Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Four Pass Loop, Aspens and logistics

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status

Four Pass Loop, Aspens and logistics

Postby traderaaron » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:26 am

Likely am doing a backpack trip sometime next week, not sure on the exact days or location yet, have several choices and lots of map work done on each choice.

I am wondering how the Aspens would be for the Four Pass Loop, I am thinking it would be a great fall color backpack trip if it features large Aspen stands? I know the Maroon Bells are great in the Fall but that's just at the parking lot for this trip.

And any suggestions on what I'd have to do to make it a 2 night 3 day trip, where I'd need to camp each night to realistically make that happen?

My other choices are likely the La Garita's and San Luis Peak on the CDT, a shuttle loop in the Sangre's from Cotton Lake to San Isabel Lake or a loop in the South San Juans.

User avatar
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:09 pm
Location: Golden, CO

Re: Four Pass Loop, Aspens and logistics

Postby avaske » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:40 am

I did this loop a few weeks ago, and we ended up doing the loop clockwise. We camped in the basin on the other side of frigid air pass on night one (Day 1 was the hardest) and then at snowmass lake the second night. The last couple days were not too bad. Its an awesome hike but I really don't remember seeing that many aspens once we left the Maroon Bells.

Re: Four Pass Loop, Aspens and logistics

Postby traderaaron » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:46 am

I am thinking it might be a better trip to do in late July for wildflowers rather than Aspens.

Thanks for your information.

CG_old

Re: Four Pass Loop, Aspens and logistics

Postby CG_old » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:31 am

I did it as an aspen/fall color hike about 4-5 years ago. There really aren't that many aspens... like avaske said, it's better as a wildflower hike.

Re: Four Pass Loop, Aspens and logistics

Postby traderaaron » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:33 am

OK, this is confirming what I was wondering about. Thanks.

Any thoughts on great backpack trips for Fall Aspens then?

It's looking like any of my other options would be as good, perhaps better for Aspens.

User avatar
Posts: 1976
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:04 am
Location: Denver

Re: Four Pass Loop, Aspens and logistics

Postby Presto » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:46 am

Traderaaron: How difficult of a backpack are you willing to do? Does it need to be a "trail" all the way or are you up for some cross-country travel? We did a 4-day, 3-night trip a week or so ago that would really fit your bill (down by Marble/Lead King Basin). It was about 27 miles roundtrip (a loop), went over three passes, and had about 10 miles off-trail travel. Let me know if you're interested (not part of the 4-pass loop, but nearby and packed with aspens). Happy trails! :D
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

CG_old

Re: Four Pass Loop, Aspens and logistics

Postby CG_old » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:51 am

A trip in the West Elks would also be awesome. I did a 10 mile loop that utilized Dark Canyon... it was awesome. I think you could extend it into 20+ miles...maybe by going over Oh-Be-Joyful pass as a point to point. Beautiful area.

Cottonwoods in Dark Canyon:
Image

Oh-Be-Joyful Pass is through the Ruby Range, visible here:
Image

The year we did it was an awful year for colors too. An early freeze and big snow really muted the aspens...

Re: Four Pass Loop, Aspens and logistics

Postby traderaaron » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:09 am

Presto, sent you a PM on that trip, Chris, thanks for your info. I have looked at Dark Canyon before and will need to reconsider and do some map work.

I have the Roaring Fork/Conejos Peak Loop on my possibles in the South San Juans, looks like it has some good Aspens, and Elk too. Also something involving the CDT trail around San Luis Peak and the San Luis Valley side of the Sangres as possibilities.

Posts: 364
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:18 am
Location: Chaffee Cty - One Dozen 14ers

Dark Canyon

Postby MtnHermit » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:10 am

Chris,

Those two photos are really nice, thanks for posting. Two questions:
1. Can you date the photos, I'd guess after Oct 1st?
2. What loop did you do involving Dark Canyon?

Thanks

CG_old

Re: Dark Canyon

Postby CG_old » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:18 am

MtnHermit wrote:Chris,

Those two photos are really nice, thanks for posting. Two questions:
1. Can you date the photos, I'd guess after Oct 1st?
2. What loop did you do involving Dark Canyon?

Thanks


1. Sept 30, 2006.
2. It wasn't a closed loop. We started along Anthracite Creek, at the Dark Canyon TH and looped Marcellina Mountain, coming out on the Kebler Pass road (where we had left a car). I can't remember the trail names off the top of my head... I'll have to look at a map later.

Re: Dark Canyon

Postby traderaaron » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:20 am

Chris Gerber wrote:
MtnHermit wrote:Chris,

Those two photos are really nice, thanks for posting. Two questions:
1. Can you date the photos, I'd guess after Oct 1st?
2. What loop did you do involving Dark Canyon?

Thanks


1. Sept 30, 2006.
2. It wasn't a closed loop. We started along Anthracite Creek, at the Dark Canyon TH and looped Marcellina Mountain, coming out on the Kebler Pass road (where we had left a car). I can't remember the trail names off the top of my head... I'll have to look at a map later.


Looks like TR 830.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: whitneyc0319 and 5 guests