How did this Colorado peak just get demoted to the shortest 14er in the state?

Mount Huron
A new way of measuring sea level has changed the pecking order of Colorado's famous peaks (Image credit: Sparty1711)

Some towns in Colorado are going to have to repaint their signs after updates to how we measure sea level caused a shakeup amongst the order of the state's highest peaks.

Colorado's tallest peaks – colloquially known as "14ers" – stand above 14,000 feet. There are 53 of them (by most estimates, anyway) spread across 12 different mountain ranges and outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, they are the state's proudest hiking feature. They've long been listed in order of height, from Sunshine Peak in the southwest which stands at 14,004ft to towering Mount Elbert, which holds the claim to tallest peak at 14,438ft. 

Lately, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has devised a new means of measuring sea level, and changes at the bottom have meant some adjustments to the top. 

Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak lost two feet (Image credit: Ronda Kimbrow Photography)

The good news is that all 53 peaks have retained their 14 status, however the new measurement overhaul has changed the pecking order a little. In the biggest upset, Sunshine Peak has gained a little status, knocking Mount Huron down to the bottom of the list by 4.8 inches. Residents of Hinsdale County and anyone who has ever written a book about 14ers will be breathing a sigh of relief as there was some concern that Sunshine would be knocked off the list altogether and relegated to the less glamorous 13er status.

In other adjustments to the long-standing list, the Colorado Sun reports that Torrey's and Quandary swapped places, Pikes Peak lost two feet and Capitol, one of the most difficult 14ers in Colorado, has turned out to be two feet higher than previously thought.

With warmer weather on the way, you might be thinking about donning your hiking boots and bagging a few Colorado 14ers this summer. No matter which peak you're on, hiking at high altitude requires careful planning and preparation, so make sure you start with our guide on how to hike a 14er and stay alive, take the time to acclimate and spend the remainder of your spring getting in shape for hiking.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.