, and Bellview Mountain near Snowmass. But, with nearly 600 peaks to choose from, you've got a lifetime of hikes at your disposal. Of course, gaining access to some of the peaks may be your biggest challenge - and in some cases may be impossible to reach.

If you are a hiker, don't miss out on some of Colorado's forgotten gems. Thirteeners are mountains, too, and they are just begging to be enjoyed.


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