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Good backpacking mid July?
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Michael Bailey
(mbailey729) - F

Locale: Southeast
Good backpacking mid July? on 02/06/2012 15:47:06 MST Print View

Some buddies and I are planning on driving out west (from Atlanta) to backpack for a week. We are looking to go somewhere in Wyoming, Colorado or southern Montana. We would like to keep the trip 30 miles or less. Any recommendations would be great

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Good backpacking mid July? on 02/06/2012 15:52:30 MST Print View

For those 3 states I would hang a map on the wall, throw a dart at it, and you can probably find a nice loop that way based on where the dart sticks. :)

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Good backpacking mid July? on 02/06/2012 16:07:56 MST Print View

I can't recommend anything better than Wyoming's Wind River Range. Do note that in the Rockies most years, mid-July is the height of mosquito season (on the positive side, it is often the height of wildflower season). It also can freeze at night, or even snow. Be prepared!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Good backpacking mid July? on 02/06/2012 16:23:51 MST Print View

You might want to mention how you feel about grizzly bears.

If you hate bears, there are some places that you need to avoid. If you love bears, there are other places that you need to check out.

--B.G.--

Michael Bailey
(mbailey729) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Good backpacking mid July? on 02/06/2012 17:16:23 MST Print View

Ive only seen a few black bears from a distance, but bears are not a problem or deterrent.

As I stated earlier, we will be driving so we can hike for 2-3 days, pick up and hike somewhere else. Thanks again

Michael Bailey
(mbailey729) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: Good backpacking mid July? on 02/07/2012 08:44:24 MST Print View

Bump for todays crowd

Justin Baccary
(justin.baccary)
Four Pass Loop near Aspen on 02/07/2012 09:09:39 MST Print View

I'd recommend the Four Pass Loop near Aspen. It's 26 mile loop that crosses four high passes and puts you near a bunch of 14,000+ foot peaks (Maroon, N. Maroon, Snowmass, Pyramid). Trails Illustrated 128 (Maroon Bells) covers the whole loop. If possible, go during the week to avoid (some of) the crowds. This has been a low snow year so far in CO so the passes might be snow-free in mid-July but it wouldn't hurt to bring an ice axe and know how to use it.

[Edit: Drink beers at Aspen Brewing Company after the trip.]

Edited by justin.baccary on 02/07/2012 09:45:21 MST.

Joseph Regallis
(backpackandgear) - F
Grand Teton National Park on 02/08/2012 06:22:34 MST Print View

For Wyoming, I recommend the Grand Teton National Park with Yellowstone just next door! I hiked between the mountains and saw waterfalls after taking a boat ride across the lake. Find out more below. Joe from Backpack and Gear

http://www.backpack-and-gear.com/grand-teton-national-park.html

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Good backpacking mid July? on 02/08/2012 11:43:42 MST Print View

Driving that far for only a week on the trail is a pretty steep price, but it's your time.

Only 30 miles in a week is also quite low. You plan on fishing a lot?

Anyway, I agree there's good stuff just about anywhere in those 3 states. If you were to do the 4 Pass Loop near Aspen, I'd strongly encourage flying into Aspen (view my trip report.) I prefer the Wind Rivers myself, but that or Tetons will be a lot longer on the road instead of the trail. I'm not relishing the drive there from IN when I get to go back unless I can find a partner to pick me up at an airport as I did last time.

Michael Bailey
(mbailey729) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Good backpacking mid July? on 02/08/2012 12:44:18 MST Print View

Its me and 3 other buddies, so the price of gas (~$650 total) will be much less than flying into Aspen ($400/person). We will alternate driving and sleeping and can be in Aspen in under 30 hrs.
As for distance, its a vacation so we are in no hurry to finish a 30mi loop in 2 days.

Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
CO on 02/08/2012 13:32:08 MST Print View

If I had a choice I would go to the Wind Rivers. But, in order to save some time and gas, I just did a trip to the Holy Cross Wilderness just south of Vail. I did about 30 miles in 3 days. I could have easily stretched it to 5 days and spent more time fishing exploring. Here is a link to some trip photos.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=55157&skip_to_post=468434#468434

If you would like to hear some more details shoot me a PM.

Ben