First 14er and Trailhead question

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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rockchalker
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Re: First 14er and Trailhead question

Postby rockchalker » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:34 am

We based in Lake City last year and had a great time. The town is really neat and the San Juans are my favorite mountains. We did Handies via Grizzly Gulch at the recommendation of a Lake City resident and climber and thought it was a spectacular hike. You could go up Grizzly and down American Basin but then you have a semi long walk back on the road. I was glad we did an up and back. The road to the trailhead is fine but there are some places with some good exposure.
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Flatlander2011
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Re: First 14er and Trailhead question

Postby Flatlander2011 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:18 pm

Got the cabin, got the jeep, in less than two weeks we WILL climb Handies. Thanks for all the help. The best forum of any kind I have ever posted on!!!!
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Re: First 14er and Trailhead question

Postby Flatlander2011 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:20 pm

One last question....Grizzly Gulch or American Basin?
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MtHurd
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Re: First 14er and Trailhead question

Postby MtHurd » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:39 pm

I did it via American Basin. I can't tell you about Grizzly Gulch, but I can't imagine it being prettier than American Basin. It will be easier via American Basin as well. The only negative would be the semi-4x4 road going into American Basin whereas Grizzly Gulch would not be a rough road.

A couple of activities I would recommend near Lake City.

1. A few miles up the road from Lake City driving towards Creede there is a turnout on the left side of the road called Windy Point. Stop there, it's one of the most spectacular views in all of Colorado.

2. Check out North Clear Creek Falls between Creede and Lake City.

3. Go watch a show at the Creede Reportory Theater.

http://www.creederep.org/

If you can get over to Ouray, do it. It's an amazing little town.

1. Go to Box Canyon Falls

2. Go to the Hot Springs pool in town at night.
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SpringsJeff
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Re: First 14er and Trailhead question

Postby SpringsJeff » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:38 pm

If you're going to be in Gunnison, take the short drive to Lake City. Great little town. Handies would be the obvious first 14'er in the area. I did it from Grizzly Gulch but I hear the American Basin route is just as pretty and easier. And the views are outstanding.

Lake City - the hotels are pretty basic. I stay at the Alpine Moose when I'm there but it's no palace. Food there is very good.

Don't miss the old fashioned soda fountain.
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Craig Cook
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Re: First 14er and Trailhead question

Postby Craig Cook » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:18 pm

Flatlander2011 wrote:One last question....Grizzly Gulch or American Basin?


The best TR's I've seen are from folks who hike up via Grizzly Gulch, then descend via American Basin. As was noted earlier, you add a mile or so to your hike because you have to return down the road to your vehicle, but then you would get to see both sides on the same trip.
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Cruiser
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Re: First 14er and Trailhead question

Postby Cruiser » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:49 am

I don't know about the grizzly gulch approach, but the american basin approach is fantastic. The trail really its top notch and the views can't be beat. I didn't even engage 4wd getting to the upper trailhead. It's a short hike too which its nice since you're looking for an easier 14er. Heck, I'm fat and fairly slow and it only took me an hour and a half from the upper trailhead to the summit.
Where ever you are... There you are.
Flatlander2011
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Re: First 14er and Trailhead question

Postby Flatlander2011 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:20 am

"Fat and slow", I resemble that remark!!!! That gives me ALOT of encouragment!!! Now if I can just get acclimated a little I think I can make it!!!

I have talked to a couple people in Lake city making reservations etc.... and they have been some of the nicest and most helpful people I have run into. Cannot wait to spend a couple days there. I have been to CO multiple times for different reasons and hate I have not made it to that area of the state sooner.
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awake
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Re: First 14er and Trailhead question

Postby awake » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:38 pm

I haven't done the American Basin, but the Grizzly Gulch was one of my favorite hikes I've done. (But it sounds like American Basin is great, too, so I think you really can't go wrong with Handies). Hope you have a great time.

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