Plan is to start at long lake trailhead and camp first night at Crater Lake. Next day hike over Buchanan pass and up to Red Deer Lake and camp there. Final day down to beaver creek trail and out.
Would you say this is doable? What is the route and time frame you did. Just me andmy wife. We are pretty quich hikers even fully loaded and live in lakewood.
I'd say totally reasonable, especially if you're acclimated and quick, as you say. It took me just over 9 hours to do the loop (that was running, so no heavy pack to contend with)... and that was at the end of a 150 mile training week, including 35 miles on the Leadville 100 course the day before... so I was running on really tired legs. Based on that time compared to similar backpacking trips I've both run and backpacked, I'd say 3 days to backpack it is totally reasonable.
We did the same route, minus the trip to Crater lake... though we did it counter-clockwise vs clockwise. I'm not sure that matters. The climbs going clockwise are more gradual to the passes and the descents will be steeper off the passes than CCW.
It's a really pretty trip, you guys will have a great time! Let me know if you need any more info on it!
This was our route, minus the Crater lake jaunt:
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