Rawah Wilderness Backpacking Trip


Mar 13, 2012
Four of us from the Houston Texas area did a lollipop loop hike in the Rawah wilderness this past week. We spent 3 days and 3 nights on the trail using the West Branch Trail connecting to the Rawah Trail over Grassy Pass to the north loop of the Sandbar Lakes Trail on to the Camp Lake Trail and back to the West Branch. The scenery was great especially on the west and north sides of the loop. The hike over the Grassy Pass looked easy but for flat landers from sea level the 11,200 ft pass did require some exertion. Campsites are plentiful until one reaches the east side of the Camp Lake trail and then they are quite scarce.

The weather started warm at the trailhead - elevation of 8600 ft or so but was quite cool and very windy at the higher elevations - highs in very low 60s and lows in the low 40s. It would have been perfect hiking weather were it not for the extreme windy conditions. We did have some precipitation each evening about the time we were trying to fix the evening meal. On Saturday evening we had a fair amount of graupel (like ice pellets but not clear like sleet). Most all of the trail junctions were well marked except for the one which was not obvious. We missed the turn at Camp Lake and did a side track up to Upper Camp Lake (this one was not marked). Lucky we missed the turn because it was on this branch that we encountered to 2 moose.

Below are a few pictures of the hike:


Small waterfall along West Branch


My grandson Garrett crossing a somewhat sketchy log crossing

I took the wet route albeit a bit safer (at least for and old man )

Saw a lot of these mushrooms along the trail


View from the west side of the loop


Another view from the trail


View of the mountains


Approaching Grassy Pass from the south

View attachment 80829

Grandson Garrett at the pass




Nice stream


Lake and mountain view


Me with my grandson - we have done quite a few hikes over the last 7 years. I have to say I can't keep up with him anymore.


The third hiker


A picture of one of the 2 moose we say up by Upper Camp Lake


This picture is NOT from the Rawah but had to include it. We got out 1 day early so we drove down to RMNP going up Old Fall River Road and then down Trail Ridge Road. We encountered a large herd of elk
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