Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

New to the Forum/Planning First Trips.

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:01 pm

New to the Forum/Planning First Trips.

Postby BeerCore » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:17 pm

Hello Everyone I'm BeerCore!
A younger homebrewer currently working in Nebraska and Planning my first couple trips.
In about two weeks time I am taking a week off to return to the mountains.
Hopefully I'll be starting my trip with 3 days 2 nights around Mt. Elbert (first half day/second day doing some hiking around the treeline to adjust to altitude).
I think I have this part of the trip fairly well figures out, there's loads of information on Mt. Elbert, it's aproaches, and information on trailheads and camping in the area.

The second half of the trip is where I am having trouble.
I actually saw a route on this forum (snooping) Starting at Molas Pass Trailhead south of Silverton and Backpacking out on the 'Elk Creek Trail.'
The route suggested going off trail over the saddle between Peaks 1 and 2 then camping at the base of the saddle of 2/3 then making for Leviathan lake the next day.
Along this route is the possibility of several summits, and the promise of some great views and solidarity.

I could use any recommendations I could get to realize this trip (which I will have a total of four days with a possible fifth day).
I am having the most trouble finding a good source for maps, and info on the local trails on this area.
To be blunt; I have figured out of the off trail bits, but am having trouble finding exactly where the Molas Pass Trailhead is and if there is a mapped Elk Creek Trail.
(I'll take any [completely deserved] chidings to get the info)
I'm pretty new to this and I'm sure there is a resource I am overlooking, but I'd love to learn all I can.
Thanks for any help you can offer, and it's great to have a forum like this to just see other peoples adventures.

Posts: 436
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:59 am
Location: Menasha, Wisconsin

Re: New to the Forum/Planning First Trips.

Postby hotrod » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:14 am

The Colorado Trail goes through this area. You might try their information. It would be Segment 24 in their guidebook. www.coloradotrail.org
Growing older is inevitable, but getting old is not.

User avatar
Posts: 218
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:09 am
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Re: New to the Forum/Planning First Trips.

Postby Dark Helmet » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:29 am

welcome...

what part of Nebraska are you in?

there are a few of us on here an quite a few other elevation-junkies around that might be good resources.

Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:01 pm

Re: New to the Forum/Planning First Trips.

Postby BeerCore » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:45 am

Morrill Nebraska. About 10 miles from the wyoming border and probably 70 north of the Colorado border.

I'll definitely check that site out, thanks!
In the case that I can't put together a reliable map of the course I'd like to take does anyone have any suggestions for a more well established route for a 3 to 4 day backpacking trip?
Something with good water features, and opportunity to tackle a couple nice summits along the way would be nice.

User avatar
Posts: 218
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:09 am
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Re: New to the Forum/Planning First Trips.

Postby Dark Helmet » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:58 am

BeerCore wrote:Morrill Nebraska. About 10 miles from the wyoming border and probably 70 north of the Colorado border.

I'll definitely check that site out, thanks!
In the case that I can't put together a reliable map of the course I'd like to take does anyone have any suggestions for a more well established route for a 3 to 4 day backpacking trip?
Something with good water features, and opportunity to tackle a couple nice summits along the way would be nice.




I know exactly where that it and wow, I'm jealous... that is gorgeous country out there. I've been trying to convince the wife to move into the Sandhills for a few years, but it's not working! are you closer to SB/Gering or Torrington?

Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:01 pm

Re: New to the Forum/Planning First Trips.

Postby BeerCore » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:20 am

14 miles east of Torrington 17 miles west of Scottsbluff. The area is in harvest mode right now; makes for very pretty sunsets. I was actually born in Colorado and spent my childhood sort of back and forth between Colorado and our home 30 miles outside of Alliance Ne, Which is much closer to the black hills and has alot more of the Bad Lands feel to it.
Now that you point it out I feel guilty for being complacent about this area haha.

User avatar
Posts: 218
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:09 am
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Re: New to the Forum/Planning First Trips.

Postby Dark Helmet » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:56 am

BeerCore wrote:14 miles east of Torrington 17 miles west of Scottsbluff. The area is in harvest mode right now; makes for very pretty sunsets. I was actually born in Colorado and spent my childhood sort of back and forth between Colorado and our home 30 miles outside of Alliance Ne, Which is much closer to the black hills and has alot more of the Bad Lands feel to it.
Now that you point it out I feel guilty for being complacent about this area haha.



spend a week back here in the platte-river valley (i.e. the I-80 corridor) and the complacency will vanish...

if you go down southeast of here, there is pretty farm-country with some rolling hills, but it's pretty blah.

my parents are from Neligh (between O'Neil and Norfolk) on the edge of the sandhills and I spent a ton of time there as a kid... MUCH prefer that landscape and the blackhills/badlands to the uber-flatlands back here.

Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:01 pm

Re: New to the Forum/Planning First Trips.

Postby BeerCore » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:40 pm

Dark Helmet wrote:
spend a week back here in the platte-river valley (i.e. the I-80 corridor) and the complacency will vanish...

if you go down southeast of here, there is pretty farm-country with some rolling hills, but it's pretty blah.

my parents are from Neligh (between O'Neil and Norfolk) on the edge of the sandhills and I spent a ton of time there as a kid... MUCH prefer that landscape and the blackhills/badlands to the uber-flatlands back here.


Yeah I've never been much of a flatlander, Some drives are pretty unbearable around here for that reason haha.
On the other hand the badlands can be some tough terrain, seemingly no significant trees or water anywhere haha.
What area do you live in now?

User avatar
Posts: 218
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:09 am
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Re: New to the Forum/Planning First Trips.

Postby Dark Helmet » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:05 pm

BeerCore wrote:
Dark Helmet wrote:
spend a week back here in the platte-river valley (i.e. the I-80 corridor) and the complacency will vanish...

if you go down southeast of here, there is pretty farm-country with some rolling hills, but it's pretty blah.

my parents are from Neligh (between O'Neil and Norfolk) on the edge of the sandhills and I spent a ton of time there as a kid... MUCH prefer that landscape and the blackhills/badlands to the uber-flatlands back here.


Yeah I've never been much of a flatlander, Some drives are pretty unbearable around here for that reason haha.
On the other hand the badlands can be some tough terrain, seemingly no significant trees or water anywhere haha.
What area do you live in now?



we're city-dwellers in Lincoln... live out on the ragged edge of town... we back up to a cornfield (or what's left of one!) we get to the Mtns 2-3x every year. and I spend time in the sandhills hunting every fall. and have clients I go see up in spearfish a couple times a year... I couldn't handle living here if it wasn't so easy to get out west and get some elevation under me...

User avatar
Posts: 3091
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 5:04 pm
Location: Tabernash, CO

Re: New to the Forum/Planning First Trips.

Postby MtHurd » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:58 pm

The Elk Creek Trail is in the Weminuche Wilderness. It starts at Elk Park which is a dropoff for the Durango and Silverton Narrow Guage Train. To get to this trailhead without the train you would take a trail (there is parking) from Molas Pass (just south of Silverton on 550) 4 miles downhill. The Elk Park Trail is well traveled and ascends up to the Continental Divide above Kite Lake. I wouldn't try the route suggested though unless you have a lot of backcountry bushwhacking experience and a light pack. It's very rugged back in there. You could instead make camp at Eldorado Lakes (a short off-trail route from the Elk Creek Trail) and climb White Dome and Hunchback Mountain. You would need at least 3 days (two nights), one to get to Eldorado Lakes, one to climb, and then one to get back to Molas Pass. This late in the season it can get quite cold and possibly snow so you would have to be well prepared.

Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:01 pm

Re: New to the Forum/Planning First Trips.

Postby BeerCore » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:55 pm

Barry Raven wrote:The Elk Creek Trail is in the Weminuche Wilderness. It starts at Elk Park which is a dropoff for the Durango and Silverton Narrow Guage Train. To get to this trailhead without the train you would take a trail (there is parking) from Molas Pass (just south of Silverton on 550) 4 miles downhill. The Elk Park Trail is well traveled and ascends up to the Continental Divide above Kite Lake. I wouldn't try the route suggested though unless you have a lot of backcountry bushwhacking experience and a light pack. It's very rugged back in there. You could instead make camp at Eldorado Lakes (a short off-trail route from the Elk Creek Trail) and climb White Dome and Hunchback Mountain. You would need at least 3 days (two nights), one to get to Eldorado Lakes, one to climb, and then one to get back to Molas Pass. This late in the season it can get quite cold and possibly snow so you would have to be well prepared.


Thanks for the recommendations, especially the more specific location of the trailhead; I do have a good 4wd (isuzu vehicross) Is the road leading to the trailhead fairly agressive?
I did find the NGS Trail map for it which has helped immensely with planning.
Thanks alot for a secondary recommendation, I will be planning a second (and possibly third) route pending on weather and how the experience around the Mt. Elbert area goes.
Would you say that route could be turned into a four day pretty easily?
I am using all relatively lightweight equipment, last time I weight it (with a 1/2 full 4l hydration bladder) it was around 20lbs(edit) with trekking poles and fuel.
There are a few things I will be adding to that however.

User avatar
Posts: 7365
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:23 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: New to the Forum/Planning First Trips.

Postby Jim Davies » Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:43 pm

Molas Pass is on a highway, accessible to any vehicle.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests