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RMNP....question

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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RMNP....question

Postby hmelch » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:16 pm

Hi all,

So I'm driving from Denver to Cody, WY tomorrow and I'm pondering whether or not to stop at RMNP on the way. I don't have a ton of time to spare in the Park, so I'm wondering what are some of the must see sites/short hikes? I'd like to keep my visit to only a few hours, if possible; a travesty, I know.

Thanks in advance!

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Re: RMNP....question

Postby Doctor No » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:25 pm

Focusing on short / bang for your buck:

Alberta Falls (would stretch to either Mills Lake or The Loch if you want to make the time)
Alluvial Fan
Bear Lake to Nymph/Dream Lake

The first three could be seen easily in a few hours. Of course, you're going to have the tourists (anything within a half-mile of a trailhead in RMNP is packed solid this time of year).

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Re: RMNP....question

Postby Tory Wells » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:32 pm

If you can make it work, you can drive over Trail Ridge Road on the way (if you approach from the west). Plenty of good, short hikes up there.
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Re: RMNP....question

Postby hmelch » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:42 pm

Thanks

I was thinking about hiking a portion of the way up to Chasm Lake. Is it worth the time? Or should I view some of the more tourist-saturated areas listed above?

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Re: RMNP....question

Postby 12ersRule » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:50 pm

No on Chasm Lake, too much time spent below treeline.

Question....is it gonna be worth $20 to go in to you?

If so, drive up as far as Alpine Visitors Center and hike: up the hill just north of the visitors center. Also stop at 'rock cut' and hike around a bit. If still time, hike Deer Mountain, a 10er with great views.

If no, hit Gem Lake, it is free, great views of Estes and the divide. Twin Sisters is good too. Get open views fairly quickly.

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Re: RMNP....question

Postby Doctor No » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:51 pm

There are some nice views on the way up to Chasm Lake, but I don't think that they're necessarily any better/worse than other parts of RMNP.

If you want great views of Longs, I'd hike to Alberta Falls, up to Mills Lake, and then further as your schedule allows. Bring a copy of the Colorado state quarter so that you can compare the view to the backside of the coin.

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Re: RMNP....question

Postby hmelch » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:01 pm

I can't locate Gem lake on my map. Is it off Rte 7?

Also, can I drive north on route 7 to Estes Park, then east to Loveland without entering and paying park admission? It's not clear on my map.

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Re: RMNP....question

Postby 12ersRule » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:15 pm

Gem lake is just north of the intersection of 34/36. Lumpy ridge trailhead.

Http://www.nps.gov/romo , ViewParkMap

Yes, you can drive on 7 and then east on 34 without paying. The pay stations are a couple miles west of there.

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Re: RMNP....question

Postby hmelch » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:16 pm

Awesome. Thanks for the info.

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Re: RMNP....question

Postby clemsonmtneer » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:11 pm

I'll throw in a suggestion for Mt. Ida from Milner Pass. Nice tundra walk, not too steep, incredible alpine scenery, less crowded. Good chance of seeing bighorns as well.

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Re: RMNP....question

Postby Mark A Steiner » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:03 pm

clemsonmtneer wrote:I'll throw in a suggestion for Mt. Ida from Milner Pass. Nice tundra walk, not too steep, incredible alpine scenery, less crowded. Good chance of seeing bighorns as well.


I second this post. Great views of glacial topography and remnant small icefields in the Gorge Lakes between Mounts Ida and Julian.
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Re: RMNP....question

Postby mountaingoat-G » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:38 pm

I just did the opposite a week ago (drove from Cody to Denver) and it was a looooong drive. There was a lot of road work going on in Wyoming and they were tearing up the road all over and we had to stop for a few long periods. This was the route through Thermopolis, so YMMV but it took forever..

Also, as you go up north, there is a lot of smoke from all the fires going on. Cody was thick with smoke

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