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Must See/Must Do in RMNP?

Colorado 13er questions, conditions, and other info should be posted here. Also includes topics related to 13ers.com. 13er Trip Reports

Re: Must See/Must Do in RMNP?

Postby CODave » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:18 pm

Everyone has already said Glacier Gorge but to be more specific, one of my favorite places in the entire state, let alone just RMNP, is Shelf & Solitude Lakes in Glacier Gorge. In fact, I love it so much that I have a 5' x 2' panorama of the view from there hanging on my wall.

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Re: Must See/Must Do in RMNP?

Postby huelskbc » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:47 pm

+1 on Andrew's Glacier

I started down by Bear Lake, went up to Flattop, and then descended via Andrew's Glacier. Tons of gorgeous views, and the descent was a lot of fun! I did have to do some trail-finding on the descent, but nothing major- even a relative newbie like me could handle it. Just a sample of what you've got to look forward to:

Bear Lake:
IMG_3043_small.JPG
Bear Lake
IMG_3043_small.JPG (22.34 KiB) Viewed 1855 times


And looking down Andrew's Glacier :) :
IMG_3078_small.JPG
Andrew's Glacier
IMG_3078_small.JPG (23.59 KiB) Viewed 1854 times

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Re: Must See/Must Do in RMNP?

Postby Connor » Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:39 pm

If not longs, then perhaps one of Long's sisters, Mt Lady Washinton or Storm Peak. Both are above 13k and spectacular! Storm has a wonderfull view of Glacier Gorge, and Mt Lady Washington gives the most impresive veiw of Long's East Face. From either peak, its easy to get to the Keyhole and asses for future reference whether or not Longs is feasable. Both are class 2.
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Re: Must See/Must Do in RMNP?

Postby Aubrey » Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:46 pm

I'd also recommend Flattop Mountain. And add Hallett Peak, if you're up for it and if weather is decent. Great views of the Park from up there.

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Re: Must See/Must Do in RMNP?

Postby montana1000 » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:38 am

ozul lake and all the falls that you see hiking to it real fun 5 miles very green area

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Re: Must See/Must Do in RMNP?

Postby 1moremile » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:43 pm

Our suggestions have mostly included popular spots that get a lot of traffic (even in early fall), so here's a climb suggestion that will almost certainly afford a sense of solitude (if not total solitude) plus great views: Mount Ida.

http://www.thespiritoftherockies.net/spirit/Hikes/MountIda/MountIda.html
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Re: Must See/Must Do in RMNP?

Postby timstich » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:04 pm

The hike up to Sky Pond gives you beautiful views of the Petit Grepon, Sharkstooth, and the Sabre. I saw you discounted hiking Longs, but would you consider hiking to Chasm View Lake? It's not that bad of a hike and the views of the cirque formed by Meeker, Longs, and Mt. Lady Washington is bar none the coolest in the park. Glacier Gorge, too, is unforgettable. You have the Keyboard of the Winds in the back along with Spearhead. Lots of interesting slabs and rock structures in the gorge. It's hard to take a bad hike in RMNP.

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Re: Must See/Must Do in RMNP?

Postby Dozer » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:21 pm

+1 on the earlier suggestion of Mt. Ida. It took me 2 tries to make it there (way too much snow below tree-line in early June), and ran into 1 group of people on the second try. Easy hiking along the ridge with awesome views into east and west RMNP. Plus a really good chance of seing sheep and elk.

Not sure if it was mentioned, but Black Lake is an excellent choice. Bear Lake trailhead (or Glacier Gorge as well, I believe). About 5 miles each way. This trail will get your heart pumping, but its not difficult. If the park is busy, the first 2 or 3 miles of this trail will be busy, but most people turn back at Mills Lake. That leaves the last 2 miles up pretty quiet. The hike up through Glacier Gorge is breathtaking.

These 2 are my absolute favs.
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Re: Must See/Must Do in RMNP?

Postby Beaker » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:20 pm

For scenery during the hike, I always thought Odessa Lake was one of the best in the Park.....

Image
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Re: Must See/Must Do in RMNP?

Postby 14mountain » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:33 pm

I can't remember how long into the season that the shuttle busses run, but if they are still running (they are free), you could make some one-way hikes , then shuttle back to your car. Just drive up to the "Park and Ride" area and catch the shuttle. You could hike from , say, Bear Lake to Fern Lake, then out to Fern Lake TH, then bus back to your car. I think that is about 9 mile hike. Get a map at RMNP and you could decide on other trips as well. Thunder Lake in Wild Basin is an awesome hike. I agree with ones that have already been mentioned= Glacier Gorge, Chasm Lake. Note, there is also a free shuttle from Estes Park Visitors Center, it will take you to Park and Ride. BTW, at the P &R there is a sign that says Bear Lake parking lot full, don't believe it, I think they always leave that sign up, just so that you will park at the P & R. The lot at Bear Lake is large, and there are always people coming and going.
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Re: Must See/Must Do in RMNP?

Postby Treinfir » Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:19 am

RMNP isn’t as wild as the backcountry in places such as Yellowstone, but it is one of my family’s favorite hiking spots. Personally, I feel disappointed if I don’t visit RMNP for a few days each year.

A lot of great spots have been described already. However, I wanted to mention a couple useful resources in case they are helpful to you.

One of the most definitive RMNP hiking books is by Lisa Foster. She describes every trail and named destination, and has visited each one:

Rocky Mountain National Park: The Complete Hiking Guide, by Lisa Foster, (Westcliffe Publishers; 2005)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1565795504/ref=sib_dp_ptu#reader-link

Some additional RNMP/Longs Peak On-line References are noted below:

RMNP Hiking Pages:
http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/hiking.htm
http://www.rocky.mountain.national-park.com/hike.htm

RMNP Climbing Longs Peak Brochure:
http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/longspeak.htm
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Re: Must See/Must Do in RMNP?

Postby 14mountain » Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:11 pm

FYI, a little clarification, I forgot to mention that the shuttle bus does not go all the way to the Fern Lake TH, you have to walk down the road .5 miles. I wanted you to know, so that you wouldn't be waiting at the TH, the bus would never show up.
I was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) in 2002. My main symptom is optic neuritis in both eyes. Other symptoms that come and go are - numb feet, numbness and/or stinging sensations in both thighs, dizziness, etc. Nothing major, I'm very thankfull that I can still lead a pretty normal life, and of course hike and climb!

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