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Help choosing a place to go

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Help choosing a place to go

Postby elblueduck » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:11 pm

So I am looking for a good destination to take a descent size group backpacking. I am trying to find a nice place to set up a base camp so that the people who will have no desire to go any further will be able to enjoy themselves while others can do a few summit hikes. Last time we did this we hiked venable trail, summited Spring mountain, and set up base camp well below venable lakes. So I am looking to do something similiar to this, but hopefully with the ability to do a 14er. I prefer the Sangre de Cristo but would be willing to try some where else if it fit the bill better. Thanks for your help in advance :D

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Re: Help choosing a place to go

Postby elblueduck » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:22 pm

Also we will have 5 days on the mountain.

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Re: Help choosing a place to go

Postby ClimberDave » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:17 am

When are you going? It depends on the melt but May-June in the Sangres....Try Lake Como. It isn't crowded at that time. There are three 14ers within easy range of the lake with plenty of routes to choose from (difficult class 2 - class 4 on standard routes). Anyone who doesn't want to climb will have plenty of area to explore and the lakes and ponds are full of fish. If you hike from the trailhead (around 8000'), it will be a painful hike but there are plenty of nice areas to camp if someone doesn't want to hike the entire road in a day.

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Re: Help choosing a place to go

Postby Jim Davies » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:25 am

Horn Fork Basin has a large number of good campsites. You could day-trip to Harvard, Columbia, or Yale from there (although Columbia isn't a lot of fun from that side).

No 14ers, but Music Pass/Sand Creek Lakes has several awesome places to camp within a few miles of hiking from the trailhead, and there are some 13ers around that would be interesting to climb given the time. There's also fishing there in the creek and lakes.

You'll probably get suggestions to go to Missouri Basin, but IMO the camping there isn't great, and a large group might have trouble finding enough space.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Help choosing a place to go

Postby elblueduck » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:19 am

You are right I forgot to say that we are going in early July.

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Re: Help choosing a place to go

Postby elblueduck » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:47 pm

So I am still looking for some suggestions. I do want a place that wont be too crowded as adding a gruop to that could make the area un enjoyable for everyone. Thanks

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Re: Help choosing a place to go

Postby MtHurd » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:56 pm

Based on your criteria, I would say Lindsey would be your best bet. There is a very nice green basin below Blanca, Ellingwood, and Lindsey that would make for a great base camp. None of the 14ers will be uncrowded, but Lindsey will probably be less crowded than the other 14ers in the Sangres. The trail in to the basin is steep at times, but manageable if your pack isn't too heavy.

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Re: Help choosing a place to go

Postby stlouishiker » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:49 pm

Not in the Sangres, but the Chicago Basin?
Edit: That's crowded though, so it doesn't fit your criteria.

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Re: Help choosing a place to go

Postby llamaman » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:55 am

We backpacked up to South Zapata Lake in the Sangres last June. I'm pretty sure you could hit Ellingwood/Blanca from South Zapata lake. You'd have to gain the ridge to the south of the lake and go to Ellingwood from there. It was beautiful and we were the only campers in Mid June.

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