One week: last of March; help with a hike

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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One week: last of March; help with a hike

Postby teamhawaii » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:06 pm

Ok, I'm going to be a wicked noob here, but I need help to make my week in CO amazing. My fiancee and I are visiting CO in a couple weeks (the last one of March) and I wanted to do a great hike or two. We aren't bringing a lot of our gear, so it will essentially be one preferably without a lot of snow/ice. Just a good hike in jackets and boots. I want it to be safe. She has been working like a mad-woman so isn't in mid-summer shape yet, so nothing too strenuous. Just nice views, waterafalls, etc... It can be a 4-6 hour hike that is fine. Any help would be much appreciated! :D

Re: One week: last of March; help with a hike

Postby gonzalj » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:17 pm

Well, we still have a decent amount of snow, but I know there are some trails that are snow packed that could probably be hiked without snowshoes. What part of the state are you planning on being in?

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Re: One week: last of March; help with a hike

Postby sunny1 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:07 am

As gonzalj points out, most higher elevation climbs are going to be in winter conditions, you'd need/want snowshoes and traction.
Depending on the weather, even some of the lower trails may be snowy/icy.

A few suggestions:
Boulder foothills: Gregory Canyon to Green Mtn (8,144 ft elev) is approx 5.2 mi r/t with 2300 ft elev gain. There is a $5.00 fee to park at the TH if you are not a Boulder County resident. You can park at Chautauqua Park 0.3 mi away free - there are also trails around there that may interest you. Green mountain provides excellent continental divide views, there's a peak map on the summit to help you figure out what you're looking at.
Bear Peak is also an enjoyable climb, though more strenuous and mileage.

A few maybes:
Mt Sniktau from Loveland Pass: drive west on I-70, take the Loveland Pass exit. You start the climb at the top of the pass, 11,900 ft. Mt Sniktau is 13,200 something ft elevation. If you guys aren't used to the elevation, that may give you trouble. This hike is approx 3.8 mi r/t with 1600-1700 ft of elev gain. The first part is strenuous, then it's a gentle up and down ridge walk to the summit. This is an awesome hike to give you incredible views, that "on top of the world" feeling. There will be snow, bullet-proof (slick) on the initial, west facing slope. I generally like traction (microspikes) for this, but have done it in boots only that time of year.

Twin Sisters on the east side of Long's Peak: 2 11ers, 7.8 mi r/t with approx 2200-2300 ft elev gain (I forget exactly!) This might be a little longer than you want, but it has stunning views of Longs diamond face and Mt Meeker. There will likely be snow on the trail, but it's generally packed. I've been up there a few times and needed and used snow shoes, too. If the front range remains snow free, you'll probably be able to boot up.
The older you get, the better you get, unless you're a banana.

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Re: One week: last of March; help with a hike

Postby teamhawaii » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:34 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to be staying in Arvada outside Denver, but I am willing to drive a couple hours for a nice hike.

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Re: One week: last of March; help with a hike

Postby peter303 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:27 pm

Arvada is 90-120 minutes from Rocky Mountain Park. You just visit the standard stops and go until the snow stops you. Be sure to hit Bear Lake.
Drive up booth ways: Hwy 36 one way and the Peak-to-Peak & Boulder Canyon back.

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