Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25
  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Lowell, IN
    Posts
    46

    Advice: Colorado Hiking

    Hello everyone,

    I'm looking for some direction in regards to a backpacking trip in Colorado (mid-August). The possibilities are endless, I know, but that makes it all the more difficult to plan a trip (having never been there).

    I hope to fly into Denver early on Day 1 and back home later (2-4pm) on Day 4. This leaves two full days of hiking and maybe a few miles (3-5) on the tail end of Day 1 and the morning of Day 4.

    I would love to do the Maroon Bells loop, but I think with an estimated ~4 hour drive (google maps) I would be cutting it too close... or at least, not leaving enough wiggle room.

    Anyway, I think this limits me to the RMNP (general) area as it's 1.5 hours outside of Denver. I very much crave the picturesque mountain views, sprawling open fields, wildflowers, mountain streams etc.

    If anyone has any advice I would appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Hammock
    Blackbird
    Tarp
    MacCat Standard
    Insulation
    Winter Yeti, MWUQ4
    Suspension
    Whoopie Slings
    Posts
    8,012
    Images
    32
    Check out Mustardman's Buffalo Peaks thread...it's a beautiful area. There's an 11 mile loop that connects to a couple other trails. You could easily make a few days out of it, either relaxing and enjoying the views or pushing hard to see more scenery.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Hammock
    DIY gathered end / WL Snipe
    Tarp
    DIY 8x10 sil/ M.O.
    Insulation
    DIY UQ/ 20*Pheonix
    Suspension
    DIYwhoopie slings
    Posts
    147
    Hey Griffins, as of aug 2 Waterton Canyon TH on the CT will be closed for work onthe dam but Roxbury is an alt. your best bet for info is trailforums.com or PMags.com. hope this helps you.. ETH

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Hammock
    Warbonnet Blackbird/Ridgerunner
    Tarp
    OES 12x10
    Insulation
    WB Yeti/Lynx
    Posts
    2,302
    Images
    42
    Buffalo peaks was definitely nice. Large portions of the hike were exposed to the sun - in August, make sure you use lots of sunscreen and a good hat! The sun is intense at 10k feet.

    If you want to check out more details of the area, my trip report is here:

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=19079


    As Jeff said, there are a number of other trails in the area that you could use to make a longer loop. If you want to grab a National Geographic map, it's Trails Illustrated #110 - Leadville/Fairplay. The map has an acceptable level of detail for the trails in the area.


    Edit: Also, if you decide to go to RMNP, be advised - all backcountry camping in RMNP now requires use of a bear canister. This is a recent change to the regulations, so might not be listed in many trail guides yet. RMNP is gorgeous and has a wealth of fantastic hiking. Starting around the Emerald Lake area, you can make some great long loops, and visit some truly breathtaking lakes and ravines. There is also a free shuttle bus that you can take between several of the trailheads, so you can make up some good loops.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Hammock
    Blackbird
    Tarp
    MacCat Standard
    Insulation
    Winter Yeti, MWUQ4
    Suspension
    Whoopie Slings
    Posts
    8,012
    Images
    32
    Here's the topo I used. Rich Creek Trail to Rough and Tumble Creek Trail is the 11 mile loop, marked in red.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Hammock
    Warbonnet ON!
    Tarp
    SuperFly or MacCat
    Insulation
    Yetis & Mambas
    Suspension
    Webbing and rings
    Posts
    13,919
    Images
    136
    Do a search for "Salmon Lake, CO".

    It is up near Breckenridge and is a beautiful hike. Mileage is a little more than what you posted (think it's 8 miles in), but the trail itself is fairly mild. There are a series of about 5 small alpine lakes with some hanging opportunities nearby. Views are the stuff you see in magazines with rugged granite peaks surrounding you and some breathtaking meadows. Lakes are just above 11,000' and crystal clear, as well as colder than water should be allowed to be. One of my favorite spots to decompress.
    Trust nobody!

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Lowell, IN
    Posts
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    Here's the topo I used. Rich Creek Trail to Rough and Tumble Creek Trail is the 11 mile loop, marked in red.
    Thanks for the suggestion Jeff. Looking through the previous thread's pictures it is indeed a beautiful area. However, it seems as if it is more "rolling" hills. We will be coming from Indiana, and we would be tickled pink if we could hike among vast meadows with tower peaks as our backdrop.

    I guess I should add that I am planning to bring a dual-rig for ground dwelling as well. This will enable us to stop at that picture perfect wild camp if we find it, or even camp above tree line.
    Last edited by griffins; 07-12-2010 at 18:03.

  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Lowell, IN
    Posts
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    Do a search for "Salmon Lake, CO".

    It is up near Breckenridge and is a beautiful hike. Mileage is a little more than what you posted (think it's 8 miles in), but the trail itself is fairly mild. There are a series of about 5 small alpine lakes with some hanging opportunities nearby. Views are the stuff you see in magazines with rugged granite peaks surrounding you and some breathtaking meadows. Lakes are just above 11,000' and crystal clear, as well as colder than water should be allowed to be. One of my favorite spots to decompress.
    The mileage can be decent. Keep in mind, we will ideally have all day Friday/Saturday to hike (~10-15 miles, probably less since we will be taking in the scenery). The 3-5 mile range would be on Thursday evening and Sunday morning, as this allows us travel/airport time from Denver.

    Ideally, we are looking for Maroon Bells-esque scenery with smaller-to-no crowds... closer to the airport. Am I high as a kite?

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Lowell, IN
    Posts
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by Mustardman View Post
    Buffalo peaks was definitely nice. Large portions of the hike were exposed to the sun - in August, make sure you use lots of sunscreen and a good hat! The sun is intense at 10k feet.

    If you want to check out more details of the area, my trip report is here:

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=19079


    As Jeff said, there are a number of other trails in the area that you could use to make a longer loop. If you want to grab a National Geographic map, it's Trails Illustrated #110 - Leadville/Fairplay. The map has an acceptable level of detail for the trails in the area.


    Edit: Also, if you decide to go to RMNP, be advised - all backcountry camping in RMNP now requires use of a bear canister. This is a recent change to the regulations, so might not be listed in many trail guides yet. RMNP is gorgeous and has a wealth of fantastic hiking. Starting around the Emerald Lake area, you can make some great long loops, and visit some truly breathtaking lakes and ravines. There is also a free shuttle bus that you can take between several of the trailheads, so you can make up some good loops.
    Interesting about the Bear canister. I will have to do some more bear research as this will be our first time in bear country. I'm not sure we will be scared, but more-or-less cautious since we are bear-virgins. Everyone gets nervous their first time, right?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Hammock
    Warbonnet ON!
    Tarp
    SuperFly or MacCat
    Insulation
    Yetis & Mambas
    Suspension
    Webbing and rings
    Posts
    13,919
    Images
    136
    Quote Originally Posted by griffins View Post
    we would be tickled pink if we could hike among vast meadows with tower peaks as our backdrop.
    Jefferson County Open Area. Some very flat hiking, close to town, and nice backdrops.
    Trust nobody!

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-05-2014, 08:31
  2. Hiking the Colorado Trail
    By Gus in forum Hangouts, Campouts, and Trip Planning
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-27-2012, 14:54
  3. Chicago Basin (Colorado) - Advice/Suggestions Please
    By Corncob in forum Hangouts, Campouts, and Trip Planning
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 06-15-2012, 00:10
  4. Colorado People, I'm Looking for Advice
    By Boothill in forum Hangouts, Campouts, and Trip Planning
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-01-2011, 10:57
  5. Southwest Colorado advice???
    By taylo in forum Hangouts, Campouts, and Trip Planning
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-20-2011, 07:03

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •