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  1. #1
    New Member smitty's Avatar
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    Rocky Mtn National Park

    I know some of you are in or have hiked in the rocky mtn national park I am looking for suggestions on a 4 night route that is not to hard (some people new to camping are going) with a lake or river to fish? Thanks

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    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    What time of year?
    Hard is a very relative term when there isn't enough oxygen to breathe.
    Trust nobody!

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    sr1355's Avatar
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    Do you want east or west side of park... Ditto on Cannibals question... No direct park road crossing until mid May...Lots of snow in higher elevations into July...I've crossed major snow bridges over rivers in July with snow depths still 10+ feet in areas...
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    Senior Member ringtail-THFKAfood's Avatar
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    over managed

    Rocky Mountain National Park is over managed to the point it is not hiker friendly. Mostly designated camp sites where you are supposed to pitch your tent within 10 feet of the marker. There is some "at large" camping, but not enough for a good 4 night loop.

    The Continential Divide goes right through RMNP, but the CDT detours around because of the Park policies.

    Look at any of the Wilderness Areas for better hiking.
    It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Krissa's Avatar
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    Hi, hubby and I hiked RMNP last summer, but we day-hiked for 3 days and then two weeks later we day hiked for another 3 days (we were on a month long out west trip).

    As a fellow Cincinnatian (is that a word?) I want to caution you about hiking in RMNP without acclimating to the elevation. Cincinnati is around 800 feet above sea level and most of the hiking we did in RMNP was at around 9000 feet. The first three days we hiked were very difficult and I consider us very in shape hikers. We were not able to do the mileage we were used to and my husband had some altitude sickness at 12k. I even started getting dizzy at one point so we had to head back down the trail.

    When we came back on our way home and hiked again for another 3 days we had no troubles at all because we had spent almost 2 weeks above 8000 feet. We hiked Bierstadt a 14k mountain with very good time keeping up with our friend who lives in Denver. It was a wonderful hike, still very difficult but I did not feel like I was going to pass out the whole time. Much more enjoyable.

    So just keep in mind how much the elevation really gets to you. I would maybe plan a longer trip. Day-hike for a few days to get used to the elevation and then backpack that way you are not gasping for air with the backpack on.
    As you grow older, you'll find the only things you regret are the things you didn't do. ~Ernest Hemmingway

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    I was there in September 2009. We hiked up to the Emmaline Cirque, right below Comanche Peak, which is right outside the north border of the park. We got there late day 1, hiked an hour or two and found a campsite. Day two we hiked all the way to the cirque with time to spare, and stealth camped there. Day three we day hiked around the cirque then hiked back down to the sites closest to the peak. Despite the fact that the daytime temperatures had been in the high 70's, day 4 we woke to about 5 inches of snow, so we hiked our butts out of there to make sure my van could navigate the 16 mile dirt road back down the mountain. The snow sure was a change from the 100*+ temps we had in the Badlands a few days before!

    http://www.resourceanalysis.com/trai...il40/tr40.html

    There was plenty of fishing to be had in the lakes near the peak. The length might seem short but it was just about right for this Ohioan. It was nice to spend more time day hiking than trying to cover ground. However, there are trails that branch off and go into RMNP if you are interested in going further.

  7. #7
    New Member smitty's Avatar
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    We will be heading out in august for our trip so I am hoping that is a good time of year to go. What kind of temps do people see in august?

    Thanks everyones responses.

  8. #8
    OutandBack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krissa View Post
    Hi, hubby and I hiked RMNP last summer, but we day-hiked for 3 days and then two weeks later we day hiked for another 3 days (we were on a month long out west trip).

    As a fellow Cincinnatian (is that a word?) I want to caution you about hiking in RMNP without acclimating to the elevation. Cincinnati is around 800 feet above sea level and most of the hiking we did in RMNP was at around 9000 feet. The first three days we hiked were very difficult and I consider us very in shape hikers. We were not able to do the mileage we were used to and my husband had some altitude sickness at 12k. I even started getting dizzy at one point so we had to head back down the trail.

    When we came back on our way home and hiked again for another 3 days we had no troubles at all because we had spent almost 2 weeks above 8000 feet. We hiked Bierstadt a 14k mountain with very good time keeping up with our friend who lives in Denver. It was a wonderful hike, still very difficult but I did not feel like I was going to pass out the whole time. Much more enjoyable.

    So just keep in mind how much the elevation really gets to you. I would maybe plan a longer trip. Day-hike for a few days to get used to the elevation and then backpack that way you are not gasping for air with the backpack on.
    Excellent advice.
    It usually take ~72 hours to acclimate to the high altitude. If you can afford the vacation time get a campground
    or motel at altitude and do some car trips and walk the mtn towns.

    If you typically hike 10 miles back home plan on 2-5 out here. Depending on how much elevation you'll be gaining.
    Also carry extra water. I really like shotbloks to munch on while hiking.
    Plan for mid day rain with lightning. There usually short(1-2hours)

    hth, enjoy your trip. If you do RMNP and wonder is that all there is? PM me and I can direct your to a few secret hiking stashs not in the tourist guides.

    Last edited by OutandBack; 03-17-2011 at 10:36.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider is that RMNP now requires bear canisters for all backcountry campers. So make sure you buy or rent one.

    My personal advice would be to stay in a motel or campground near RMNP and do day hikes in the park for a few days to acclimate to the altitude, then go do your backpacking outside of the park in any one of the many wilderness areas nearby

    The park itself is beautiful, and I love going there for day hikes, but I rarely spend the night.

  10. #10
    sr1355's Avatar
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    I usually stay at Estes Park Campground for a night or two with day hikes at altitude to acclimate. A drive up to Alpine visitor center will help acclimate also. Climb high slow low is my motto first few days.... Here is link to campground, affordable, clean, great views...You can hike right into the park out of this campground, up for a challenge...Day Hike Longs Peak from here, 20 plus miles round trip...UGH...what was I thinking...

    http://larimer.org/naturalresources/...eastportal.htm

    Weather in August will be hot during the day, cool during the night, and hopefully dry but remember you are in the mountains and anything goes.... I've even seen fresh snow fall in August above 10K feet...

    Have fun and take lots of pictures....
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