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Favorite hikes on west side of RMNP?

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Favorite hikes on west side of RMNP?

Postby DurangoJenn » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:20 pm

I'm planning to do Grays/Torreys on Friday and then thinking about doing some hiking on the west side of RMNP on Saturday. Trying to decide between that or doing another 14er before heading back to Durango. So any suggestions for hikes on that side of the park? TIA

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Re: Favorite hikes on west side of RMNP?

Postby ajkagy » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:51 pm

east inlet up to lake verna is a nice hike, although the tree kill in the area is horrible.

Milner pass has some nice above treeline hiking

The never summers have some really nice peaks and hikes that are pretty remote (you likely won't see anybody up there)

I know it's not in the park, but a hike up to columbine lake near the west side of Mt. Neva is a really beautiful hike and if you're feeling good you can take the west ridge and summit Neva or just relax by the lake and fish.
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Re: Favorite hikes on west side of RMNP?

Postby DaveLanders » Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:37 pm

Lake of the Clouds is a nice destination, but some bridges got wiped out earlier this year, so I'm not sure how easy it is to get to right now.

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Re: Favorite hikes on west side of RMNP?

Postby Doctor No » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:25 pm

I like the Colorado River trail to Little Yellowstone.

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Re: Favorite hikes on west side of RMNP?

Postby mountain_man » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:32 am

Last time I tried to did lake of the clouds I could not ford the river that decided to replace the trail. This was months ago though. I went to lulu city instead. I enjoyed it, but I'm sure there are more scenic hikes around.

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Re: Favorite hikes on west side of RMNP?

Postby tmathews » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:46 am

+1 on Lake of the Clouds. You have the option of hiking up Mt. Cirrus near there, too. It's a fairly long jaunt, though -- about 14 miles RT to the lake and back.

http://tlmathews.com/blog/wp-content/gallery/2009/09-05/LakeoftheCloudsPano03a.jpg

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Re: Favorite hikes on west side of RMNP?

Postby mountain_man » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:13 am



That's a beautiful picture. Which one is Mt. Cirrus? How early did you have to start hiking to get that?
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Re: Favorite hikes on west side of RMNP?

Postby tmathews » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:31 am

mountain_man wrote:


That's a beautiful picture. Which one is Mt. Cirrus? How early did you have to start hiking to get that?


I believe its near the center of the photo. Here Mt. Cirrus in relation to Lake of the Clouds (I believe you have to have Google Earth installed to view this link): http://maps.google.com/maps?q=mount+cirrus,+colorado&hl=en&ll=40.433146,-105.896508&spn=0.008362,0.01929&sll=40.480223,-105.890823&sspn=0.016713,0.038581&vpsrc=6&gl=us&t=f&z=16&ecpose=40.43004276,-105.89650837,5116.7,0.011,12.896,0

When I took it, I was standing close to where the "s" in "Clouds" is on the map. When I hiked up there, I got a little off-trail once I got above treeline, so I probably added an additional half-hour to my total time. Plus, I spent about half an hour at the lake as well. Started at 6:00 (was Labor Day weekend a couple of years ago) and got back to the trailhead around 1:30.

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Re: Favorite hikes on west side of RMNP?

Postby bohlsen » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:06 pm

Mt Ida is a really nice hike and very doable for almost any level hikers. I've heard the view is spectacular but the day I climbed it the top 50 ft was completely socked in by clouds :cry:
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Re: Favorite hikes on west side of RMNP?

Postby ChrisRoberts » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:18 pm

Ida's a good one, plus you can continue onwards if you're not tired. Careful with lightning though, you're above treeline 90% of the way up, and descending into a valley will just for a miserable long hike back.

I did Bench lake in North Inlet, very nice hike and few people. War Dance Falls is spectacular.
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