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Progression of peaks in RMNP

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Progression of peaks in RMNP

Postby jwbradley » Fri May 24, 2013 12:13 pm

Hello everyone,
My wife and IU just moved to Northern Colorado from Iowa. We have been hiking a lot so far this spring, slowly working our way up in distance and elevation. So far, the tallest hike we have done is Lily Mountain and are planning to hike Deer Mountain this weekend. This will be the first peak with some scrambling involved near the top, so I am waiting to see how my wife does on that, but what recommendations are there for the next hike? Would it be a big jump to Estes Cone or Twin Sisters? If so, what is there in between?

Thanks for all of your replies.

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Re: Progression of peaks in RMNP

Postby 12ersRule » Fri May 24, 2013 1:13 pm

If I remember right, Lily is more of a scramble than Deer Mtn. I think Deer is just a trail. It is not a big jump at all from a technical standpoint to Estes Cone or Twin Sisters. It's definitely more time consuming and more tiring though.

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Re: Progression of peaks in RMNP

Postby mathguy » Fri May 24, 2013 1:52 pm

I've done lots of hiking in RMNP and I agree with 49ersRule. You have a bit more elevation gain
with Estes Cone and Twin Sisters (both at about 2300 ft if I remember correctly) than with
Lily Mountain, and both have a bit of a scramble at the top. But if you were OK with Lily Mtn
you should be fine with Twin Sisters or Estes Cone. I like doing the Cone via the Storm
Pass trail starting at Lily Lake (avoids the chaos of the Longs Peak trailhead if you're hiking
in summer). If you're doing Twin Sisters try and bag both summits (east and west), though
as I recall East Sister requires a little more scrambling than West Sister.

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Re: Progression of peaks in RMNP

Postby jwbradley » Fri May 24, 2013 1:59 pm

Thanks guys! It looks like we will be moving on to Estes Cone and the Sisters by mid-June.

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Re: Progression of peaks in RMNP

Postby PaliKona » Tue May 28, 2013 6:34 am

Out of these hikes, which have the best views?

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Re: Progression of peaks in RMNP

Postby Alpine » Tue May 28, 2013 1:29 pm

Twin Sisters, in my opinion. You get both a great view of the plains, and the stupendous view of the Meeker-Long's cirque.
"You know I've always loved you...and you know I always will." Third Day

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Re: Progression of peaks in RMNP

Postby MtnHub » Tue May 28, 2013 2:07 pm

I second Alpine's opinion for better views from Twin Sisters. The views of the valley and the Meeker/Longs/Lady Washington complex across the way are some of the best! And I think the trail is much more interesting as well. It's been awhile since I did the Cone, but as I remember you are in thick trees almost the entire way with no real views until you reach the top. With TS, you have several vista breaks even as you are climbing so plenty of opportunity to stop and enjoy before you even hit the summit(s). Have fun!! :-D

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Re: Progression of peaks in RMNP

Postby Titan » Tue May 28, 2013 5:22 pm

I will suggest Flattop / Hallet Peaks out of the Bear Lake area. Probably will be some snow fields for some time still. I went up in June a few years back and took snow shoes and used them on and off for some additional grip but would have felt comfortable in just boots as well. I am pretty sure the whole Bear Lake road construction / shuttle can be avoided by getting up to Bear Lake early 7:00AM or so. Difficulty wise the elevation gain is gradual and the views are great from the continental divide. Estes Park to the East and Grand Lake to the West.

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Re: Progression of peaks in RMNP

Postby cougar » Tue May 28, 2013 6:43 pm

Twin Sisters is the easiest 11er in the park and area that involves a hike up (as opposed to starting high on Trail Ridge Rd), although Estes Cone isn't much different. Easy trail and good views from the top. It should also have the least snow. The eastern (higher summit) is more of a scramble but not hard - 2+. The last stretch of Estes Cone is somewhat steep, and it has ups and downs on the main trails. Flattop/Hallett would be the easiest 12ers and have good views - they get crowded in summer. Deer Mtn is so-so with ok views but trees on most sides. A nice, relatively easy 12er alternative that's less crowded, with great views, is Mt Ida from Milner Pass, but that trail will have snow for another few weeks. It is also mostly above treeline and exposed to the weather so start early. You'll avoid the Bear Lake Rd construction and crowds in the area, but will have to deal with the Trail Ridge Rd traffic.

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Re: Progression of peaks in RMNP

Postby PaliKona » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:52 am

Has anyone been hiking in the Bear Lake area? How is the trail to Emerald or the trail to Lake Helene? A sloppy postholed mess?

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Re: Progression of peaks in RMNP

Postby jeremy27 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:56 am

PaliKona wrote:Has anyone been hiking in the Bear Lake area? How is the trail to Emerald or the trail to Lake Helene? A sloppy postholed mess?


It was firm at 5am, sloppy by noon.

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Re: Progression of peaks in RMNP

Postby PaliKona » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:24 am

sloppy in a very unfun wet way? should I wait to head up that way until later in June?

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