Recommendations for Colorado Backpack?

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Janice

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
128
Our group of 4 was originally planning to backpack the Elk Park-Needleton loop in the Weminuche Wilderness for 5-6 days starting at the end of June. Unfortunately, though, this won't be possible, as the wildfire near Durango has closed the San Juan Forest and we need to choose a different trip. We know people love Maroon Bells, but since this will be the week leading up to July 4 I'm assuming that will be super crowded. Am I assuming correctly? If so, what about Lost Creek Wilderness? Or others??? At this point, I don't think we can get permits for campsites along the CDT loop in RMNP. This is our one backpacking trip for the summer, so we're hoping for beautiful scenery, perhaps 30-35 miles over 5 days or 6 days max. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated!
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Wanderlust073

Member
.
Joined
Oct 30, 2016
Messages
555
LCW is nice but (relatively speaking for CO) doesn't really deliver on the views imo.

Rawah Wilderness is worth checking out. Lots of lakes, alpine vistas, large animals.
 

Janice

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
128
Thanks so much for your reply. Is there a particular route that you like that we should consider?
 

Wanderlust073

Member
.
Joined
Oct 30, 2016
Messages
555
Thanks so much for your reply. Is there a particular route that you like that we should consider?
You could spend a night each at Island lake, Twin Crater lakes, one of the numbered Rawah lakes, and one of the Camp lakes. That would loop you in/out of the west branch trailhead, but there are a lot of options in there if you check out a map. I have a trip report on here from last fall you can check out. Great place. Lots of moose. It’s on my list of places to return to.
 

Janice

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
128
I'm checking out the Rawah map and see most of those lakes. Looks great - thanks for the recommendation!
 

Janice

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
128
Go into the Big Blue in the Uncompahgre WIlderness.
Thanks for the suggestion. Am checking out trails. If you have a specific route that you recommend, I'd love to hear it. Do you think this is too close to the 416 fire?
 

IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,063
Our group of 4 was originally planning to backpack the Elk Park-Needleton loop in the Weminuche Wilderness for 5-6 days starting at the end of June. Unfortunately, though, this won't be possible, as the wildfire near Durango has closed the San Juan Forest and we need to choose a different trip. We know people love Maroon Bells, but since this will be the week leading up to July 4 I'm assuming that will be super crowded. Am I assuming correctly?
The Four Pass Loop is usually pretty crowded, and with the closure of most of the Weminuche, I've heard a lot of people who were planning on going there are now looking at the Four Pass Loop, so I bet it will be even busier than normal. I can't wait for the Forest Service to implement a permit system next year, because then maybe I'll finally go back!
 

Rockskipper

No ETA
.
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
2,329
After some thought, the Uncompahgre might be very smoky. Have you considered going north, like up into the Winds?
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Janice

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
128
Wind Rivers in Wyoming
Thanks - I appreciate your replies. We're interested in that, but our friends are flying into Albuquerque (which was pretty convenient for Weminuche, right?) and might not be willing to drive that far.
 

IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,063
Have you looked into creating a loop in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness along the CDT/Colorado Trail?
 

Janice

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
128
Have you looked into creating a loop in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness along the CDT/Colorado Trail?
Will look into it. Again, if you have a recommendation for specific trails, perhaps 30 miles (give or take), that would be great!
 

leatherman

Huh?
.
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
138
Couple of other suggestions...circumnavigation loop around Capitol and Snowmass peaks, starting at Capitol Creek trailhead west of Aspen. This loop utilizes part of the same trail as the Four Pass loop. Another might be a loop around Mount of the Holy Cross starting at Halfmoon campground, southwest of Vail. Full disclosure, I've not done either of these routes but they look enticing.
 

Janice

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
128
Couple of other suggestions...circumnavigation loop around Capitol and Snowmass peaks, starting at Capitol Creek trailhead west of Aspen. This loop utilizes part of the same trail as the Four Pass loop. Another might be a loop around Mount of the Holy Cross starting at Halfmoon campground, southwest of Vail. Full disclosure, I've not done either of these routes but they look enticing.
Thanks so much - I noticed Capitol Creek online but the route I saw showed 40 miles and I don't think we have enough time for that. I'll look further and see if there's a shorter way we can do that. I'll check out the other one as well.
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top