Rocky Mountain NP Route Help
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David Wiacek
(HotrodDave)
Rocky Mountain NP Route Help on 04/08/2013 20:17:27 MDT Print View

I'm thinking of doin a 4 or 5 day cruise through park sometime this summer. Im flexible and looking for suggestions on the date. Flexible on the mileage too, be it 5 or 15 a day, as long as its enjoyable, ya know. I usually prefer a mix.

So anyways, from what i've gathered I was thinkin of starting at Grand Lake, heading over the divide at flattop via the CDT, then head into glacier gorge, come back over the divide and possibly bag a peak somewhere around McHenry's or Alice and return via either the north or east fork. Its going to be my fiance and I, and her limitations are pretty much class 3 with moderate exposure. Before I waste too much more of my time, does such a route even exist? I havent been able to come up very much pertinent info.

The North Circle in GNP is also on the table, so if there isnt an epic adventure to be had in RMNP (10 hrs closer to home), then Montana it is. And I've only got until the 15th to figure it out. Life is so tough. Decisions, decisions... Lol Thanks in advance.

Dave

Edited by HotrodDave on 04/08/2013 20:19:50 MDT.

Allen Butts
(butts0989) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Re: Rocky Mountain NP Route Help on 04/09/2013 23:23:50 MDT Print View

I used to guide up in the park a bit, and here is a great route to take IMO. We start out of grand lake at the north inlet trailhead and make our way up towards the divide. Once we get past the july campsite we take a turn east and head towards Taylor Peak. This is a great 13er that will give you some amazing views. From here we head across the divide, across flattop, and down the tonahutu trail drainage. This trail takes you out towards trail ridge road, where it would it would be quite easy to hitch a ride back into grand lake. You essentially follow the CDT the whole way.

I would try to hop on getting permits for the campsites early if i were you, they get filled up pretty quick.

David Wiacek
(HotrodDave)
Thanks! on 04/10/2013 16:57:30 MDT Print View

Right on! Is it possible to follow the crest from taylor all the way north to flattop?

As far as campsites I was thinkin first night stay at the main campsite on the lake, 2nd night north inlet junction (stayin lower both nights bcuz it would probably only be my third night at elevation), 4 am start on the 3rd day, 3rd night at either timberline or renegade, get lazy and stay at haynach on the 4th night, then either hike out or if theres another highly recommended spot stay an extra night and do some fishin. How does all that sound?

Or if the scenery on the other side is worth it head down the drainage at andrews pass to the loch and then approach flattop from the east staying at andrews creek (on the loch) on the way?

What week do you think would be best? I was leaning towards early july just because that time of year has always worked out well for me in the past in the area (actually come to think of it I think july is the only time of the year i;ve spent any real time in the colorado backcountry).

Thanks for the help!

Allen Butts
(butts0989) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Re: Thanks! on 04/10/2013 17:17:46 MDT Print View

It is possible to traverse the ridge north and I would highly recommend doing so. Great views near sharkstooth, and then i would suggest just traversing to Otis, Hallet, and then down to Flattop. You could descend andrews pass, although its a pretty steep descent so just beware. If you could stay at July instead of north inlet junction i would try too, its one of the more beautiful campsites in the park. Also definitely put hayanach on your list, great fishing and not much traffic through that area. The only other spot I can thing along the loop would be big meadow, theres a nice little trout stream that cuts it in half and i've had a little luck in the area. Also I've probably seen the most wildlife near big meadow if that matters to you or not.

As far as timing goes I would say early july would be perfect, you would be nearly avoiding the height of tourist season also. Need any other info?

David Wiacek
(HotrodDave)
Re on 04/10/2013 17:37:22 MDT Print View

You read my mind. You answered the next 2 or 3 questions I had. Im gonna get some input from the girlfriend when she gets home from work and call for permits tmrw. Thanks a bunch! Looks like an awesome trip!

Allen Butts
(butts0989) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Re: Re on 04/10/2013 18:09:24 MDT Print View

Awesome have tons of fun! such a beautiful park glad i could help