Any good 3 day hikes for a rookie?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Any good 3 day hikes for a rookie?

Postby tjwestfall » Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:31 am

First off, Great Web Site. Full of information and seems like a lot of very friendly people. I've been browsing for some time and haven't found an exact answer to what I'm looking for so any help would be greatly appreciated.

My girlfriend and I are going to be in CO next week (July 8th-13th) and would like to summit a 14er. We are in good shape, have done week-long backpacking trips but not at altitude over 10K. What we are looking for is a backpacking/hiking trip that we could do in 3 days, 2 overnights that would hit at least 1 14er. We obviously are not technically gifted and have no interest in scaling rock faces or using ice axes or crampons.

We also would like to know where to find information on routes, legal places to set up camp, trailheads, etc. We've only hiked in national parks which are a little more regimented than just hiking the mountains in CO.

Any useful information would be very appreaciated. Thanks for your help.
Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time. ~Steven Wright
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Postby cheeseburglar » Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:05 pm

You could climb Windom from Chicago Basin by hiking in from the Purgatory ski area, rather than taking the train. I don't know where this route is described, it probably is in Roach's book if you can't find it on the internet. Windom is called a difficult Class 2, but it doesn't involve any real exposure or climbing.
Most 14'ers are pretty close to roads. To find a 3 day hike you would either have to walk very slowly or take a non standard route. I don't know of any that aren't Class 3. Long's Peak via Sand Beach Lake is nice but potentially involves some bush wacking and I think is rated Class 3, which isn't terribly steap, but might seem that way for a beginner.
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Postby Floyd » Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:09 pm

Info on routes, you're at the right site. For a beginner 3-day 14er backpacking trip, I would recommend either Missouri Gulch for access to Belford/Oxford and Missouri or Horn Fork Basin with access to Harvard/Columbia/Yale. All would be class 1 or 2 and all are significantly clear of any snow. You'll find all the trail info you need on this site except for the NW slopes route on Yale which you can find here: ... ridge.html

The nearby 14ers would probably be more technical than you're looking for but if you want to forego the 14ers and stick with backpacking, the 4-pass loop in Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness has incredible scenery. Just google 4-pass loop and all sorts of information is available - Buckskin BM is a nice summit as a side trip - ... in-bm.html

If you need more detail, feel free to pm me.
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Re: Any good 3 day hikes for a rookie?

Postby upndown » Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:40 pm

tjwestfall wrote:My girlfriend and I are going to be in CO next week (July 8th-13th) and would like to summit a 14er.
Where in Colorado? Are you driving in? Flying? Will you have access to a 4x4? There are so many places that fit your criteria. One that comes to mind - Mt. Harvard. You could hike into the Horn Fork Basin - set up camp, relax, acclimate, enjoy the view, even fish Bear Lake if you are into that. Wake up the next morning and summit Harvard. Then descend back down to Horn Fork, relax, enjoy the rest of the day and spend the night again or hike out. There are plenty places to set up camp in that basin.

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