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Road Trip. Colorado/Utah
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Andy Berner
(Berner9) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Road Trip. Colorado/Utah on 06/15/2010 16:18:14 MDT Print View

Well after talking to my boss my girlfriend and I somehow ended up with getting two weeks off in a row for vacation. I've recently pretty much outfitted my girlfriend in UL stuff and she is excited to get out and use it(I feel lucky).

Our original plan was to do Isle Royale the first week of august and then go out to do the Four loop pass/Maroon Bells in september. It works better if we take both weeks back to back so we have decided to scratch Isle Royal and do a Colorado/Utah tour.

Our plan is to drive from Michigan to the Black Hills and do a simple 1 or 2 night trip and see Mt. Rushmore. Then head out and stay in Aspen with a friend and do some local things with them and get acclimated for a day. We then would do the Maroon Bells four loop pass. I was thinking another 3 day, 2 night trip. Probably do a 14er or two.

After Colorado we were thinking of heading over to Bryce Cannon and do another 2 or 3 night trip.

So adding it all together we have flexibility with time/days.

So Im wondering if theres something we should do or something we need to see? Any specific trails or or must sees in that general area?

This will be both our first time in the real mountains hiking/backpacking other than me skiing out there for the last 10 years.

Any input would be great.

Edited by Berner9 on 06/15/2010 16:23:00 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: road trip on 06/15/2010 16:51:22 MDT Print View

Time of year?

Andy Berner
(Berner9) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: re: road trip on 06/15/2010 16:56:05 MDT Print View

This coming August.

We are thinking of just doing a day hike and checking out mt. rushmore and saving time and spending more in colorado. Maybe doing something in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Has anyone done the Under the rim trial in Bryce Cannon?

Edited by Berner9 on 06/15/2010 17:08:27 MDT.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Road Trip on 06/15/2010 17:05:13 MDT Print View

Andy, Bryce will be maybe the only place in Utah that won't be too hot in August. You'll still probably want to get out of that area as soon as you can. A great area in CO that you should check out is the San Juan mountain cluster just north of Durango. There are lots of good hikes in that area, and the scenery is rather different from Aspen or other CO mountain ranges (prettier, in my opinion). There are a lot of great 14ers in the San Juans. Hope you have a great road trip!

The Cossack
(thecossack) - F

Locale: sedona
Re: Road Trip on 06/15/2010 19:01:59 MDT Print View

cedar mesa

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: August on 06/17/2010 12:52:59 MDT Print View

The Maroon Bells should be lovely in early August. Crowded (by Montana standards), but lovely. There's more good summer hiking in SW Colorado than you can shake a stick at. The Weminuche, etc.

The Needles area and Custer State park are much more interesting than Rushmore. You'll kick yourself if you give them a miss.

Bryce will be pretty hot in August. Cedar Mesa will be REALLY hot. The Below-the-Rim Trail is pretty nifty, especially the southernmost sections, and you ought to have it mostly to yourself. Water is scarce and you'd have to carry a fair bit, but won't need much insulation so it works out in the end.

The heat of summer makes hiking in wet canyons very nice. An overnight trip in the Narrows of Zion, for instance, lets you play in the water and enjoy the wading without getting cold.

The higher mountain areas of the Colorado Plateau are also very nice in high summer. The Aquarius Plateau north of Escalante is gorgeous, and very little traveled. Few trails, get a map, drive up, go out and explore. Good fishing in the lakes.

The north rim of the Grand Canyon is not far away either, and the high forest there is lovely in summer (or anytime of year).

Should be a good trip.

Andy Berner
(Berner9) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Road Trip. Colorado/Utah on 06/20/2010 18:09:07 MDT Print View

well it looks like we are gonna go to colorado and chill there for a day or two. Probably a day hike and or a 14'er or two. We then will do Maroon bells and then head over to bryce canyon and then go home.

Couple of questions. Im still debating on wether to bring a duomid or grace duo tarp. Any suggestions? Im new with tarp camping and feel better in a mid but looking for any input and would like the weight savings obviously. Also what are the low temps at night? Looks like maroon bells is gonna be a possible low of mid 30s - 50 and haven't done much research on bryce yet.

Any input greatly appreciated.

John Whynot

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Re: Road Trip. Colorado/Utah on 06/20/2010 19:12:17 MDT Print View

I was in the Bells last year at the end of July -- I'd say the coldest night was upper 30s (After a day of thunderstorms). If you like to fish, be sure to spend an extra day at Snowmass Lake...

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
shelter on 06/21/2010 15:52:47 MDT Print View

Thunderstorms are almost certain in both places in early August. I'd bring the mid as it would give you the option to choose less protected sites if you want (to get good views).

Bryce is high (7000'), so it will cool off at night, though I'd be surprised if it got too much below 50.

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Re: Re: Road Trip. Colorado/Utah on 06/21/2010 17:30:10 MDT Print View

+1 on bringing the DuoMid. It gives you the option of having a more exposed (better views) campsite as well.

The Collegiate Peaks make nice overnight climbs and you can link a couple together in a single trip, in some instances. Count on the afternoon thunderstorms and watch out for lighting on exposed ridges. There shouldn't be much snow in August.

If the water levels are good, take a day rafting the Royal Gorge - great scenery and fun whitewater. Eat at Amicas (Il Vicino's) Pizzeria in Salida. I think you would really enjoy this as an "off day" from hiking! There is also a nice hot springs outside of Buena Vista that is nice after a hike.

Tom Bender
(shovelman) - F

Locale: Out East, sort of
Too Hot for Utah on 07/09/2010 20:46:05 MDT Print View

Utah is my favorite state for hiking but not in summer. After Colorado you would do better to turn north and spend your time in Yellowstone. It is an outstanding hiking park.