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Help me plan a 3 or 4 day backpacking trip - I live in Denver!
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Mike Gerty
(michael.gerty) - F
Help me plan a 3 or 4 day backpacking trip - I live in Denver! on 05/17/2011 14:39:48 MDT Print View

Hi all, I'm hoping you can help me plan a 3 or 4 day backpacking trip for this week. I live in Denver. Where should I go? Canyonlands? Escalante? Zion? Grand Canyon? Somewhere in northern New Mexico (not sure if it is too snowy there)...

I have four full days off work (Saturday through Tuesday, plus I could show up late on Wednesday). All suggestions greatly appreciated!

Aaron Armstrong
(traderaaron) - F

Locale: Colorado
Several Choices on 05/18/2011 08:03:27 MDT Print View

Planning a short notice trip to Utah is maybe not the easiest or wisest thing to do but you have several choices there.

Grand Gulch; one of several trips there about 3 days, this is a good place to research some of them; http://www.southwestguidebooks.com/trip_guide_pages/cedar_mesa.htm. Permits are required although you can get walk-in permits on day of trip if you are flexible with your starting TH.

Dark Canyon to the north of Grand Gulch.

White Roost and Robbers Roost Canyon in the Robbers Roost/Dirty Devil River Country. Nice backpacking exploring a couple of the canyons in this group.

The Escalante is another good push beyond these areas but if you OK with driving that far for a 3 day trip then that opens things up further, lots of trips out there.

Northern New Mexico is generally snow free right now except at the highest altitudes and shaded/treed slopes. I don't have any specific trips here to suggest other than I know Bandalier N.M. is lower altitude and the Jemez mountains nearby are as well.

Aaron Armstrong
(traderaaron) - F

Locale: Colorado
LCW may also be relatively snow free on 05/18/2011 09:44:56 MDT Print View

I think the LCW (Lost Creek Wilderness) may also be relatively snow free from what recent reports I've seen.

Edited by traderaaron on 05/18/2011 09:45:37 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Coyote Gulch on 05/18/2011 13:28:23 MDT Print View

You'll love Coyote Gulch. Just going to the campsite with the "Arena" (gigantic C-shaped overhang with a solar composting toilet just 100 yards downstream) and back to the trailhead will give you a 4 day trip in spectacularly beautiful rock formations.

Good cold drinking water in the canyon wall "seeps" along the creek.

Be prepared to do a lot of walking in the water. Aquatic shoes and camp shoes are the best combo.

BTW, apply for a BLM permit ahead of time.

Edited by Danepacker on 05/18/2011 13:29:06 MDT.

Mike Gerty
(michael.gerty) - F
LCW conditions on 05/18/2011 17:09:27 MDT Print View

Thanks for the suggestions - keep them coming!

Aaron, could you point me to a recent TR that describes conditions in the Lost Creek Wilderness?

Has anyone done the Woodenshoe - Peavine Loop in the Dark Canyon Wilderness in Utah?

Peter Sustr
(czechxpress) - F - M

Locale: Boulder
Canyonlands on 05/18/2011 22:26:05 MDT Print View

Go to the Needles district in Canyonlands National Park. I can get there in 8hrs from my house in Littleton. There is an endless amount of trails, lots of loops available and unreal scenery. Get in the car, stop at the grocery in Moab and get the hell out there.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Dark Canyon on 05/18/2011 22:38:18 MDT Print View

I haven't done the Woodenshoe/Peavine loop (definitely on my list) but I've been in lower Dark Canyon a couple times and it's an awesome area. Water would probably be easier than Needles right now. Needles is a great as well and the cool weather makes it doable right now. Robbers Roost is also a great suggestion and probably offers the best solitude of what's been mentioned.

Aaron Armstrong
(traderaaron) - F

Locale: Colorado
Utah considerations, LCW on 05/19/2011 08:14:01 MDT Print View

If you go to the Needles district you will be at the mercy of the backpacking reservation permit system, no guarantees on what you could get but you could very likely get something.

The LCW had been relatively snow free up to treeline but recent snows have been lower. There will be snow but from what I have heard from climbers not a trip preventer.