Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

14ers Road Trip 6/12

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:20 pm

14ers Road Trip 6/12

Postby tylermcken92 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:35 pm

My friend Julian and I live in Austin, TX and just started planning a trip to Colorado for a week or two of camping and exploring as much as possible. The main reason for going is to reach the summit of a couple 14ers for the first time. Hiking up a mountain is not something either of us have done, but we are both outdoorsy people and pretty athletic. Ive been doing alot of research of different 14ers all around Colorado. We want to do Mt. Elbert for sure just because its the highest in the state. We really want a challenge but nothing to challenging, we do not have any rope climbing experience, so no rope climbing. We want to climb at least four 14ers on the trip. We are both photographers also and want to climb the most scenic 14ers. Any opinions or suggestions of what we should do would be greatly appreciated. Also in early June what can we expect the weather to be like throughout the trip? Thanks :)

User avatar
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:17 pm
Location: Castle Rock

Re: 14ers Road Trip 6/12

Postby denvermikey » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:34 pm

Early June may very likely still have considerable snow to deal with.
There are only a small handfull of 14er climbs that roping up would even be considered.
In doing Elbert, you would be at the north end of the largest concentration of 14ers in the state. IMO, the most scenic of the ones in that area (Sawatch) is Huron, and may be the only one considered above average scenery-wise. There are several 13ers in the area as well.
If you want to explore other parts of the state, I would recommend spending some time in the San Juans. Lake City is a great base for several 14ers in the area. Again, early June may very likely hold alot of snow. Definitely consider bringing some snow gear - pants and gaiters at a minimum
What ever you decide, have fun and be safe!

p.s. what type of vehicle will you have? This will help or hinder access to many of the peaks.
"Every man dies, not every man really lives" - William Wallace
"Because it's there" - George Mallory
"In the end it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years" - Abraham Lincoln
"You only live once but if you do it right, once is enough" - Mae West
"Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world." - Unknown

Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: 14ers Road Trip 6/12

Postby tylermcken92 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:52 pm

Thanks man, thats definitely gonna help us make up our minds what to do. Has for the snow, we dont mind at all. Being from Texas seeing some snow is a bonus \:D/
As for the vehicle, haha we dont have a very ideal vehicle for a road trip or driving through the rockies. We will be driving my little miata, but call me crazy but I really think it will make the trip alot more interesting and memorable.

Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:26 am
Location: Canyon Lake, TX elev. 1100

Re: 14ers Road Trip 6/12

Postby elhombre » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:26 pm

Mt Yale trail head is right off the pavement and it is down the road from Elbert. La plata is the same. Most other ones that come to mind are the mountains up off of I 70. Your car is a limiting factor, but if it is your friends, then you could talk them into Missouri, Oxford and Belford trail head. Just have a real good spare.

Being next door to you and living at the same altitude, I would suggest you plan to spend two days getting use to the altitude before climbing high. We always work our way up to sleeping near 10000 feet over 3 nights. For me and my family, it has meant that we only get tired from the climb and no headaches. I know that that may change next time we go high, but so far it works for us.
“I will tell you these are ammunition, they’re bullets, so the people who have those know they’re going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.” Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado, leading congressional sponsor of a federal ban on high-capacity magazines.

Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: 14ers Road Trip 6/12

Postby tylermcken92 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:07 pm

Yeah, we planned on camping somewhere near Elbert for a day or so to get use to the new attitude. There are campgrounds around the twin lakes correct?

User avatar
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:17 am
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: 14ers Road Trip 6/12

Postby dmccool » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:32 pm

Check out Huron, too. The views from the summit are first rate and it's a pretty mild route.
Save a place for me up in the high country.
There's still space to breathe.

- Gregory Alan Isakov

Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:26 am
Location: Canyon Lake, TX elev. 1100

Re: 14ers Road Trip 6/12

Postby elhombre » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:37 am

The campgrounds at Twin Lakes are generally designed for RVs. The shore area is more open with sites cleared out so an RV can pull through. I spied the Lake View campground when we climbed Elbert and that would be my first choice if I had to stay there. Turquoise Lake is North of the area and has abunch of campgrounds too. The ones we saw were made for RVs also, but there a bunch to chose from, so there might be a smaller, nicer campground geared for tent camping. The area is much more forested than Twin Lakes also so I would guess the camping would be nice.

There are a few campgrounds on the road up to independance pass which I have only spied while driving by. What I remember is alot of "KOA" camping (Kamping On the Audobahn). Right next to a busy road.

I have stayed at Collegiate Campground west of Buena Vista . It is only about 1 mile from the trail head for Mt. Yale. This campsite is almost all car camping only so it is closed in by a bunch of trees. It worked great for a starting point to climb Mt. Yale for us. To aclimate a little, you can drive up to Cottonwood pass and hang out or climb some of the hills right off the parking lot up there.

Put a lift kit with some Mud terrain tires on that Miata, then a bunch more places would open up.
“I will tell you these are ammunition, they’re bullets, so the people who have those know they’re going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.” Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado, leading congressional sponsor of a federal ban on high-capacity magazines.

Online
Posts: 1985
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:19 pm

Re: 14ers Road Trip 6/12

Postby peter303 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:06 am

In 2009 I climbed Democrat on Fathers Day. There was a lot of new snow and postholing. I didnt do Lincoln that trip due to the extra time the snow required. The road was open all the way to Kite Lake however.

In 2010 I climbed Quandry the second Saturday of June, the day before Kevin died on Little Bear, and the weekend of the Breckenridge Film festival. There was a localized blizzard above tree line while it was sunny around Breckenridge. It was very cold on that climb. Two of the Lake Dillon campgrounds had opened Memorial Day weekend and I stayed there for the festival and hiking.

Re: 14ers Road Trip 6/12

Postby gonzalj » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:15 am

Yeah, from a scenery standpoint, huron is a great hike. However, getting to the 4wd TH with your car definitely won't happen. What you could do though is drive to winfield (2wd dirt road that I'm sure your car could make it to - a little bumpy in spots but definitely not bad) and then either catch a ride with someone or hike the 2 miles from winfield to the TH and set up camp somewhere (there are also camping spots around winfield to be right by your car, but then you'll be adding 4 miles roundtrip to your hike - although hiking the road is definitely not strenuous). Also, I second that you camp for at least 2 days at 10K'+ to help with the acclimation process. Also, lake city is a great suggestion and I've hiked 3 of those 14ers there (handies, redcloud & sunshine) and the scenery is some of the best in the whole state. Once again, the problem lies in getting a ride to the TH. The first like 10 miles or so off of the highway are easy 2wd dirt road, but then after that it becomes rough 2wd to the silver creek/grizzly gulch TH (the redcloud/sunshine TH and one of the handies TH) that I wouldn't take your car on and would definitely catch a ride. After that, the 3 miles or so to american basin is rough 2wd & moderate 4wd. Just a fyi, but american basin is hands down one of the most georgeous basin's in all of Colorado and handies is a easy hike from there and you can camp right by the TH, but your challenge will be trying to figure out catching a ride to the TH if you want to attempt it. As others mentioned, accessing la plata & yale, you can reach them by paved roads, so that won't be a problem and they are nice hikes with very nice summit views (but not as nice as the others I just mentioned). Have fun.

Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: 14ers Road Trip 6/12

Postby tylermcken92 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:14 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. Really helping us out! Yall will for sure be seeing more questions from me on this forum and Im sure Ill share our experience with everyone about our first trip and many more to come because we will most likely get hooked and plan many trips in the future.

One question though, while out hiking around on Elbert or any mountain, is it okay to just stop anywhere and set up camp or does it have to be at a campground?

User avatar
Posts: 1388
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edwards, CO

Re: 14ers Road Trip 6/12

Postby Mel McKinney » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:42 pm

tylermcken92 wrote:One question though, while out hiking around on Elbert or any mountain, is it okay to just stop anywhere and set up camp or does it have to be at a campground?


There's a campground off Hwy 82 that would give you access to the South Elbert Trail (it would be fee camping). There is free, non-fee beyond the campground but you definitely can't drive too far beyond the campground. You can camp for free on the Halfmoon Creek road which has access to both Elbert and Massive, or there's a campground there too. I'm not sure of the recent condition of that road. Check "Trailheads" on the navigation bar on this site to check all of the trailheads. La Plata Peak off Hwy 82 might be good too for easy access to camping and the trailhead (again, paid/fee).

You can set up a tent at Winfield (which people mentioned above). There's a toilet there too. I think that's free camping. It's not officially a campground. There are campgrounds on the road to Winfield too, as well as few spots that are just outside the campground. I'd vote for climbing Huron too! :D

You can't camp on private land, obviously, but there is Forest Service or BLM land where you can camp. The private land in the two areas described is pretty well marked, if I recall correctly.
Mountains cast spells on me - Why, because of the way Earth-heaps lie, should I be Chocked by joy mysteriously; stilled or drunken-gay? Why should a brown hill trail Tug at my feet to go? Why should a boggy swale Tune my heart to a nameless tale Mountain marshes know?
--- Belle Turnbull ("Mountain-Mad")

"Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said couldn't be done."
---Sam Ewing

Online
Posts: 1985
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:19 pm

Re: 14ers Road Trip 6/12

Postby peter303 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:22 pm

tylermcken92 wrote:One question though, while out hiking around on Elbert or any mountain, is it okay to just stop anywhere and set up camp or does it have to be at a campground?

Roach's 14er book covers each 14er's camping possibilities in detail. The possibilities are camp anywhere on federal land, established campgrounds, or neither. As the vacation resorts grow in Summit County (Breckenridge), Apsen, Lake City and Buena Vista, the open forest lands disappear with nasty No Trespassing signs sprouting up. Some of the established campgrounds may not open until almost July 4 due to snow. Then in July & August they are fully booked on weekends. In many cases you can camp freely near the trailhead. Then the 4AM SUV parade eliminates need for an alarm clock. If I arrive before dark, we drive to the next day's trailhead noting feasible roadside pull offs, then backtrack.

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Erin80, nsaladin and 21 guests