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Scenic basecamp with easy 13ers?

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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Scenic basecamp with easy 13ers?

Postby carson_h » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:20 pm

Can someone recommend a scenic and comfy basecamp with access to easy peaks? I’m helping to plan a trip over the 4th of July week with a wide range of abilities and interests. Here are some requests from the group:

• The approach needs to be relative short (less than 7 miles and 1,500’ vertical).
• Good wildflowers
• Camp site for 10 people (~4 tents)
• Limited crowds
• Access to peaks (class 2 or less, prefer centennial 13ers, but anything will work)
• Good fishing within day hike distance
• Convenient water source

If it was an easy list, I would have figured it out by myself :)

Thanks!

-Carson

Re: Scenic basecamp with easy 13ers?

Postby lordhelmut » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:38 pm

Yankee Boy Basin - San Juans (Teakettle, Potosi, Cirque, Gilpin, Emma, US Mountain, and all the T's and S's you can fit). Your basecamp could be either Thistledon or Angel Creek. No promises on limited crowds, but access to 13ers is arguably unmatched

Ice Lakes Basin - San Juans - US Grant (one small very low 5th class move - 10 feet), V-2,3 and 4, Pilot Knob (class 4), Vermillion (class 2), Golden Horn (class 2+) - could either do the easy pack in or camp at Mineral Creek Campground

Crystal Lakes Basin - Tenmile - Crystal Pk, Father Dyer/Helen, Peak 10, Pacific

West Cimmarron - San Juans - Redcliff, Fortress, Precipice, Courthouse - arguably best car camping spot in the state right next to Courthouse TH. More unique looking peaks in the state, all class 2 (sans Coxcomb - which I left out)

American Basin - San Juans - American Peak, Jones, Niagara, Half, many many other 13ers

Lawn Lake - Rocky Mountain National Park - Fairchild, Hagues and Mummy - long pack in (6 miles) but more than worth it.

Huerfano/Mount Lindsey Area - Huerfano, Huerfanito, California and a couple other Bi's

Music Pass - Sangres - Tijeras (short class 3 move), Music Mountain, Marble, Milwaukee, Cleveland

Cathedral Lakes - Cathedral Peak (easy with snow, which there might be still in that gully), Malemute, Electric Pass Peak

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Re: Scenic basecamp with easy 13ers?

Postby Floyd » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:52 pm

Missouri Lakes below Holy Cross Ridge?

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Re: Scenic basecamp with easy 13ers?

Postby Scott P » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:45 pm

• The approach needs to be relative short (less than 7 miles and 1,500’ vertical).
• Good wildflowers
• Camp site for 10 people (~4 tents)
• Limited crowds
• Access to peaks (class 2 or less, prefer centennial 13ers, but anything will work)
• Good fishing within day hike distance
• Convenient water source


A few ideas:

The area around Mohawk and Crystal Lakes. Class 2 13ers would be Peak 10, Crystal Peak, Pacific Peak, Mount Helen, Atlantic Peak, and Fletcher Mountain. I believe those lakes have fish, but I can't vouch for the fishing because I've only frequented the region January through April when the lakes were frozen. There could be some crowds on a holiday weekend there, but probably not nearly as many as on the nearby 14ers.

The 13ers in the Sherman area would fit the bill, but I don't think there is fishing there. Dyer, Sheridan, Evans (the 13er one), and Horseshoe Mountain could be climbed.

The areas mentioned in a previous post are all really neat areas, but some of the peaks listed definitely don't fit in the class 2 or under category.

The area around San Luis Peak also has many class 1 and 2 13ers, and isn't as crowded as some other areas, but I'm not sure about the fishing.
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Re: Scenic basecamp with easy 13ers?

Postby HULKHIKEGOOD » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:43 am

I will be in the Ice Lake Basin here in a couple weeks with the family. I plan on doing Fuller and Vermillion, and some other low hikes with the kids. From what I have read and suggestions I have recieved, The South Mineral area will be PACKED around 4th of July, if this is untrue please correct me. Regardless I will be posting somthing in the near future about my experiences in the area. Hopefully it's not to late to help you!
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Re: Scenic basecamp with easy 13ers?

Postby forbins_mtn » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:49 am

I just Mt Lindsey on Sunday and I was blown away by the spot(Huerfano/Lily Lake TH). 1) The TH is in the middle of nowhere. I highly doubt it will be that busy but it was easy to get to straight down 25 instead of fighting I 70 traffic 2) there were some huge camping spots right off the road on the way to the TH, right by the river 3) Class 2 peaks in area (Lindsey was 8.5 miles RT) and 4) There were a few cars at TH that we didn't see on the trail to Lindsey so I guarantee there is some good fishing at Lily Lake

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Re: Scenic basecamp with easy 13ers?

Postby Presto » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:03 am

Pine Creek Trail. Meandering trail ... great creek fishing right by your camp. Scenic. 13er's accessible further up the basin are Iowa, Emerald, Unnamed 13,762 (perfect as day hikes from your camp). 14'ers accessible are Missouri, Oxford, Belford to the north and Harvard, Columbia to the south. We have backpacked into this drainage more than four times and have seen very few people. Very unpopulated, never crowded when we have been up there. Less than a 2 hour drive from Denver. Lots of wonderful camping sites. Large group camping no problem. Easy to access (no 4WD needed). Minimal entry fee (used to be $1 per person). We camped 5 miles in from where we parked in a beautiful grassy meadow, with the creek very near by. http://www.climber.org/reports/2007/1578.html Happy trails! :-D
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Re: Scenic basecamp with easy 13ers?

Postby Jump Roper » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:27 am

Thanks Lord Helmet for the great list. Now I"m inspired too.
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Re: Scenic basecamp with easy 13ers?

Postby MatB » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:19 am

Car camped north of Taylor Park Reservoir Memorial Day weekend. Fits your criteria with the exception that you don't have to hike in. Plenty of 13ers that are a quick (20-30) minute drive. I did Grizzly Peak E and while it does require some bushwhacking, it was not bad at all. The campsite was my favorite to date. PM me if your interested and I'll provide more info on the campsite and how to get to it.
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Re: Scenic basecamp with easy 13ers?

Postby carson_h » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:04 am

Thanks for all of the great recommendations -- I've been looking a maps and trip reports from all of your suggestions. Regardless of what I end up doing for this trip, you have given me some great ideas for the rest of the year. Thanks!!!

-Carson

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