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Longs Peak & Ken Salazar's Free Weekends @RNP?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Re: Longs Peak & Ken Salazar's Free Weekends @RNP?

Postby Sigsterrr » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:48 am

StevieTwoShoes wrote:Do you want all class 3, or class 3 max? In the immediate area of Longs Peak, you have Chasm Lake and Estes Cone. Just up the road is Twin Sisters. Just down the road is the Wild Basin TH, with numerous Lake and Waterfall hikes (Thunder Lake is my personal favorite there). If you don't mind crowds (and if you're doing Longs, I assume you don't), Hallett Peak via the Flattop Trail from Bear Lake is a nice hike (and a good way to see how you'll adjust to the elevation if you do it beforehand).
For something less crowded, anything in the Mummy Range is nice. All summits there require long approach hikes, but reward you with a great deal of solitude rarely found elsewhere in the park. If you would rather spend your time at a lake, Lawn Lake is pretty nice, but hiking just beyond it, you will come to Crystal Lakes, where I have never seen another person. I hope that gives you a good start, but opportunities in the Park are nearly limitless. I'm sure others will have more for you.

edit-I should add that the above are all class 1 and 2 hikes. As far as class 3 goes, off the top of my head, you have Little Matterhorn from Bear Lake TH, and McHenrys Peak via Stone Man Pass (Glacier Gorge TH). You could also summit Mt. Meeker (just south of Longs), which has an interesting move or two on the way to the summit block, but nothing that exceeds class 3.



Thanks for all the information StevieTwoShoes. I like that it is specific. I was under the impression that getting to and from Chasm Lake would be a class 4. I will be going either by myself or with up to 3 other people (so I plan to probably be alone because people usually back out) and do not think any of them want to take too big of a risk. If I can summit Longs on the first try that Thursday, then I would like to see some other places Friday and Saturday and fly back Sunday morning.

The Wild Basin TH sounds like it might be perfect.

I will start taking some ginko today or tomorrow just to help with the elevation. I have hiked Mt. Mitchell in north carolina which I think was much more difficult physically than longs will be, but longs is soo much higher. Mitchell = 3300 ft in about 4 or so miles but from 3300 ft to 6600 ft is much different from 9100ft to 14255 ft. I can not imagine the weather can be any worse than what it was in north carolina. :-)

I will check on the Basin TH. Thanks again.

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Re: Longs Peak & Ken Salazar's Free Weekends @RNP?

Postby StevieTwoShoes » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:35 am

When free of snow Chasm Lake is a class one walk up, but well worth your time. If you decide to go with Wild Basin, be sure to get there early (not Longs early, but i would say 8:00 at the latest) as it is a very popular area and the lot fills quickly, especially on weekends. Keep in mind that camping in the boulderfield requires a permit, which needs to be acquired well in advance. If that is your plan and you have not already called the RMNP backcountry office to secure one, I would do so. For what it's worth, however, I agree with sgladbach in that it makes more sense to climb Longs as a day hike. Best of luck and enjoy.
"I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education." -Wilson Mizner

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Re: Longs Peak & Ken Salazar's Free Weekends @RNP?

Postby StevieTwoShoes » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:48 am

Papillon, I looked over that document briefly last night and I think the proposed option is the best one. I have no opinion one way or the other about Meeker Park or Lily Lake, but the Longs TH area absolutely needs some work. The parking situation is bad enough as it is and will only get worse, so I'm glad to see the NPS and USFS working toward a solution now. Thanks for posting.
"I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education." -Wilson Mizner

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