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Fort Collins, Colorado
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Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Fort Collins, Colorado on 05/01/2011 03:32:05 MDT Print View


I'll be spending most of May in Fort Collins for work and I hope that I'll have a few weekends to do some overnighters in the area. In any case I'll be bringing my hiking gear along with me, so I wonder what the climate in CO is in May: should I bring my (40 degF) Nunatak quilt, or my warmer (20 degF) local brand mummy bag? Should I bring my DAM or my Z-rest sleeping mat?

More importantly: Can someone recommend trails in the FC area that I could hike? I'm not a mountaineer: I really like trail hiking, surely into mountainous areas and hiking up to the top of a mountain is wonderful, but I don't want to use ropes or pick axes or crampons to get there. Also a tip of where in FC I could pick up a map would be great.

As far as my physical abilities, at the moment I'm not exactly as fit as I was three years ago. A 15 to 20 mile hiking day is all that my body will be happy with.

And maybe if someone of you is reading this and is planning for a hiking weekend in May and would like to take a Dutch guy along with him/her, please let me know.

Thanx, Eins

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Suggestions on 05/01/2011 09:00:53 MDT Print View

Definitely look at trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. In May the tourists haven't arrived yet, however, you may be dealing with snow in sections. Here is a link to a detailed trail map of the park Contact the Rangers, they are very very helpful and can direct to appropriate areas and give you good updates on conditions. One specific trail recommendation is the North Fork trail in the far North part of the Park which runs along the Big Thompson river.

I heard a NWS forecast yesterday that May was going to be cooler and more wet than normal along the Front Range of Colorado. Hopefully you can get a good weekend or two. But in the 6000-9000ft altitude range you should still be getting overnight lows in the 40's.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Bear Canisters on 05/01/2011 19:16:54 MDT Print View

FYI, I sent an email to the RMNP Rangers asking about Bear Canisters. Unfortunately, they don't accept the Ursack container. Not sure if that would be a factor in your decision. I hate those Bear Vault containers myself.

James Neal
(Laien) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Cache la Poudre on 05/01/2011 19:26:40 MDT Print View

There are lot's of trails up the canyon of the Cache la Poudre.

Douglas Wolf
(munnin) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Cache la Poudre on 05/02/2011 09:54:57 MDT Print View

In the same general area, the Comanche Peak Wilderness has a nice network of trails.

There is an REI in Fort Collins, you can get guidebooks and maps there, and probably people working there who can advise you.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Re: Cache la Poudre on 05/02/2011 13:42:53 MDT Print View

Thanks for the excellent tips so far. Also about the REI in FC cuz I would indeed like to visit one while I'm in the US.

Also thanks for the tip about bear canisters. Coming from Europe (where alas we did an excellent job exterminating all great predators) I'm a bit weary for venturing into bear territory all by myself. I hope the rangers can help.


Stephen B Elder Jr
(selder) - M

Locale: Front range CO
Fort Collins on 05/02/2011 13:47:17 MDT Print View

Hi Einstein,
You will probably be happier with your 20 degree bag...even at the end of May you will see night temperatures into the mid to upper 20's if you are at 10000 feet or so. Be prepared for very changable weather - springtime in the Rockies can take you from warm and sunny to cold, wind, and snow in an hour. As Douglas pointed out there is an REI in town with a LOT of books on local trails, my favorite being "Field and Trail Guide to the Roosevelt National Forest" by the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers, well worth the $10.95 investment.
Have fun,

Edited by selder on 05/03/2011 08:25:00 MDT.

Aaron Armstrong
(traderaaron) - F

Locale: Colorado
Snow on 05/03/2011 07:23:44 MDT Print View

Northern Colorado in general has experienced a very heavy snow year, this article might be of interest to you in your plans.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Scared for bears on 05/05/2011 21:31:11 MDT Print View

OK, tonight I bought some gear and maps at REI. They didn't have a sub 7 oz bivi though, any ideas where I can find one of those?

I also had a look at a bear canister, but at 11 liters it's 1/3 the size of my Gossamer Whisper! Why the heck do I need to take a 7-day size bear canister for an overnighter? I'm pretty scared about the bear thing though and I want to respect the rangers, so what should I do? How big is the chance of a bear disturbing my camp at night? Can't I bear bag?


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Scared for bears on 05/05/2011 21:38:13 MDT Print View

If you seek a small bear can, look at the Bear Boxer. There is a medium size one and also a small one, and I think the small one weighs 1.6 pounds.


Jason McSpadden
(JBMcSr1) - M

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Einstein in Fort Collins on 05/05/2011 21:42:37 MDT Print View

Unless you are "planning" to be in Rocky Mountain National Park you won't need a bear vault/can. It is very easy to just hang your food in a silnylon stuff sack and rope or use an OPsak or both. If you don't have an OPsak you will want to hang your food not necessarily because of bears but because of mice, marmots, racoons squirrels, etc. There is no need to be afraid because of the bears. They are usually not a problem and "if" they are encountered just be cautious and smart--give them a wide berth and be in awe. They are marvelous animals to see.

If you need some other help, advice or direction pm me. I live in Fort Collins and know Colorado fairly well.


Paul Mountford
(Sparticus) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic Canada
Bivy on 05/06/2011 00:59:33 MDT Print View

"They didn't have a sub 7 oz bivi though, any ideas where I can find one of those?"

You could also find one at MLD, but they are a little pricier. Titaniumgoat is offering a reasonable priced sub 7 oz bivy on their sight.

I have never used it, just came across it on their sight last night. Does anyone have any experience with it?