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Backpacking advice

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

Postby Nprice MD » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:43 pm

Hey Guys,

Next summer my Aunt and I are planning on coming to colorado for about 2 weeks for some backpacking. We've both never been before so I figured I would come here to ask you guys where the best places are. We're looking to backpack for about 6-7 days and then spend the rest of the time driving around, doing some dayhikes or 2-3 day hikes so that we can see as much as possible. We would like to do at least 2 14ers in our two weeks so if theres any place that has some in close proximity(that aren't technically difficult like class 4 or anything) that would be great. Ever since going to my brothers lacrosse tournament in Vail two years ago, I've been dying to visit Colorado again and want to make sure I use my time well. Any help would be great.
-Noah

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Re: Backpacking advice

Postby wreave » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:12 pm

Lost Creek Wilderness is a great place for either the 6-7 day or the 2-3 day trip. It's not terribly convenient to any 14ers, though.

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Re: Backpacking advice

Postby CorduroyCalves » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:22 pm

Noah,

I have yet to do anything in the LCW, but I hear it's nice and I'm sure you'd be able to find a trip that suits your desires. If you want to hike a couple 14ers out here, I'd suggest doing them during your second week out here. Give yourselves some time to adjust to the altitude. Grays/Torreys, Bierstadt, Sherman and Quandary are good beginner 14ers (and unfortunately comprise the bulk of my experience :cry: ). Have fun!
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Re: Backpacking advice

Postby Jeff in Oregon » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:33 pm

The two best backpacking trips i've done are:

Elk range traverse. Usually done in 4 to 5 days. Snowmass is basically on the route. Castle is in the area.

Chicago Basin. You can go in and out in a day if you take the train, which is very cool, especially for non-locals.
If you back-pack in, it's muti-day, depending on side trips. In Chicago Basin, Windom is easy, and has fine views. Eolus and Sunlight are not easy,
but surely have fine views.

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Re: Backpacking advice

Postby dsunwall » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:39 pm

I will suggest the area west of Lake City, plenty of good backpacking trails and your choice of several 14ers, the most difficult would be Wetterhorn.

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Re: Backpacking advice

Postby robby40 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:52 pm

i agree with dsunwall. the lake city area and peaks he listed.

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Re: Backpacking advice

Postby Nprice MD » Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:55 pm

Thanks everybody

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Re: Backpacking advice

Postby mtman » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:08 am

Take a look at the Colorado Trail. Sections of it pass right by Elbert and a couple of other 14ers for easy access, and the trail is well marked for the most part and has easy access points for drop-off and pick-up.

Enjoy! 8)

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Re: Backpacking advice

Postby thebeave7 » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:07 am

Agree with dsunwall, if you are coming out for 2 weeks of exploration and have a choice, the San Juans are where I'd go. The Lake City area has lots of great hikes, and some easier 14ers to start with. Also you'll leave the crowds behind that one finds on the front range and Sawatch Peaks. You can also do an approach to Chicago Basin up Vallecito Creek, would make for a nice multiday backpack, and you'll see far less people than Chicago Basin(haven't done the route, but many others have said this and it looked nice from the peaks).

Eric
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Re: Backpacking advice

Postby telehead » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:02 am

2 weeks! Nice

You could always do the Quadruple By Pass Hike in Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness (Do a google for 4 Pass Loop). You could take 5 days and peak bag Snowmass while you're at it. Thats what we did and it was a blast! 5-6 days would be perfect for that hike. This hike is a classic and you'll love it.

Then you can take a few days and hit Aspen before or after the hike.

So, conceivably, you could do the following on the way to Aspen.

Bag Elbert and La Plata for a couple days. The head over Independence Pass to Aspen and then check out the town. Do your 4 Pass Loop for 5-6 days and then come out. That would eat up 2 weeks real quick.
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Re: Backpacking advice

Postby bohlsen » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:59 pm

I'd suggest trying the Sangres. Backpack up from South Colony Lakes and explore the area (extremely beautiful). There's 4 14ers that would be easily accesible if you have multiple days. Humboldt would be an easy warmup and getting Crestone Peak and or the Needle would be an accomplishment to be proud of. I've also heard that the 13ers farther North of that area would be good for backpacking and less crowded too.
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Re: Backpacking advice

Postby thebeave7 » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:18 pm

telehead wrote:You could always do the Quadruple By Pass Hike in Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness (Do a google for 4 Pass Loop). You could take 5 days and peak bag Snowmass while you're at it. Thats what we did and it was a blast! 5-6 days would be perfect for that hike. This hike is a classic and you'll love it.


Good call, don't know why I didn't mention that above, seeing that I've done the loop the last two years. Great trip, especially if you are there in late July/early Aug for peak wildflowers. Some photos of that route here.

Eric
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