I am looking for feedback on a few questions about Collegiate peaks. We'll be there for 7 days starting July 7th. Things got busy this year so I am probably not as well prepared in terms of research but it seems some of this information is hard to come by
Thanks in advance for helping and sorry for a long post.
1. We are arriving in the afternoon and hiking in a couple of miles on day 1. We are thinking of parking a rental car at the pine creek trailhead.
Q)Any issues or concerns with leaving a car there for a week?
Q)Frenchman creek trailhead is actually better for us but I am not sure if it is accessible via regular car.
2. Day Two we will hike to the campsite at the end of Frenchman creek trail and camp for the night. Next morning we will hike up Columbia and Harvard. Ideally we would like to carry packs with us (24 LB) and take a shortcut back to pine creek from the summit. I believe some people have done this in order to summit Oxford next. The map doesn't look terrible but I have seen no detailed reports for this route
Q)Is this a reasonable approach?
3. Day two we are thinking of camping near trail to Elkhead Pass.
Q) Are there better spots to camp in the area? We wouldn't mind a nice area and higher the better,
4. Day three we plan on doing Oxford, Belford and Missouri. We could drop the packs and day hike Belford and Oxford then pick up packs on the way to Missouri. We would then head to Cloyses Lake for the night,
Q) Is this too ambitious? Doesn't look too bad on the paper as far as elevation of distance and we are in good shape.
Q) is the Cloyses Lake a good Spot to Camp?
5. Day four we could summit Huron Peak and basecamp or go to pear Lake for the night,
6. Day Five Hike to Pear Lake then turn back
Q.Is this worth the hike?
7. Day Six hike back to a camsite below elkhead pass.
8, Day Severn. Hike out to the car on pine creek trail drive back to Denver and catch a late night flight back.
Some General Questions
Q) Has anyone been to the area recently? Is there more / less snow than expected at this time?
Q) How do people keep their food safe? We don't plan on bringing bear canister but I am concerned about smal critters chewing stuff
Q) Is there any cell phone service in the area?
Q) I am hearing a lot about being off the peaks by early afternoon. Do we really have to be below tree line to be safe? Do people camp at or above the tree line?