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Breckenridge backcountry?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Breckenridge backcountry?

Postby MadTown Jon » Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:43 am

Hey all...
My wife and I are coming out to Colorado in mid-July, staying at her parents condo in Silverthorne. We're planning several day hikes, and maybe a 13er or two or a 14er, but I also want to get her some exposure to backpacking, and backcountry camping, as she's never done it and is interested. We climbed Quandary together 2 years ago. We don't have a ton of time, so I'm thinking just 1 or 2 nights out to start with. Due to our time constraint, and the fact that we're staying in Silverthorne, I'm focusing on Summit Cty., and Breckenridge in particular.

I was thinking that maybe we could start on the Spruce Creek trail, go up to Mohawk Lakes to camp, then a morning summit of Pacific/Atlantic/Crystal. But, not sure if we're allowed to camp up there? I would assume it would be ok, but just not sure. I'd really appreciate any comments on this plan, or any other suggestions for a quick backcountry outing, where we could also fit in a climb.

Thanks!

Jon in Madtown, WI

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Postby Jim Davies » Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:10 am

You can camp at the lakes. There are a number of sites around the lower lake especially; the second lake is surrounded by either steep slopes or exposed tundra, so not quite so good (but apparently still legal). It's a beautiful place, and not too tough a backpack for starters.

This picture is of Lower Mohawk Lake from the trail to the upper lake. A good camping location is around the base of the bump on the right side, since it's well away from the lakes and off the trail. You'll have to find an open spot in the willows, but I've seen people camped there on several visits. Another spot I've seen occupied is below the lake's outlet (center of the picture), but you should be 200 feet from water when you camp (not that many people follow this rule....)
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Postby summitrunner » Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:49 am

Welcome to Summit County! Plenty of places to go...The Virtual Dillon Ranger Distrct is a great website with over 50 trails to hike/mntn bike/offroad. Click on Trail Info and choose which types of trails. Once you choose scroll to the bottom and pick your trail from the map of Summit County. There are info sheets and topo maps. There are some pretty hikes up here! Do you run? There is a Summit Trail Running Series in Breck that you might be able to catch (just don't beat me too badly!).
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Postby Scott P » Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:13 am

Due to our time constraint, and the fact that we're staying in Silverthorne, I'm focusing on Summit Cty., and Breckenridge in particular.


If I was staying in Silverthorne, personally, I would head north to the Gore Range.

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Postby leftyslugger » Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:17 am

I agree with Scott. Head north on Hwy 9. Look at doing Upper Catarack (sp?). There are some 12ers up there and the scenery is beautiful. There are a lot of trails that loop around. Have a great time.

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Postby MadTown Jon » Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:49 am

Scott Patterson wrote:If I was staying in Silverthorne, personally, I would head north to the Gore Range.



leftyslugger wrote:I agree with Scott. Head north on Hwy 9. Look at doing Upper Catarack (sp?). There are some 12ers up there and the scenery is beautiful. There are a lot of trails that loop around. Have a great time.


Guys, thanks for the advice. I'll do more research on the Gore. I was hoping we could also climb Buffalo Mtn., as the trailhead is so close to the condo.


Summitrunner:
Thanks for the links, I'll definitely use them. Both of us are runners, but we're not accustomed to running at elevation! We usually do some short runs from the condo when we come out, but I certainly wouldn't worry about me beating you! Or, beating anyone for that matter. Though, I do usually run pretty fast when heading to the Dillon Dam or Breck breweries....

Jon

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Postby leftyslugger » Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:55 am

Buffalo is cool. I always stay in Wildernest subdivision there on the moutain. You can hit the Mesa Cortina trail and make a big loop that will put you out somewhere around Frisco (I believe it's Rainbow and Ten Mile Creek Trail). Also, check out Willow Falls trail for a short day hike. It's the same TH as Buffalo at the top of Ryan Gulch.

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