Colorado's 14,000fters attract record numbers of hikers
Figures look likely to show more people climbed the US state's highest mountains than ever before
An organisation that protects the highest mountains in the US state of Colorado is predicting a record rise in the number of hikers for 2020.
The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative has collected footfall statistics for the mountains known as fourteeners (14ers). These are peaks of at least 14,000ft (4267m).
There are 58 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000ft in Colorado, which is more than in any other state.
Although figures have not yet been released by the project, it is being predicted that there has been an increase of 20 per cent in the number of people who climbed Colorado fourteeners last year. This will be the first time that more than 400,000 people have been recorded in one year.
The previous record year was 2018 when 353,000 people hiked the fouteeners. In 2019, the number of hikers dropped by 18 per cent. This was due to high levels of snow that delayed the start of the hiking season.
The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, which tracks numbers annually, is a non-profit organisation with the aim of protecting and preserving the natural integrity of Colorado's 14,000ft peaks through stewardship and public education.
The CFI publishes an “estimated hiking use” report each year. The figures are based on counters that are hidden on trails, which use thermal sensors to detect hikers when they pass.
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Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors (opens in new tab).