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3-day trip suggestions?

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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3-day trip suggestions?

Postby chrismjx » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:47 pm

I have a friend coming up from Austin, TX and he has 3 days to spend hiking. Does anyone have any good suggestions for destinations? Probably wanna keep the packin' in/out under 5mi and <12,500'.....

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Re: 3-day trip suggestions?

Postby mike_kadow » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:09 pm

Lost Creek Wilderness.

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Re: 3-day trip suggestions?

Postby Jim Davies » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 pm

You could make a really laid-back 3-day backpack of the Venable-Comanche loop. Camp the first night in Venable Basin, the second night at Comanche Lake. About 4 miles per day, great scenery, plus you could probably fish in the lakes along the way.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: 3-day trip suggestions?

Postby bigtrout » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:21 pm

I just spent a few nights at Rito Alto Lake in the Sangres. It's kind of a long pack into the lake (about 7 miles), but there are many day trips you can take from there. You can hike over to San Isabel Lake, hike to Cotton Lake, hike up to Hermit Pass, climb a bunch of 13ers from there. I highly recommend it. - Bigtrout
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Re: 3-day trip suggestions?

Postby IAmtnclimber » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:22 pm

Missouri Lakes is nice and easy. Only downfall is the large amount of marmots in the area.

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Re: 3-day trip suggestions?

Postby chrismjx » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:08 pm

Ha ha, so what does one do about marmots? Hang everything in a tree? Moth balls? I've heard lots of different suggestions... I was just up in the Pine Creek drainage a week ago and we didn't have any problems down there, other than a rowdy squirrel that wasn't happy we were near his stash!

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Re: 3-day trip suggestions?

Postby IAmtnclimber » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:27 pm

We were outnumbered when we camped up there in a big way. They would even come right up the the tent and try to nibble on our toes through the screen! Outside of that it really was enjoyable.

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Re: 3-day trip suggestions?

Postby chrismjx » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:54 am

I wanted to bump this thread, as the Venable and Comanche loop would require carrying backpacks up over 12k, and I worry about serious altitude problems in my flat-lander hiking partner! I had an experience earlier this summer with another friend from Austin becoming seriously incapacitated while climbing Mt. Harvard due to altitude (he was exhibiting serious symptoms of HACE), and that was without packs...

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Re: 3-day trip suggestions?

Postby Floyd » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:00 pm

have you at least narrowed your scope to a specific area? I mean, you could turn anything/anywhere into a 3-day.

BTW, You don't get the Phantom Terrace, but Comanche-Veneble can be done from the west without the big pack over.
"Athletes express themselves physically, this is their art. As an athlete, exhausting oneself on the field or or on the track or on the trail or on the mountain brings calm and satisfaction. Thrashing about… our expression." - Steve Gleason

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Re: 3-day trip suggestions?

Postby chrismjx » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:12 pm

Floyd wrote:have you at least narrowed your scope to a specific area? I mean, you could turn anything/anywhere into a 3-day.

BTW, You don't get the Phantom Terrace, but Comanche-Veneble can be done from the west without the big pack over.


Not married to any specific area; anything from the Rawah to Collegiate Peaks would work just fine as far as I'm concerned. Altitude in and of itself is not necessarily a major concern, however the exertion of carting packs over that altitude worries me based on my experience earlier this summer... I can't carry this guy down if we run into problems, and I feel like its my responsibility to make sure we don't get in over our heads as I'm the one with the knowledge and experience in the mountains (far from an expert, but I do know a thing or two).

I'm looking at RMNP maps today, trying to determine areas that might be good for this business... Any RMNP suggestions?

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Re: 3-day trip suggestions?

Postby Floyd » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:39 pm

chrismjx wrote:
Floyd wrote:have you at least narrowed your scope to a specific area? I mean, you could turn anything/anywhere into a 3-day.

BTW, You don't get the Phantom Terrace, but Comanche-Veneble can be done from the west without the big pack over.


Not married to any specific area; anything from the Rawah to Collegiate Peaks would work just fine as far as I'm concerned. Altitude in and of itself is not necessarily a major concern, however the exertion of carting packs over that altitude worries me based on my experience earlier this summer... I can't carry this guy down if we run into problems, and I feel like its my responsibility to make sure we don't get in over our heads as I'm the one with the knowledge and experience in the mountains (far from an expert, but I do know a thing or two).

I'm looking at RMNP maps today, trying to determine areas that might be good for this business... Any RMNP suggestions?


RMNP will be tough because of the permit system. Head into the west side of the Indian Peaks and pick up Roach's Guide Plenty of options for peaks in the 12k range and the packing can be long, but gentle on good trails. You need a permit, but it's only $5 and spots are easy to come by. The west side of the IPW is absolutely stunning IMO.

Cascade Creek (research the approach for Lone Eagle Peak): Pawnee Pass can be accessed that direction and Pawnee/Toll are easy peaks. Shoshoni is a fun scramble. In that cirque, Lone Eagle is tough class 4, Iroquois is a real beast. Comanche is 3 or 4 and Hopi is class 2. Blackfoot (in my TR) is amazing, but a real grunt but Thunderbolt is an easy stroll from there. If there aren't any spots around Crater Lake left to camp, PM me and I'll let you in on a little secret spot that we found a couple of years back.

Gourd Lake is a longer backpack, but absolutely incredible. Here's Lord Helmut's TR on Cooper/Marten from there.
"Athletes express themselves physically, this is their art. As an athlete, exhausting oneself on the field or or on the track or on the trail or on the mountain brings calm and satisfaction. Thrashing about… our expression." - Steve Gleason

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Re: 3-day trip suggestions?

Postby Jim Davies » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:55 pm

You could pack in from Goose Creek TH up Lost Creek to the Shafthouse, spend the second day day-hiking (or moving camp) to Refrigerator Gulch, then pack out the third day. About 12 miles r/t, tops out about 9000'. You may want a GPS to find the Refrigerator Gulch junction. The National Geographic Tarryall map is good to have for this one.
Shafthouse
Refrigerator Gulch
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