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Mounts Massive and Elbert

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Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Mt. Massive, 14,428 feet, seen from Tennessee Pass, March 9, 2021.
Mt Massive v. Elbert

Looming west of Leadville in the Sawatch range is Mount Massive, an appropriately-named behemoth with five summits, and more area above 14 thousand feet than any other mountain in the lower 48.

Mount Elbert beats Massive for the title of Colorado’s tallest mountain by just 12 feet. That irked Mount Massive supporters so much that in the 1970s they piled rocks on Massive’s highest point in an attempt to raise the mountain’s elevation and profile. But supporters of Mount Elbert promptly knocked those piles down. In 1988 a re-measurement confirmed Elbert as the state’s highest point.

Though it lost the rivalry for height, Mount Massive is a harder climb. The standard trail traverses a 3-mile ridge that connects all five subpeaks. The Forest Service says It’s a moderate to strenuous hike, with a 4500 foot elevation gain along the 14-mile round trip.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.