How many 14ers are in the US?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

In the Western United States, mountaineers use the term “fourteener” to refer to a mountain peak that stands at least 14,000 feet (4267 meters) in elevation. These majestic peaks are highly sought after by climbers and outdoor enthusiasts for their sheer height and breathtaking views. It is worth noting that all 96 fourteeners in the United States are located west of the Mississippi River.

Among the states, Colorado boasts the highest number of fourteeners, with a total of 53 peaks surpassing the 14,000-foot mark. This abundance of mountains in Colorado makes it a haven for climbers and hikers from all over the world. Scaling these peaks requires not only physical fitness but also a certain level of skill and experience, as the thin air and rugged terrain can pose significant challenges.

While Colorado reigns supreme with its impressive number of fourteeners, Alaska comes in second with 29 of these towering peaks. The Alaskan wilderness offers a unique and untamed environment for mountaineers, with its vast glaciers, remote landscapes, and extreme weather conditions. Climbing an Alaskan fourteener is an adventure like no other, demanding both technical expertise and a deep appreciation for the raw beauty of the surroundings.

It is important to note that the term “fourteener” is specific to the United States. Other countries may have their own criteria for classifying mountains, such as the “eight-thousander” category, which refers to peaks exceeding 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) in elevation.

Having personally experienced climbing some of Colorado’s fourteeners, I can attest to the allure and challenge they present. Each peak offers a unique set of obstacles, from treacherous scree fields to exposed ridgelines and unpredictable weather. The sense of accomplishment and awe that accompanies reaching the summit of a fourteener is unparalleled, as you stand atop the world and take in the breathtaking vistas that stretch out before you.

There are a total of 96 fourteeners in the United States, all located west of the Mississippi River. Colorado leads the pack with 53 of these majestic peaks, while Alaska comes in second with 29. These mountains provide an incredible playground for mountaineers, offering both physical and mental challenges along with awe-inspiring natural beauty. Climbing a fourteener is an experience that tests one’s limits and rewards with a profound sense of achievement.