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Topic: Backpacking Colorado in the Spring, Mid April? Or wait and fight the crowds?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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treelinebackpacker Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 09 2012, 1:01 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Curious if anyone knows any good locations to backpack here in the spring.
I'm hoping for a warmer location. Aspen looks amazing, but from what I see it has snow that limits the hiking until well into summer? Is that accurate?

This will be my first trip out west, so I want to make it count. Would it be better to wait until summer and fight the crowds?
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 09 2012, 1:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Southern UT is good at that time of year.

EDIT:  So is nearly all of AZ.  That's a great time of year for AZ.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 09 2012, 4:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(treelinebackpacker @ Dec. 09 2012, 11:01 am)
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I'm hoping for a warmer location. Aspen looks amazing, but from what I see it has snow that limits the hiking until well into summer? Is that accurate?

Yes, that is accurate.  The ski resorts are still open in April.  If you want snow free hiking in the high country of Colorado you will have to wait until at least late June - in a dry year - or mid to late July in heavy snow years.

big_load has offered some good alternatives for that time of year.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 09 2012, 4:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Utah and Arizona are both on my list...I can only really afford one large trip this year...so it's either Colorado in the summer, or Utah or Arizona in the spring. that's an interesting situation.
Thanks Deborah. That information is very helpful. Being such a different environment out here in Tennessee (we barely get snow really), it's hard to judge the conditions.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 09 2012, 11:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There's plenty of BP'g in CO in April, as long as you plan on snowshoeing or xc-skiing with your pack !!

Early July is our usual "opening date" for reasonably snow free BP'g.

I just got back from my first visit to the deserts of UT/AZ, and while I still prefer the high alpine/tundra of the Rockies, the desert does a have magical quality about it.

I'm already contemplating a March/April trip back there.

Here's a few pic's I snapped along the way to my mother's winter home in Phoenix, best viewed in at least 720p.



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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 8:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wow. Thanks Swims.
That's a fantastic video. Looks like you have a pretty good camera.
From the sounds of it I'll have to push this trip back to summer if I want to do Colorado with the gear I'm used to.
Perhaps Arizona is the place to go in the spring, based on that video.
Much appreciated :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 4:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sweet show indeed SWT. I'm going to try and get to SE Ut at that time too.

The Colorado plateau [SE UT & NE AZ] is one of my favorite places. April can be magical there with lots of backpacking in exquisite places. I'd read up and then come back when you've got several possibilities instead of just a regional desire.

I did a lot of summer backpacking in Colorado without anything close to resembling a crowd. My sincere advice to you would be to forget Aspen and anything near a ski area with the exception of the CT near Bolam Pass. Personally I think the Sangres are the best hiking Range in Colorado. There are some possible loops but like aywhere the most spectacular country is almost always in and out. Don't succumb to loopsternitis,you'll end up skipping the unequivocal best of the Rockies if you do.

Wyoming in the summer could be a great choice for you too since it's probably not any farther than Utah or Arizona.

Have fun.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 4:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

+1 on the Colorado Sangres (in summer).

Another location I'd consider for a late-summer trip would be the Beartooths in Montana. There is some spectacular off-trail hiking in that range.

If April is the time that you have, you might consider the Gila Wilderness in southwestern NM. I have not been there yet, but I've heard great things and seen great pictures. There'd still be snow there in the high country in April most years, but it could be a good time to do the West or Middle Fork of the Gila River. (These are canyon hikes.)
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 6:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

April and May are great in Southeastern Colorado.  No mountains, but interesting canyons, historical sites and rock art.  Same for the north central grasslands and buttes.

Won't be nearly so crowded as Utah and Arizona, but not nearly so dramatic scenery either.  

Check it out:  http://www.springfieldcolorado.com/canyons.html


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 15 2012, 10:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

For Colorado, look at some of the canyon types of areas to the far west part of the state.  Not many very long hikes that time of year.  But, you might be able to get an overnighter here and there.

Do I have to bump my "Consider Time of Year" thread already?


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