Favorite route in the west
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john griffith
(jgriffith)

Locale: Southeast U.S.
Favorite route in the west on 02/14/2008 13:15:42 MST Print View

I'm planning a trip out West with some friends (I'm in Atlanta) and am looking for a 40-70 mile loop in mountains. I would love to hear what everyone's favorites are.

Kyle Berkompas
(vantoast) - F

Locale: West
Trip to the West on 02/18/2008 08:16:55 MST Print View

All I have to say is....

Alpine Lakes Wilderness

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Favorite route in the west on 02/18/2008 10:14:57 MST Print View

Rae Lakes Loop, Kings Canyon, CA.

Rae Lakes

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Re: Favorite route in the west on 02/18/2008 11:09:53 MST Print View

WOW...That's magical!

Douglas Johnson
(Sponge) - M

Locale: PNW
HST on 02/18/2008 12:08:11 MST Print View

High Sierra Trail - 71 miles

Andrew Richard
(fairweather8588) - F

Locale: The Desert
"Favorite route in the west" on 02/18/2008 12:48:13 MST Print View

Tonto Trail, GCtonto trail

Edited by fairweather8588 on 02/18/2008 12:49:46 MST.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Favorite route in the west on 02/18/2008 18:56:18 MST Print View

Hmm... loop cuts a number of good options out. While not quite a loop, I would suggest South Lake to North Lake in on the eastern side of the sierras. It's not a classic "loop" going in and out the same trail head, but the trail heads weren't that far apart... something like 5 miles apart. When I did it some nice day hikers gave me a lift so I didn't end up hoofing it between the trailheads. This hike goes from South Lake through Bishop pass, down to JMT, Over Muir Pass, through Evolution, Over P? Pass, and out to South Lake. There are a number of variations, especially if you do a bit of cross country. Alas, don't have good picture, camera died the last time I did this trip.

--Mark

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Favorite route in the west on 02/19/2008 12:11:46 MST Print View

My favorite hike in the Northern Rockies fitting the mileage description you requested would be in Glacier National Park. Bowman Lake trailhead to Brown Pass to Hole-in-the-Wall to Boulder Pass, finishing at Kintla Lake trailhead.

Glacier National Park view of Bowman Lake

Glacier National Park, Upper Kintla Lake

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
I second the Tonto Trail on 02/19/2008 12:26:46 MST Print View

the Tonto trail at sunrise blew me away

colorado at sunrise

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Glacier Peak Area on 03/02/2008 20:52:24 MST Print View

My favorite area in Washington State is the Glacier Peak area (and we have a lot of great areas). I haven't done the hike, but I can tell that a loop which included going over Spider Gap and Buck Creek Pass would be fantastic (everyone who has done it has said so). This would include Image Lake (one of the more photographed spots on the planet). Since the big storms have damaged a lot of the trails, this is the easiest way into the lake.

There is a lot of up and down (the Sierras are much kinder on your knees). Unlike a lot of areas, you don't need to worry about reserving campsites. I would recommend late July to early August. By then the snow will have mostly melted and the flowers should be in full bloom.

If you get on www.nwhikers.net, you can find plenty of people who rave about the hike and offer advice and tips (I'm sure some of the folks on this forum can do the same). Allow time to explore little peaks and side trails as well.

To give you an idea of the area, I googled for pictures and came up with this: http://bobrat.weblogger.com/stories/storyReader$1434 (I don't know the people). They went in late August, so they didn't have to worry about snow or bugs too much. If you go in early August, you'll have plenty of bugs, but wildflowers that will be superb.

Edited by rossbleakney on 03/02/2008 21:06:07 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: P Pass? on 03/04/2008 11:18:07 MST Print View

I'll bet you came out over Paiute Pass, Mark. Very nice route you picked, BTW.