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Colorado celebrates International Mountain Day

Posted at 5:38 PM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 20:27:24-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Wednesday marks International Mountain Day, so since Colorado is known for its majestic mountains, we wanted to take a peek at our state's tallest peaks.

The highest mountain in Colorado stands at 14,439 feet. Mount Elbert in Lake County is the highest summit in the Rockies and the highest point in the state.

Ten feet under that is Mount Massive, followed by Mount Harvard and La Plata Peak. Rounding out the top five tallest peaks in Colorado is Blanca Peak just about 100 feet shy of Mount Elbert's height.

Colorado is famous for its 14ers, and there is debate about exactly how many there are. The Colorado Geological Survey says there are 58 mountain peaks that reach beyond 14,000 feet. That's the most of any state in the U.S.

Others say a peak must rise at least 300 feet above the saddle that connects it to the nearest 14er peak, if another is nearby.

Now let's celebrate America's Mountain, right in our backyard.

Back in 1806 Thomas Jefferson sent several exploration parties to explore the country. One of the parties was led by Zebulon Pike, who discovered what he referred to as Grand Peak, but Pike and his team tried hiking the summit in harsh winter weather, unsuccessfully. That's how Pikes Peak came to be.

In 1893, a woman stood on top of Pikes Peak for 30 minutes and that was all the inspiration she needed to write the poem that inspired the song we know today as "America the Beautiful" thanks to Pikes Peak's "purple mountain majesty."