We have a Camp Fire trip going out to the eastern part of Weminuche Wilderness in CO in the latter part of July. Eight people on the trip—5 teens and 3 adults. Plan is to be on the trail for 6 nights, probably Turkey Creek Trail to Continental Divide, maybe drop down to Goose Creek, eastwards to come down Hope Creek. We have two Bearikade Weekenders that belong to me, no other bear-resistant containers (BRC's). I called the San Juan NF and Rio Grande NF. They said hanging food is allowed. We have practiced the PCT hang here in Austin. Last year we had a group do a shorter trip in the same country (Archuleta Trail) and they reported having a very difficult time finding trees suitable for hanging, since the trees are all snow-adapted and have branches that point down and hug the tree.
Our budget doesn't really include 5 or 6 more BRC's, even if I get cheaper ones. And unlike in the Sierras, the Colorado FS offices don't seem to lend them out. (Which in itself makes me suspect they may not have a huge problem in that area. Plus their web site has nothing about bears and food, which surprised me.)
For many years we have taken groups for 4 nights into Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico, which is similar country, using neither BRC's nor hangs, and have not seen nor heard of bear activity, although it is surely black bear habitat.
Question for forum members familiar with the area in question—is there a lot of bear activity such that (comparable to the Sierras for instance) we would be putting the trip and ourselves at great risk if we are not able to find effective hangs? I asked the FS and they just reiterated that they recommend BRC's.