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1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby tundraking » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:55 pm

JsinDeAZ wrote:if it's her first, hit bierstadt from the west side for a newb, visual cornucopia is a given :)

+1 on Bierstad. You get the impressive visuals right away as you start the hike above timberline, and the view of the Sawtooth is captivating.

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby tornado » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:23 am

Thank you all for the great replies! Several of you read my mind as a short hike near the Bells was the leader in my mind before I posted this. I'd like to drive up Mt. Evans but can't make myself do it before I hike it :) I've been to most of these places but since it's a trip for her to see the state I'd don't mind seeing and doing things I've done before.

The tentative schedule I have planned out is...

Day 1) Friday - Lawrence to Colorado Springs area
Day 2) Saturday - Drive down I25 to the Sand Dunes and camp at the Dunes Camping area across the road. Hike near Zapata Falls as well.
Day 3) Sunday - Drive to Buena Vista, explore the area(lake kayaking somewhere close?), and stay at the Hot Springs Resort.
Day 4) Monday - Drive to Aspen(She's a huge Dumb and Dumber fan so it's very sentimental) and do a hike on the Crater Lake trail to get somewhere in between there and the Bells. Then stay somewhere a little east and less expensive along I70.
Day 5) Tuesday - A hike of Sniktau sounds great (thanks madbuck!) but how much easier of a hike is it than Grays(besides distance)? The rest of the day is unknown.
Day 6) Wednesday - Drive to Estes Park and RMNP galore
Day 7) Thursday - Open
Day 8 ) Drive home

If you have any suggestions that would make my itinerary better I am all ears. Thanks again!

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby MUni Rider » Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:21 am

Just don't let her see the sign discussing the "Deadly Bells" when you get to that area. She'll never let you get near a 14er again! :shock:
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." (Theodore Roosevelt)

"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit." (Edward Abbey)

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby MtHurd » Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:33 am

tornado wrote:Tuesday - A hike of Sniktau sounds great (thanks madbuck!) but how much easier of a hike is it than Grays(besides distance)?


Even though Grays is easy, Sniktau is much easier. You can do it in 2 hours round trip if you wanted to. A little longer if you want to enjoy the scenery a little more. It can get windy up there.

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby tundraking » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:27 am

tornado wrote:If you have any suggestions that would make my itinerary better I am all ears. Thanks again!


The only thing I can suggest to add to this is that whenever she mentions Aspen, that you reply with "Oh California, all right!" or for any mention of anything else, "Well we are in the Rockies".
(D & Dumber references)

Sorry, couldnt resist, as I have seen that movie way too many times.

Sounds like a great itinerary. Have fun!

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby peter303 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:38 am

Trailheads that start above the treeline have great views.
Loveland Pass is one, a six mile trail to Torreys.
Evans from Summit Lake is another.
Bierstadt from Guanella Pass. Although you may want do the non-14er peak in the opposite direction
to avoid the willow valley and crowds.
Pikes Peak from Devils Playground.

Just about any high pass can be spectacular and place to start hiking.
Loveland Pass, Vail Pass, Berthoud Pass, Hoosier Pass, Kenoshas Pass, Trail Ridge Road
are all within a couple miles of Denver.

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby tornado » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:27 am

tundraking wrote:
tornado wrote:If you have any suggestions that would make my itinerary better I am all ears. Thanks again!


The only thing I can suggest to add to this is that whenever she mentions Aspen, that you reply with "Oh California, all right!" or for any mention of anything else, "Well we are in the Rockies".
(D & Dumber references)

Sorry, couldnt resist, as I have seen that movie way too many times.

Sounds like a great itinerary. Have fun!


Actually, I prefer the "That John Denver's full of s**t, man" when you cross over the border and only see a continuation of the plains!

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby madbuck » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:33 am

Sounds like a great itinerary, you can't go wrong!
(The San Juans are spectacular but as you noted, it would take up more of the driving time)

If you're going to RMNP (Trail Ridge Road will be a fun trip), then the suggestion is going through the park from the west side, avoiding I-70. You probably were planning on this already, but some maps might not have suggested this route. I personally prefer the town of Grand Lake more than Estes because of the tourism (although I dig Kind Coffee), and there are some great hikes (e.g. waterfall hikes) on that side as well. Viewing Lone Eagle Peak from Mirror or Crater Lake is a longer hike than you mentioned, but it's an example of how non-14er peaks (and in this case, even non-true peaks) are often significantly more spectacular looking.

peter303 wrote:Bierstadt from Guanella Pass. Although you may want do the non-14er peak in the opposite direction
to avoid the willow valley and crowds.


Another good suggestion -- mainly about going across the road and hiking up to Square Top Lakes.

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby tornado » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:56 am

MUni Rider wrote:Just don't let her see the sign discussing the "Deadly Bells" when you get to that area. She'll never let you get near a 14er again! :shock:


Haha...I thought of that too but I think she's accepted that I come with an inherent risk of danger since she lets me leave for two months of the year and storm chase 30,000+ miles a spring. A ranger by the Bells scared my mom to death though...she went to see them last year and now every time I bring up the 14ers to her she gets worried that I'm going for the Bells and says... "the ranger said they're so soft, dangerous, and people die up there all the time." Apparently they like to do some preventative maintenance.

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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby larkinrx2 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:46 pm

take trail ridge into estes, even though its touristy its a neat town

hit up the Estes Park Brewery and the Stanley Manor (from the Shining)

this will also provide a quick exit (drive fast through boulder) down to Golden another neat town to walk and Coors tour
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Re: 1-2 Mile Hike At Beginning Of 14er Trailhead

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:32 pm

Be sure to avoid the road closures for the bike race; it starts next Monday and goes through the following weekend. Some of the stages go through Salida, Crested Butte, Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge, and Steamboat, they go over Cottonwood Pass twice and Independence pass once, and it winds up in Denver. It might be fun to stumble on, unless you're in a hurry to get somewhere.
http://cotrip.org/content/usapcc/
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