November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
West Elk Wilderness Central Colorado or other recommendations?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Jon Leibowitz
(jleeb) - F - MLife

Locale: 4Corners
West Elk Wilderness Central Colorado or other recommendations? on 05/09/2012 15:57:53 MDT Print View

I'm trying to plan a 3 day hike with some buddies. We settled on West Elk Wilderness as a possible option due to its relative central location between me in SW Colorado and my friends in Denver.

Does anyone know a good loop that would link up with Mill Castle Trail #450?

Or do you have other suggestions for a solid wilderness loop in central Colorado? We are looking for a combo of fishing, alpine areas, and long distances. Looking to cover maybe 35-40 miles in 3 days.


Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
West Elk on 05/09/2012 16:00:30 MDT Print View

I looked into West Elk once and was surprised how little info there was on it. I believe there were one or two articles on with some pictures of the area. I'd suggest buying a Trails Illustratated map. That will tell you where the routes are. Then use google earth to decide what areas look scenic.

Jon Leibowitz
(jleeb) - F - MLife

Locale: 4Corners
Re: West Elk on 05/09/2012 16:23:11 MDT Print View

That's why I'm interested :) I was hoping some BPLs had super secret information on this lightly visited area. I did order the NG Map. I'm starting quite a collection of these things!

Edited by jleeb on 05/09/2012 16:23:43 MDT.

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Re: West Elk on 05/09/2012 17:13:21 MDT Print View

I've been wanting to check out West Elk as well. One great loop that might be a little closer to you than your friends in Denver (in the Wemenuche) is to start at Highland Mary Lakes TH, jump on the CDT, take that down to Flint Lakes area, then Rock Creek trail, Vallecito Creek, back up over Hunchback, CDT over to Verde Lakes and down on the Highland Mary lakes trail. My wife and I did it last year over 4th of July weekend (I think we started around noon first day, camped 3 nights, finished late morning on last day). If I'm remembering correctly it's a little under 50 miles. Awesome loop.

Jon Leibowitz
(jleeb) - F - MLife

Locale: 4Corners
Re: Re: Re: West Elk on 05/10/2012 11:34:57 MDT Print View

oooh, nice trip idea. I'm new to this area. This summer will be my first venture into the Weminuche.