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Must have maps? If needed at all?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Must have maps? If needed at all?

Postby hmelch » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:23 am

Hi all,

I'm coming out mid-May for an epic week of mtn. biking and hiking.

What maps/trail guides (if any) are must haves? I'm looking to climb Longs Peak (or at least to Chasm lake) and then attempt one or more of Torreys/Grays or Quandary/Sherman (unless I get any other recommendations for great first timer hikes???)

I have the general RMNP trail map for Longs, and that appears to be good enough. Plus i'm sure that trail is so well traversed, no additional map would be needed. Am I correct?

Any recommendations for topo maps (or books) that cover the other area(s) I mentioned? Hoping there is maybe one topo (or guide book) that will provide adequate coverage of those areas. I will be printing and bringing along trailhead/trail descriptions from 14ers.com, would this even be adequate enough? (I know, i know...never good to hike without maps).

Thanks!

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Re: Must have maps? If needed at all?

Postby JTOlson26 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:34 pm

Maps, yes. Knowing how to read the maps, yes. USGS is a good place to start, as is trails illustrated.

Mid-May? Even with a down year for snowpack you most likely won't be looking at an easy summer stroll to the top of Longs.

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Re: Must have maps? If needed at all?

Postby Scott P » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:41 pm

I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: Must have maps? If needed at all?

Postby jsdratm » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:46 pm

I'm a huge fan of the Trails Illustrated maps and have about 30 of them lol. You could get one to cover Grays/Torreys and another one for the Sherman area, they are available at any REI in Colorado.

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Re: Must have maps? If needed at all?

Postby Vids » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:22 pm

I'm also a fan of the Trails Illustrated maps, and agree those are a good recommendation for what you are doing. However, one word of caution on those. I've noticed a couple times they weren't 100% accurate in their depiction of roads in the National Forests, so if you carry those also get a map from the Forest Service specifically for roads. I think their depiction of trails is pretty accurate though, so you may not need the second map unless you plan to drive quite a bit on forest back roads.

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Re: Must have maps? If needed at all?

Postby Kiefer » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:11 pm

I'd agree. The Trails Illustrated maps are pretty good. Mine are so marked up they're almost useless at this point.
Internet is pretty good too. You can match up contour intervals with certain pictures.

Have fun on Longs! It's a great mountain.
Just be sure to bring PLENTY of water!!

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Re: Must have maps? If needed at all?

Postby dave_navy_VA » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:22 pm

I like Trails Illustrated too and can't stop loading up on more of them. I love maps/charts. I use a grease pencil that wipes off pretty easily, and they are pretty durable.

But I also print a 14ers map, 2 copies, 1 for the pocket and and slip 1 in a cheap page protector. Sometimes I give away 1 of them to another party that is just rocking with a GPS.

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Re: Must have maps? If needed at all?

Postby hmelch » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:32 pm

Thanks all.....definitely going to pick up a couple relevant Trails Illustrated maps.

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Re: Must have maps? If needed at all?

Postby ash-ish » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:01 pm

This is a very good website which allows you to make and print trails over USGS or Forest Service topos overlaid over digital terrain. The forest service topos seem to be more up to date and have latest/more trail info than USGS topos.

http://caltopo.com/

Here is an example map I have created:

http://caltopo.com/map?id=097Q

Also, you can download and install Garmin Basecamp for free and you can get some good contour/trail layers for free from http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/ and then print maps.

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Re: Must have maps? If needed at all?

Postby schrund » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:19 pm

I don't know how hard these are to find, but for the standard routes these can be handy maps: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/colorados-14ers-map-pack-gerry-roach/1101155807?ean=9781555914318
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