I have a group of 13 Camp Fire teens all getting ready for our summer trip to the mountains *next week* (!). We are coming from Austin, Texas. Our usual destination is Pecos Wilderness. Closed because of wildfires early this month. So I started looking at the Gila. Then they closed the high country there. Most of the eastern lower elevations in the Gila Wilderness are still open but my group really wants to go high enough to escape the 90 deg + heat. So I started looking at the Pagosa Springs area. More fires! They've closed that! The rest of Colorado is too far away.
We go out on the trail Monday afternoon through Friday lunch, 4 nights, maybe a layover day on Wednesday. 4-6 miles on Tuesday and Thursday, less on Monday and Friday. So we don't need a lot of trail mileage. Just enough to make it a real backpacking trip. Most of these kids are beginners, ages 11-14, with a couple of 16 year olds. A few parents.
I saw the trip report in Photo Gallery for some areas in the Carson National Forest near Taos--Latir Wilderness, Wheeler Peak. I've never been there but it looks like country not too different from Pecos. However, at this point I'm not even sure how to lay my hands on the necessary maps, since there's probably not time to mail order them. What topi maps cover the area? Just the USGS quads, or is there anything enhanced or updated that applies, that can be downloaded in a hurry? I just talked to the switchboard at Carson National Forest, and they are sending me what they have, but it won't arrive for a few days and it isn't, like, full-scale topo maps etc.
Also, if anyone reading this is in the Austin area and has maps I could borrow for a few days, that would be sooo helpful! (Long shot, I know...)