For those looking for a hiking challenge, try Colorado's North Star Mountain before the snow melts.

North Star Mountain does not count as one of Colorado's 14ers, but it's pretty close at 13,614. It's only about eight miles round trip, but a couple of false summits and 6 closed contour lines make for a challenging ascent.

The other challenge is the 1.2-mile ridge to the summit, which, for winter hikers, requires navigating over snow-covered rocks with steep and deep drop-offs on either side.

This is not an adventure for novice hikers, but it's also not a hike reserved exclusively for experts. Intermediate winter hikers should have no trouble as long as they are prepared with crampons and an ice ax.

The trailhead is accessible year-round, so there are climbers who do North Star in the winter, but for those that would rather not deal with the extra hazard of snow, a mid-summer hike might be the thing.

Personally, I'm not putting this hike on my bucket list any time soon.

To reach the trailhead of North Star Mountain, take CO Hwy 9 out of Breckenridge to the top of Hoosier Pass.

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