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Topic: Similiar to RMNP?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
leafwalker Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 14 2013, 9:19 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wife and I want to go to an area similar to RMNP not too far from Denver (100 miles) to car camp and day hike in mid July. We might do RMNP again, but fewer crowds and a different similiar area would be good. Car camping for us is tent camping and an electrical hookup is not important. What we want is similar scenery, similar ease in finding/staying on trails, and RMNP like ease of getting to trail heads (low clearance car) that aren't more then 15 miles from where we are camping.
We had our first in many years trip to the real mountains (we live in MO) and want to get in the mountains for 6 or 7 days of day hiking 6 or so mile trails.

Anyone give us an area to head for? I've read a bit about Summit County, but really don't know about getting to trail heads yet. Thanks all.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 14 2013, 10:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Man, have I got the place for you.  The Beartooth Mountain Range of southern Montana (and partially in northern Wyoming) is very similar to RMNP, only better. It has the high alpine tundra like RMNP only much more of it.  In fact it is the largest contiguous land mass over 10,00 ft in the lower 48 state.  Much of it is above 10,000 ft with the highest peaks rechiing well over 12,000.  Great hiking trails of any ability level you want,with excellent access to all kinds of car campgrounds that are easily reached in a conventional vehicle.  The Beartooth Highway (US 212) from Red Lodge, MY to Cooke CityMt, exceeds the Trail Ridge Highway in RMNP, at least  IMO.  To top it off, it's not a national park (merely a wilderness area and national forest) so it doesn't have the attendant crowds, fees and regulations.  Really, I think it's just what you're looking for.  Google Beartooth Mountains or shoot me a PM and I'll be glad to give you more info.  What's more, it's just a few miles from the northeast entracne to Yellowstone Park if you want to fit in a visit there as well.  I've never met anyone that hasnt' been impressed by the Beartooths and that includes my friends from Colorado.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 14 2013, 10:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

On rereading your post, I guess you want to be closer to Denver so perhpas the  Beartooths will not fit the bill, but only because of the distance factor.  Too bad.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 14 2013, 11:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd drive over Trail Ridge Road and check out the Grand Lake side vs. the Estes Park side. Trails on the west side of the park see much less traffic. Check it out.

Hikerjer, never been to your Beartooths. Your endorsement makesme wanna go!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 9:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One place to consider would be Northern Colorado by Cameron Pass.  The Rawah Wilderness is a great place to hike, as well as lots of other trails in that area.  

There are campgrounds up that way if that's what you're looking for, or lots of National Forest land up there to just find a spot.  

Here's some pictures of Rawah:  http://www.landscapeimagery.com/rawah1.html
And a map with a bunch of hikes in the area:
http://www.landscapeimagery.com/camping.html
(Disclaimer:  That's not my site.  It's just one I really like for finding hikes in Northern Colorado)
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trail? I don't need no stinkin trail!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 10:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just north of RMNP is the Comanche Peaks Wilderness.  Head west out of Fort Collins on 14 and then south on Co Rd 63E (Pingree Rd).  Eventually Pingree turns left and if you go straight you will be on Crown Point Road.  This will take you back into a beautiful area with plenty of good spots for primitive camping.

I'd highly recommend getting a copy of Trails Illustrated Map #112.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 11:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good point, Comanche Peaks is also a great place.   If you decide to go here let me know, I go up there all the time and can point you to some good sites.

Lamebeaver, are you from around here?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 1:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here is a trip suggestion for the Comanche Peak Wilderness
You even get to see the wreck of a WWII B-17.


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trail? I don't need no stinkin trail!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2013, 1:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(CubsFan @ Jan. 15 2013, 9:13 am)
QUOTE
Good point, Comanche Peaks is also a great place.   If you decide to go here let me know, I go up there all the time and can point you to some good sites.

Lamebeaver, are you from around here?

Yes, we live a few miles south of Bennett.

Yes, live a few miles south of Bennett.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2013, 9:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks all. Some good places to consider. Right now, we have reservations for a campsite in RMNP, but I will be studying the places mentioned and probably "do"one of them.  Thanks again.

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One step at a time is good walking
- Chinese proverb

Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds, for the opportunity to rain on a tent. - D Barry

Peace and love.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 17 2013, 3:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There is so much in Colorado that in my opinion is superior to RMNP. I love the Sangres, but they're not in yourr radius of expectation. Personally, I'd head 140 miles or so to Westcliffe. A little farther Crestone is AWESOME. The trails above that great car camping there are some of the most spectacular I've traveled on several continents.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 17 2013, 3:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I forgot to mention the 14ers area south of Breckenridge would fit your bill. Some times with a car you just have to camp a little ways before the end of the road.

I'd really think about renting an SUV and going more to Southwestern Colorado or up here to Greater Yellowstone. I've found 100s of awesome, often incredibly spectacular car camping spots. Get out of the campgrounds.

Whatever you do have a blast.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 1:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Two other places I'll throw in are the San Juans around Ouray - Blue Lakes, Yankee Boy Basin and Horsethief Canyon are all outstanding day hikes - among others. In some respects you could argue that the San Juans are more scenic than RMNP.

Also, a little bit closer to Denver, is the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness. The Gilpin Lake / Gold Creek Lake loop hike is another one of my favorites.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 8:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Buena Vista area is a great area with a lot less traffic. I am from MO as well. RMNP area is nice. I think there are many great options in CO.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 12:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Indian Peaks Wilderness is PERFECT for you. It's just south of RMNP, the mountains are some of the most awesome in Colorado, young, steep and formidable like the Swiss Alps, with glaciers, lakes, wildlife, incredible flowers and ancient mines...but with easy trails throughout.

Your base camp would be the Camp Dick Campground a few miles north of Ward on 72... http://campincolorado.com/federal....ck.html

Your first day hike would be from the campground up to Buchanan Pass through Coney Flats, miles of scary twisted wind-blasted Bristlecone Pine forest, with many trees two thousand years old or more...

The next day, you'd drive south to Ward and up to a trailhead at Brainard lake where you can hike up past Long Lake to Isabelle Glacier.

The third day you could drive further south to Nederland, (home of the legendary Caribou Ranch recording studios that once hosted Elton John, the Eagles, and Michael Jackson, now tourable,) to the log-cabin-town of Eldora, where you can drive/hike up to Arapahoe Pass and the Fourth of July Mine.









Boulder Ranger District:    303-541-2500
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 12:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(highpeakdrifter @ Jan. 22 2013, 12:59 am)
QUOTE
The Indian Peaks Wilderness is PERFECT for you.

+1

I've also heard good things about the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness (near Buena Vista).


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 26 2013, 1:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(skolbe @ Jan. 21 2013, 8:20 pm)
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Buena Vista area is a great area with a lot less traffic. I am from MO as well. RMNP area is nice. I think there are many great options in CO.

As a flatlander avoiding the Denver crowd, Buena Vista was my go-to spot. Easy to get to, easy trails, easy living.
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