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Topic: Recommend a 3 or 4 day hike in Southern Colorado< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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igorcarajo Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 26 2013, 12:56 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd like to go on a 3- or 4-day hike in the San Juan National Forest. I'm not a hardcore hiker, and I'd prefer to stay under 12000 feet, and hopefully under the tree line most of the time. My previous hiking experience consists of a 30-mile, 3-day hike last summer in Mineral King (Sequoia National Park). Could somebody recommend some good hikes, or maybe a guidebook? The area that I had in mind is around Vallecito Reservoir, but I can be anywhere in the Southern part of Colorado. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 1:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Take a look at Donna Ikenberry's "Hiking Colorado's Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness Areas".
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 12:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Around Vallecito is easy.

Just head up the Pine River to Little Emerald and Emerald lake.  About 9 miles in and out with lots of day hike opportunities.

Ben


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 2:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How about the South San Juan Wilderness

http://www.ouachitamaps.com/SSJ%20Wilderness.html

Or maybe wander around La Garita

http://www.ouachitamaps.com/La%20Garita.html


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 4:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Vallecito to Rock Lake is nice. Somewhere around 15-18 miles each way.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 5:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the replies so far. I am checking out the hike that a couple of people mentioned (Pine River-Emerald Lake-Moon Lake-Rock Lake), and it looks nice. Does anybody know if that area is crowded in the summer? Any other comments about that hike?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 12:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Outside of Wildernesses and RMNP north of Denver the San Juans are Colorado's most "crowded" mountain range, but I wouldn't let that discourage you, you're zeroing in on an awesome area.

Persoanlly I think the East side of the Divide is the best with the Rio Grande National Forest being one of the most underated in the system. Of course it extends east of the South San Juan and La Garita across the San Luis Valley to my favorite part of the Centennial State, the spectacular Sangre de Cristo Range.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 2:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The trip to Emerald Lake is fairly popular, especially with horse packers.  It is a relaitively easy hike and has good scenery.  The fish in the lake are huge, but finicky.  It is not my favorite due to the amount of mosquitos.

Around Vallecito you can just head up the Vallecito Creek trail as far as you want as well.

Staying under tree line limits your options some what.

Ben


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 05 2013, 3:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just wanted to post an update. Last week we did the hike from Vallecito to Emerald Lake. We took two days to get to the lake and one day to get back down. It is very nice there. Later this month I plan to do basically the same hike with all adults (last week we had our two kids with us), and this time we will do a day hike up to Moon Lake or the pass before Rock Lake. Only thing I regretted about it is that people take horses and dogs, and they litter the trail.

After the trip, on our way back to Texas we stopped at Taos and we hiked Wheeler Peak, which at 13,160 is the highest peak in New Mexico. That was a very nice day hike.

Anyway, thanks a lot for the recommendation about Emerald Lake.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 05 2013, 5:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am glad you had a good time.

I agree about the horses and dogs.  It is unfortunate that not everyone likes to pick up after themselves and their animals.

Ben


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 12 2013, 5:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd recommend really doing your homework if you are taking the pass, or so-called "pass," from Moon Lake. We went up there last summer, camped at Emerald for a couple nights with tentative plans to climb to Rock Lake but there was nothing like a trail evident and, without good directions, scrapped it and "had" to spend another beautiful night at Emerald.
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