Colorado’s 13ers often take second billing to the state’s popular 14,000-foot summits by sheer virtue of being lower in elevation. To be fair, around Aspen, the collection of 14ers in the Elk Range—Maroon Peak, North Maroon Peak, Pyramid Peak, Capitol Peak, Snowmass Mountain, and Castle Peak—possess some serious bragging rights: they are among Colorado’s most difficult, and dangerous, 14,000-foot peaks to climb.
But the area’s 13ers are definitely not second-tier summits. Many offer challenges and scenery to rival their loftier neighbors—often with the benefit of fewer crowds. So if you’re an adventurous hiker who wants to avoid the climbing masses and are comfortable navigating off-trail terrain, get your high-mountain fix on these five noteworthy Aspen 13ers instead. Once you’re standing at the top, enjoying a panaromic vista, the fact that you’re at 13,000 rather than 14,000 feet will take a backseat to the grandeur of the mountain landscape.