Sawatch Range

Mountain Summits Snowpack Levels Streamflow
June 14 2024

Sawatch Range


The Sawatch Range is a mountain range located in central Colorado, USA. The range spans approximately 90 miles and is part of the Rocky Mountains. The Sawatch Range is known for its numerous high peaks, including Mount Elbert, which is the highest peak in Colorado, and the second-highest peak in the contiguous United States. Other notable peaks in the range include Mount Massive, La Plata Peak, and Mount Antero. The range is also rich in hydrology, with several major rivers and streams originating from its peaks, including the Arkansas River, which flows through the nearby towns of Buena Vista and Salida. The Sawatch Range has a unique history, with Native American tribes using the area for hunting and gathering, and later on, explorers and settlers passing through the area. Today, the Sawatch Range is a popular destination for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities.

Peak Elevation
Mount Ouray 13971
Ice Mountain 13951
Mount Belford 14197
Mount Hope 13933
Huron Peak 14003
Henry Mountain 13254
La Plata Peak 14336
Mount Antero 14269
Mount Massive 14428
Mount French 13940
Tabeguache Peak 14155
Mount Yale 14196
Missouri Mountain 14067
Chrysolite 12822
Rinker Peak 13783
Mount Columbia 14073
Mount Harvard 14420
Mount Oxford 14153
Grizzly Peak 13988
Mount of the Holy Cross 14005
Mount Princeton 14197
Notch Mountain 13237
Mount Shavano 14229
Mount Elbert 14433

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Mountain Activities

1. Hiking: The Sawatch Range offers numerous hiking trails for all skill levels, from easy strolls to challenging treks. Some popular hikes include the 14er Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado, and the iconic 14er Mt. Harvard.

2. Camping: With its stunning mountain views and pristine alpine lakes, camping in the Sawatch Range is a popular activity. Many campgrounds and dispersed camping areas are available throughout the range, providing opportunities for both backcountry and car camping.

3. Mountain Biking: The Sawatch Range offers a variety of mountain biking trails, from smooth singletrack to challenging downhill descents. Trails like the Monarch Crest Trail and the Colorado Trail provide thrilling rides with breathtaking scenery.

4. Fishing: The Sawatch Range is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and streams teeming with trout and other fish species. Anglers can enjoy a day of fishing in the crystal-clear waters of places like Twin Lakes or the Arkansas River.

5. Rock Climbing: The Sawatch Range offers countless opportunities for rock climbing, with granite and limestone cliffs providing challenging routes for climbers of all skill levels. Popular climbing areas include Buena Vista's Turtle Rock and Independence Pass.

6. Wildlife Viewing: The Sawatch Range is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including elk, deer, bighorn sheep, and bears. Nature enthusiasts can spot these animals in their natural habitats while hiking or camping in the area.

Overall, the Sawatch Range offers a wide range of outdoor recreational activities for visitors to enjoy, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.


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