There are few better places to serve as a fourteener base camp than the town of Buena Vista, Colorado. Situated in the Arkansas River Valley, it’s bordered by the massive Sawatch Range, home to more 14ers than any other range in the state. You can get to more than a dozen different major peaks within a one hour drive. In fact, there are more 14ers near Buena Vista than almost any other major mountain town. Here are 9 of the closest 14ers near Buena Vista, Colorado you can hike, climb and explore.
Table of Contents
Mount Princeton - 15 Minutes Away
Mount Princeton towers over Buena Vista, the closest of the many 14ers near Buena Vista. The trailhead is incredibly close to town, just a 15 minute drive. If you can make it to the 4WD starting point high up on its slopes, this makes a fantastic day trip given its proximity. It’s a class 2 fourteener, so no need to be concerned about a difficult climb. This is one of my favorite Collegiate Peaks.
Mount Yale - 20 Minutes Away
Mount Yale is just north of Buena Vista, the next in a long chain of 14er summits that stretches both north and south along the Arkansas River Valley. Mount Yale is a solid peak with a hike that starts below tree line and works its way up the peak’s slope to reach a saddle. From there it’s a short scramble along the ridge up to the peak. This is a great training climb for those preparing for tougher peaks.
Mount Harvard & Columbia - 25 Minutes Away
Mount Harvard and Columbia are two more Collegiate Peaks situated to the north of Mount Yale. They can be climbed individually as great day trips, or combined for a spectacular overnight adventure with a traverse between them requiring a bit of extra route-finding. It’s a great intermediate-level trip for those looking for tougher challenges.
Mount Antero - 30 Minutes Away
Mount Antero is located south of Buena Vista. Of the many 14ers near Buena Vista, it is the only one to have a 4WD road that nearly reaches the summit, making it a very quick trip if you’ve got a good off-road vehicle with high clearance. From the saddle below the summit, it’s a fun class 2 scramble over and up to the peak top. You can also take the Little Browns Creek nonstandard approach from the East to avoid the vehicle traffic.
Mt Belford, Oxford & Missouri Mountain - 35 Minutes Away
Missouri Gulch is home to several 14ers near Buena Vista. Missouri Mountain is the most difficult of the three, with the longest approach and most difficult scrambling, including a short down climb. Mt Belford and Oxford are climbed together, but require a good weather window to make it to both peaks in one day. The aspens are particularly pretty along this route in the fall; it’s one of my favorite autumn peaks.
La Plata Peak - 45 Minutes Away
La Plata Peak means “the silver” in spanish, and is nestled in the heart of Colorado’s historic silver boom. There are many ghost towns in the area to explore if you have time in addition to the 14ers near Buena Vista. La Plata is usually climbed via its standard route, but many more experienced climbers choose to ascend via the class 3 Ellingwood Ridge nonstandard route.
Huron Peak - 50 Minutes Away
Last but not least of the 14ers near Buena Vista is Huron Peak. Many people say the views from Huron Peak are the best of any of the Colorado 14ers. It’s a great beginner peak with a short hike and amazing payoff for your effort. Add a night of camping near the peak in the large dispersed camping areas for even more fun and adventure with family or friends.
The Best 14ers Near Buena Vista: Now You Know!
With 58 different named or ranked 14ers, it’s not easy to pick a destination. If you’re visiting the Arkansas River Valley, know that there are some great 14ers near Buena Vista to hike, climb and explore. This list of nine peaks is just a starting place – there are many more great areas beyond this worth a visit. I hope you enjoyed my list of the best 14ers near Buena Vista, Colorado.