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5-6 day Colorado hike suggestions?
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Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
5-6 day Colorado hike suggestions? on 11/29/2009 21:40:31 MST Print View

A couple of buddies and I want to do a week or so hike next summer.

I'm trying to produce several ideas for 5-6 day hikes in Colorado for summer 2010. That way if the weather sucks in one area I can fall back on another. I live in Colorado Springs, so I'm pretty central in the state.

I've already got a hike in the Sangre de Cristo plotted, as well as the CDT through the South San Juan Wilderness. I've got a couple plotted in the Weminuche Wilderness, too. I was also thinking of a loop around the Mummy Range in RMNP- is that possible?

I'm particularly interested in ideas in Maroon Bells, Uncompahgre, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, or any Colorado Trail segments that someone might think are particularly good ones.

I'm trying to avoid requiring my wife to drop us off and pick us up, but I'm open to any great hike even if I would need her to shuttle. So loop hikes are nice, or ones where a local shuttle or mass transit are available. (Durango-Silverton RR?)

Suggestions?

Edited by acrosome on 11/29/2009 21:42:52 MST.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
CT area on 11/29/2009 21:44:42 MST Print View

Coney summit area to Durango on the CT is fabulous IMO.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
CO hikes on 11/30/2009 09:17:44 MST Print View

Dean, a unique way to spend several days in the San Juans is to take the Durango-Silverton train ride, get off at Needleton, then hike east up to Chicago Basin. Set up a base camp there, which gives you access to climb 4 fourteeners--Eolus, N. Eolus, Sunlight, and Windom. Though not a thru-hike, you will get your exercise. And you get to ride on the train.

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: 5-6 day Colorado hike suggestions? on 11/30/2009 10:46:34 MST Print View

I think you could easily do a 5 day variation of the 4 Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells -- add in a extra pass (or 2), or base camp near any of the lakes and fish. I enjoyed the area so much last year that I am planning on heading back this year...

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
4 Pass Loop? on 11/30/2009 15:53:29 MST Print View

Gary,
I had seen the Chicago Basin hikes in my Falcon Guide for the Weminuche. How technical are those 14-ers? I'm okay with crampons and an ice ax but anything more and I'll pass. I'm not even sure how my buddies would feel about the ice axe...

John,
What's the 4 Pass Loop in Maroon Bells? I've been reading the Falcon Guide for Maroon Bells and thought I'd identified a possible big loop through the whole wilderness, but let me know what the 4 Pass Loop is. (I need to get a Maroon Bells map for any more planning.)

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Chgo Basin & 4 Pass Loop on 11/30/2009 16:24:46 MST Print View

Dean, none of the Chicago Basin 14-ers are technical in August-Sept.(but I've not done N. Eolus, so I'm not sure about that one). If you will be going in Mid-July, a rope and axe might come in handy, in case of any snow issues. Usually, Windom and Sunlight are done together, starting with Windom, doing the connecting col, then descending back down into the basin from Sunlight. Eolus is an obvious trudge directly up from the basin.

The "standard" Bells 4 pass loop starts at the Maroon-Snowmass trailhead. You follow East Snowmass Creek south, then climb to Willow Pass. On past Crater Lake and south to West Maroon Pass. Northwest to Frigid Air Pass and then further NW to Geneva Lake. The back east on the Geneva Lake trail, over Trail Rider Pass, and down Snowmass Creek to the trailhead. But there are all sorts of other ways to do a loop in this area--your map will tell you how. Pick up a Trails Illustrated map for Maroon Bells-Redstone/Marble. I hate those maps, but they do provide a good overview.

Hope this helps.

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: 4 Pass Loop? on 11/30/2009 18:37:17 MST Print View

Dean:

I started at Maroon Snowmass trailhead (at the end of Maroon Creek road), picked up the West Maroon Creek and took that over West Maroon Pass, then took the North Fork Trail over Frigid Air Pass. In Fravert Basin, I picked up the North Fork Cutoff Trail to the Geneva Lake trail, then took that trail over Trail Rider Pass down to Snowmass Lake. You can then take the Maroon Snowmass Trail up over Buckskin Pass back to the trailhead (southeast) to complete the loop, or take the Maroon Snowmass trail (north) to its other trailhead near Snowmass village. You can easily add to the loop and stop at Geneva Lake and Willow Lake. The basic loop is about 28 miles, with 4 passes over 12,400 feet.

I used Trails Illustrated map 128 -- and supplemented the map with the trail descriptions from the forest service. There's also the Sky Terrain Aspen-Crested Butte-Maroon Bells map, which covers more area. Lots of possibilities, as you'll see by looking at the maps...

Edited by jdw01776 on 11/30/2009 18:56:22 MST.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Thanks on 12/01/2009 09:55:09 MST Print View

Thanks everyone.

Any other standout 5-6 day hikes?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Another idea on 12/01/2009 11:04:48 MST Print View

It may not be as dramatic as the Maroon Bells but I really like the Lost Creek Wilderness. There are several loop hike possibilities that might be put together to keep you busy for 5 to 6 days. I particularly like McCurdy Mountain and the Refrigerator Gulch area. Have you looked into the San Juan wilderness area?

Edited by Cameron on 12/01/2009 11:05:45 MST.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Another idea on 12/01/2009 11:06:41 MST Print View

Luke-

Thanks, I'll look into that, too.

I have a guidebook for the Weminuche and South San Juan Wildernesses, and one hike on my list is the CDT through the South San Juans.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
CT hike on 12/02/2009 19:14:54 MST Print View

Chris-

Where is Coney Summit?

EDIT--

n/m. I found it.

Edited by acrosome on 12/02/2009 19:15:53 MST.

Christopher Wilke
(wilke7000)

Locale: Colorado
Flat Tops Wilderness on 12/02/2009 22:44:26 MST Print View

Flat Tops Wilderness starting at Stillwater Reservoir is a great area. I've only done a 25mile loop there but looking at my map, you could throw together some much longer loops. The elevation is lower than some areas (mostly 12k and under peaks).


EDIT: Also, +1 for Lost Creek. Simply awesome!

Edited by wilke7000 on 12/02/2009 22:45:20 MST.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Thanks again on 12/03/2009 12:15:21 MST Print View

Thanks Chris W.

I'm waiting for an opportunity to run to REI and get some maps, so I'll add Flat Tops to the list along with Lost Creek.

Chris P., or anyone else-

I've got the southern CT hike on my list. But it is near my other San Juan hikes, so the weather is likely to be similar at all of them. Is there a particularly scenic 5-6 day section of the CT that's more northern? (I can only glean so much from guidebooks.)

Edited by acrosome on 12/03/2009 12:16:11 MST.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
CT North on 12/03/2009 13:17:22 MST Print View

Well the lost creek section of the CT (end seg 3 or start seg 4 I think) to Copper or Leadville is pretty killer too. I'm not quite sure what kind of mileage you can do out there but there is a lot of awesome trail. Kenosha to Georgia Pass and then over 10 mile and Searl/Kokomo passes all are nice sections though you will have closer access to resupply/towns than the southern sections. The trail is much more remote south of Mt.Princeton Hot Springs.

I mean I even like the beginning of the CT minus the dirt road walk. The burn and stuff around Buffalo Creek is all cool.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Lost Creek on 12/03/2009 15:12:10 MST Print View

Dean several of us have posted pictures and reports of Lost Creek. I think there were at least two other posts. If I was in that area I would take a hike through the Taryall Mountains and Goose Creek area than connect to the Colorado Trail, the section of the CT through the wilderness is rather lame compared to other trail there. Sounds like other areas are a higher priority but if you want more info let me know I'd be happy to let you know my favorite spots (just don't tell:).

Peter Sustr
(czechxpress) - F - M

Locale: Boulder
colorado Hike on 12/03/2009 15:38:44 MST Print View

I will second both Lost Creek and also the Flat Tops. Lost creek is my favorite close spot to Denver that I've hiked every inch of.

I am also a huge fan of the Flat tops... you have great fishing opportunities including Trappers Lake, the Chinese wall, endless amount of loop options and no water problems what so ever. Once you get to the top the terrain is easy going. The other draw is the amount of wildlife you see, I saw a herd of over 100 deer and a pack of coyotes.
You want to stick mostly to the west side, as the most of the east side was in a fire in the late 90's.

It is somewhat of a drive but, very well worth ever mile.

P.S- Wall Lake is my happy place :)

Edited by czechxpress on 12/03/2009 15:39:41 MST.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Lost Creek on 12/03/2009 16:29:56 MST Print View

Luke-

Just saw your trip report on Lost Creek, as well as James Dubendorf's. It looks fantastic. And, perhaps, better suited to my two friends (they are flatlanders).

Bonus- it is wicked close to Colorado Springs.

As I said, I have to find a decent map and check it out. Know of one?

Edited by acrosome on 12/03/2009 16:46:50 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re.Re. Lost Creek on 12/03/2009 16:56:38 MST Print View

Dean I used a National Geographic map from REI. I am sure the Flat Tops and Weminuche are great but Lost Creek does have the advantage of being lower elevation so aclimitazion might be easier. You could plan your trip so the first couple days are at lower elevation and you go higher when your packs are lighter and you're aclimitized. The scenery on the Goose Creek Loop is great but you're not real high for the first day or two. Once you're aclimitized you can go over McCurdy Mountain and on up to the Kenosha Mountains if you like. Have fun.

Peter Sustr
(czechxpress) - F - M

Locale: Boulder
Lost Creek on 12/03/2009 18:18:17 MST Print View

Here is a link to a video I made in Lost creek, it was a fun loop I did. video shows some of the trails and my retardedness.....

Lost Creek Loop

Edited by czechxpress on 12/03/2009 18:19:12 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Video on 12/03/2009 18:50:56 MST Print View

Great video. I swear I remember that same elk spine and pelvic from back in 08 when we went in the spring.