Set deep within the San Isabel National Forest, Mt. Massive is a solo peak, the second highest in Colorado at that. The mountain was first climbed and surveyed in 1873. As you might guess, the mountain was very originally named for its enormous size. With five summits, all above 14,000 ft and a summit ridge over 3 miles long, Mt. Massive has more area above 14,000 ft than any other mountain in the country. The 14 mile trail climbs over 4,500 ft in elevation and the summit will provide a great view of Mt. Elbert, the last and highest of the 14’ers I will complete.
While Mt. Elbert naturally stands as the highest peak (exceeding Mt. Massive by a whopping twelve feet), during the Great Depression, supporters of Mt. Massive would pile large rocks to increase the height of the mountain in competition with Mt. Elbert. Supporters of Mt. Elbert would come destroy the rock piles so that Mt. Elbert would remain king.