Prettiest hike for wknd, uncrowded (non-standard routes?)

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: Prettiest hike for wknd, uncrowded (non-standard routes?)

Postby highpilgrim » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:04 am

here are a couple of possible lines to get to the ridge. I think almost any line in this area will go. There were a couple of cairns along the way and it never exceeded class three so if it does you are likely off route. I think the notch is the one the red line terminates at but I could be wrong; it's been a few years. We took the further right variant.
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Re: Prettiest hike for wknd, uncrowded (non-standard routes?)

Postby rocksrock » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:21 pm

What are you from Wisconsin or something?

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Re: Prettiest hike for wknd, uncrowded (non-standard routes?)

Postby madbuck » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:42 pm

rocksrock wrote:What are you from Wisconsin or something?

Hah! My wife is.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone...The Willow Lake option sounds like a great weekend for a next climb with some more planning and prep, maybe with bro 'rocksrock' if he's buyin' afterward :) . Agreed that rushing for a long day doesn't make it better than enjoying the wknd.

For now, La Plata from Winfield is looking pretty good...

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Re: Prettiest hike for wknd, uncrowded (non-standard routes?)

Postby uwe » Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:24 pm

Willow Lake area rocks!
One of the prettiest places...
And a nice fairly mellow hike up, to boot.
Liked it better than the two 14ers.

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Re: Prettiest hike for wknd, uncrowded (non-standard routes?)

Postby jwproulx » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:18 pm

All right, since everybody is recommending standard routes (or slight variations, or alternate standard routes), I say just do Bierstadt from Guanella Pass.

But if you want something that's actually uncrowded and non-standard, I'd suggest the NE Ridge of Mount Massive from Native Lakes. It's a bit longish compared to some routes, but it fits your timeframe, and when I was there on a beautiful summer weekend I didn't see a soul outside of my own party for the whole hike. Well, except for one place. That is, the summit itself.

It's hikes like that that make me come back to the boring overgrown anthills of the Sawatch time and time again, even after I've been all over the state to muck more spectactular areas.

Another easy hike that gets much less traffic is the East Ridge of Sherman. It's hardly as spectacular as some other areas, but it goes up lovely open meadows. The access is a little tougher, but my Camry made it when I went. That one is not very long at all, but definitely longer than the standard route.

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Re: Prettiest hike for wknd, uncrowded (non-standard routes?)

Postby ketel1 » Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:47 am

Jim Davies wrote:There's decent camping at the North Cottonwood Creek TH, and you can hike Harvard from there (12 miles R/T). The only question I have is whether the road has problems; in the past it's been 2WD accessible, but I haven't been there for five years or so. There's also the possibility of climbing Yale via Kroenke Lake from the same trailhead (the route is in Roach's book but not on this site).

I did Yale via Kroenke Lake. It was wonderful, scenic and I saw one person the entire time until the trail meets with the std trail just below the summit. Kroenke Lake is about 4-4.5 miles in, and Yale is about 2 miles up (if I remember right) so it may be a long day as a day hike. We backpacked in, camped at the lake, and I did Yale the next morning. The lake is beautiful too, and has lots of fish :)
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Re: Prettiest hike for wknd, uncrowded (non-standard routes?)

Postby madbuck » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:07 am

Thanks for all the fine suggestions, friends!
Wife and I did La Plata from Winfield last weekend. Started from group camp below trailhead, didn't want to waste time turning around and looking for a little longer hike, but turns out we could easily brought the Subaru all the way up to the trailhead.

Gorgeous day, gorgeous hike...not too busy, though not overwhelming solitude, but it didn't cross my curmudgeon threshold of too crowded, and wife loved it.
Loved the camping btwn Missouri Gulch & Winfield, found a scenic and quiet spot.

Thanks for the great suggestions! I'm clipping-and-saving these other suggestions for future trips...


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