Colorado Mountain Club

The Colorado Mountain Club (CMC), formed in 1912,[2] is a nonprofit, 501 (c)(3) outdoor education organization based in Golden, Colorado that gathers and disseminates information regarding Colorado's mountains in the areas of art, science, literature and recreation. The club advocates for the preservation of the alpine regions, and was instrumental in the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park.[3] The CMC has its own press with over 30 published titles, and has continuously published Trail & Timberline magazine since 1918.

Colorado Mountain Club
Area served


From 25 charter members in 1912, the club rapidly grew to 200 members barely a year later, when the CMC became a nonprofit corporation. Charter members included such notable historic figures as Enos Mills, Roger Toll, and Carl Blaurock.[4]

In 1974, the club purchased its first permanent home in Denver, Colorado. In 1993, the CMC partnered with the American Alpine Club to found the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, Colorado.[5] The building houses the largest mountaineering library in the world, as well as a state-of-the-art museum, which opened in February, 2008, and is named for famed mountaineer Henry Bradford Washburn, Jr.


The CMC has a state-level organization along with 14 local groups, serving communities such as Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Aspen.[6]


The club first ventured into education by forming a mountaineering school in 1939. Today, the club offers classes in a variety of subjects, including wilderness trekking, nature photography, mountaineering, climbing, wilderness first aid, fly fishing, and leadership. Classes are taught by volunteers and often involve lectures and field days.


Members of the club are able to sign up for trips, most of which take place within the state of Colorado. Trips are led by volunteer trip leaders who handle the planning and organization as well as the execution. Trips may include such activities as hiking, climbing, fishing, and photography and are offered at various levels of difficulty. The club's adventure travel program also provides international travel opportunities.


The CMC has a conservation committee that is active in representing hiker interests in the state of Colorado. It also conducts volunteer trail work throughout the state to help maintain and build hiking trails.


The CMC is the official repository for summit registers on Colorado's popular fourteeners. It also maintains the comprehensive list of each person who has climbed all 53 of these high peaks. It also provides a free online system called mySummits for hikers to report summits of Colorado's 100 highest peaks.

Notable club members throughout history


  1. Member Benefits
  2. Charles Ernest Fay, et al., A Century of American Alpinism, (The American Alpine Club, 2002)]
  3. National Park Service, Rocky Mountain Administrative History, Chapter II, Enos Mills And The Creation Of The Park,
  4. Hugh E. Kingery, The Colorado Mountain Club: The First Seventy-Five Years of a Highly Individual Corporation, 1912 - 1987,(Cordillera Press, 1988) ISBN 0-917895-25-8]
  5. Cameron Burns, Colorado Climbs Upward With Group's Relocation Famed Mountaineering Club Is Leaving New York City And Bringing Huge Library, (The Denver Post, December 12, 1992),
  6. CMC Groups
  7. Barbara Euser, A Climber's Climber: On the Trail With Carl Blaurock, (Cordillera Press, 1984) ISBN 0-917895-01-0]
  8. Hugh E. Kingery, The Colorado Mountain Club: The First Seventy-Five Years of a Highly Individual Corporation, 1912 - 1987,(Cordillera Press, 1988) ISBN 0-917895-25-8]
  9. Jeff Achey, Dudley Chelton, Bob Godfrey, Climb!: The History of Rock Climbing in Colorado, (The Mountaineers Books, 2002) ISBN 0-89886-876-9]
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