Capitol Peak

Featured photo of Capitol Peak

Capitol Peak is one of Colorado's hardest fourteeners to climb. The easiest route is over the famous Knife Edge with steep drop-offs on either side. The rock on the knife is solid, but the climb beyond is much looser and still somewhat exposed. The standard approach via the Capitol Creek Trail is very scenic with great views of Capitol Peak.

Elevation (feet): 14,130
Elevation (meters): 4,307
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Elk Range Area
State: Colorado
Latitude: 39.1503
Longitude: -107.082
Difficulty: Scramble
Best months for climbing: Jul, Aug, Sep
Year first climbed: 1909
Nearest major airport: Aspen, Eagle or Denver

Thanks to Jim Mallory for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 29 trip reports for Capitol Peak.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #10397 - by Dean Carpenter on Sep 24, 2004
    Hell of a climb, the knife's edge was great fun. Also allthe aspen's had turned gold the vally was sweet camped two nights. Highly reccomend if you like a challenging climb and the hike in is also...
  • Log #10393 - by Stephen T Tice on Sep 23, 2004
    Along with my brothers help we were able to get my 67 year old dad up to K-2,from there I went alone on to summit with a great Yahoo made some pic's with the trusty F-3.Spectacular view,intense...
  • Log #10398 - by Peter Kingham on Mar 18, 2004
    Hands down best summit i've done in Colorado. Reminds me of North Palisade in Kings Canyon, a bit easier though. Worked on the trail crew that built the trail from Capitol Lake to Daly Pass for two...
  • Log #10399 - by Erik Etheridge on Dec 25, 2003
    Capitol peak is absolutely breathtaking! This peak jumps out at you from the trailhead like no other peak I have climbed. Climbers are made aware of the challenges that lie ahead before they even...
  • Log #10400 - by jwinters on Sep 03, 2003
    Long day from TH. I would recommend up and over K2. The north slopes of K2 are loose. The knife edge was great! It seemed to be overhyped and there are plenty of footholds a few feet off the knife...
  • Log #10401 - by steve on Sep 01, 2003
    a very challenging peak to say the least.My dad,brother and I started our climb for summit at 4:30. My dad and brother were able to summit K2 and waited for me to go solo summit. The knife edge was...
  • Log #10402 - by adam on Aug 31, 2003
    Best 14er yet, awesome climb!!! The Ridge demands totall attention.
  • Log #10403 - by Ed Brady on Aug 05, 2003
    Start early! Time your start so that you hit the Capitol/Daly saddle at sunrise, allowing about 40-45 minutes to get there from the lake. Not only will the sunrise blow you away, it should keep you...
  • Log #10404 - by Mike Latta on July 16, 2003
    Got to be my favorite 14er.I've done it 4 times now. After all it's in my back yard. I've done almost 50 14ers so far, Having lived in Colorado my entire life.
  • Log #10405 - by Charles Winterscheid on Mar 02, 2003
    My climbing description has changed addesses. It can now be found @: Check it out.
  • Log #10406 - by Ralph Rice Jr. on Jan 19, 2003
    This was my sixth 14er. I have climbed 5 mountains since (including Mt. Sneffels and El Diente) and nothing I have done thus far ranks as high in terms of difficulty, fright, exhileration, challenge...
  • Log #10407 - by Matt Loscalzo on Oct 17, 2002
    One of the best, if not the best mountian I have climbed thus far. Beautiful day, got an early start and only one other group (that we knew of) climbing behind us. I call it my best climb because...
  • Log #10408 - by Charles Winterscheid on Sep 22, 2002
    Check out the page with photos @
  • Log #10409 - by Eddie "The Yeti" Mize on Sep 21, 2002
    Capitol Peak Trip August 16-17, 2002 Jarod Martin and Eddie Mize Account by Eddie Mize We drove early over Independence Pass and in to Aspen. Out of Aspen North and into construction. We drove to...
  • Log #10410 - by Michael Jake on July 08, 2002
    Packed in on Capital Creek Trail on 7/6/02. Some great campsites near the Capital Lake. My fiancee, Lori, and I got an early start in the morning at about 5:30. Don't let the elevation and mileage...
  • Log #10411 - by Sid Hayes on June 29, 2002
    Third ascent; took 2:45 to summit via regular route. 5:02 round trip. Not difficult, but strenuous. Missed getting rained on, as usual, returned before any thunderstorms.
  • Log #10412 - by Bill Johnson on Jan 15, 2002
    I durn near died on this mountain, and I am neither joking nor exaggerating. Our party backpacked in via the usual Capitol Creek route, and had a routine ascent on a somewhat cloudy and murky day,...
  • Log #10413 - by Jason Halladay on Oct 25, 2001
    Climbed Capitol via the knife ridge on Oct. 20th, 2001. New snow on the peaks made the descent on the east face more tedious than usual. This climb is a fantastic climb! The two of us climbing it...
  • Log #10414 - by Guy "Max" Maxwell on Oct 24, 2001
    Capitol Peak is by far the best fourteener I have done to date. I just love the backpacking trips into the lake. I have seen many types of colorado wildlife during my hikes into the lake. In July of...
  • Log #10415 - by Andrew Hay on July 09, 2001
    Beautiful hike into the valley. The "Knife" was not as difficult as I imagined. I had a lot of fun on this ridge. Worth the effort!
  • Log #10416 - by Robert Norris on Apr 12, 2001
    A high camp at Capitol Lake put me in asthetic and logistical heaven. It's worth hiking the trail beyond Capital Lake to the south. After a good nights sleep, I awoke and reached the Capitol- Daily...
  • Log #10417 - by Charles Winterscheid on Dec 31, 2000
    Left Colorado Mountain College (Glenwood Springs) at around 6 pm and made it to the trail head 'round 7. We hiked for maybe twenty minutes that night and decided to set up camp near the Capitol Creek...
  • Log #10418 - by matt kirk on Nov 03, 2000
    Greetings 14er climbers and enthusiasts. I just wanted to let everyone know that there should be a 14ers forum coming soon at If you have the time, please come by and...
  • Log #10419 - by Krista Newberry on Sep 18, 2000
    This was my second fourteener; my first was Mt. Bierstadt last year. I was certainly challenged physically, mentally and emotionally. Lots of loose rock and sheer drops to either side.
  • Log #10420 - by Thomas Bailey on Aug 20, 2000
    This was a long climb, with considerable exposure beyond the knife edge ridge, and loose rock. Unfortunately, one of the climbers in the party ahead of me was killed on the traverse below K2. He was...
  • Log #10421 - by Jarrett Luttrell on Aug 04, 2000
    The complete traverse from the Mount Daly saddle has some spectacular views of the Elk Range! I think the climb is more of a boarderline class 3 monkey walk than a class 4 technical climb. The...
  • Log #10422 - by Douglas LaMunyon on Sep 10, 1999
    This was my first fourteener. The exposure on the knife edge is intimidating but not too tough. If you would like to read about the climb, go to:
  • Log #10423 - by Ken Whittenburg on July 20, 1999
    Easily the most difficult mountain I have climbed to date. The difficulty comes from the long duration of very exposed climbing on loose rock. Very tiring both physically and mentally.
  • Log #10424 - by Kirk Mallory on July 20, 1999
    Backpacked in along the Capitol Creek Trail which is very scenic and has excellent views of Capitol Peak. Camped near Capitol Lake. The day we climbed was somewhat cloudy, but we went anyway. I was...