SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.


» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

 

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: Four Pass Loop Questions< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
CubsFan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 10:44 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Like nearly everyone, I'm looking at doing the Four Pass Loop over July 4th.

A few questions:

- Anyone have any idea what the snowpack is like up there, and what the snow might be like around July 4th?  We don't mind some snow, but we aren't looking for a winter trip :)  I'm not sure which snotel site would be most appropriate to check it out.  All of them that I can see in the area seem to indicate very little snow.
- I've seen lots of references to numbered campsites.  Do you have to camp in a numbered campsite, or can you camp anywhere?  ( I don't mind camping in a numbered campsite, just in the off chance that they are all full)
- I assume a lot of the camps are above treeline?  If so, what do you do with your bear bag?  Hike down to trees to hang it?
- Campfires - Any restrictions?
- Best direction to go?  I've seen both clockwise and counterclockwise.

Thanks for the help!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 2
double cabin Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 16482
Joined: Nov. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 11:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

IF there is to much snow there friends of mine just did the Comanche-Venable Loop in the Sangres with only two rapidly dissappearing cornices to negotiate around. The Sangres are REALLY spectacular, well worth your time, great routes from town of Crestone to Comanche-Venable Trailhead that IMO certainly rival your plans. Generally far less crowded but on your weekend expect to share the trail.

Like some other folks here I don't really worry about bears or other predators in Colorado. I have to admit to sometimes having food in my pack right next to me in my tent.

I'm not big on bear bags but above treeline I think folks either find a rock/cliff to hang it off or just secure it in rocks away from their tent.

Snotel sites are generally lower elevation and stop being a good indicator some time in June. There are people in the forum that can find and share snowcover maps that will give you much better, real time intel. The odds are you will not have a winter trip but something more along the lines you can deal with. Don't quote me. Also good to just call the NFS RD office and ask them.

Have an awesome trip.


--------------
We have nothing to fear but an industry of fear...and man skirts.

http://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=129511480442251
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 3
Jim Fuller Search for posts by this member.
Benevolent Master
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 3291
Joined: Apr. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 1:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There is no reason other than personal preference to camp above treeline.  There is no requirement to camp in designated campsites.  Hanging your food or using a bear-resistant container such as an Ursack is required.  

I like clockwise, West Maroon Pass first, Buckskin Pass last.  There are little signs marking some popular campsites on the way up to West Maroon Pass.  A couple of years ago, camped at the last homely campsite on that stretch, my partner awoke and peeked out of his tent at a very close-up view of a bear's butt.  

The usual campsites on the rest of the loop are in Frauvert Basin, and at Snowmass Lake.  Pick your spot.  

Enjoy,


--------------
Uh-Oh
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 4
CubsFan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 11:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks guys!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 5
bill g Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 405
Joined: Feb. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 12:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Jim, your info on bear bagging is not correct. That rule only applies to designated campsites per FS site. The only place w designated sites is a mile in from Maroon Lake. I have yet to have a bear visit anywhere I've camped in CO in over 30 years. I've always stored food in the tent and never had so much as a mouse...even going on day hikes for 8 hours.

As far as snow, all the passes will be snow covered. Try to make them early to avoid post holing. The spring storms added a lot to the pack. Eastern and Southern facing will be fairly dry. The only place I ever camp that's above tree line is In this area is Willow Lake.

No campfires allowed at Snowmass Lake but someone has one almost every night.


--------------
you don't know what you got till it's gone
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 6
swimswithtrout Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 7810
Joined: Jan. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 1:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(bill g @ Jun. 13 2013, 10:16 pm)
QUOTE
I have yet to have a bear visit anywhere I've camped in CO in over 30 years.

+1




(bill g @ Jun. 13 2013, 10:16 pm)
QUOTE
I've always stored food in the tent and never had so much as a mouse...even going on day hikes for 8 hours..


I would NEVER go that far !!

I've had mice shred my socks overnight while stuffed in my boots in my tents vestibule. I've had mice/squirrels climb down my bear bag rope and decimate my food bags even though they were properly hung for bears.

I've had a Marmot try to drag my daypack out from under my head while using it for a pillow on mid afternoon siesta to get to my GORP stash

I take more precautions against "The Little Critters" than I do bears !!

I would never in a million years leave any food in my tent thinking a few mils of fabric would make it safe !!!!!

Don't worry about the bears ! Mice/Marmots are a 1000X greater threat and they are everywhere, especially at habitually popular campsites like those on the 4 Pass Loop


--------------
Want to see The Wind River Range in widescreen 1080p ?
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 7
CubsFan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 18 2013, 2:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A couple more quick questions for everyone.  What's the camping situation like toward the trailhead?  We'll be arriving in the area late the night before we embark, so we won't have a lot of time to find a camping spot, etc..  All of the campgrounds up there appear to be full (not surprising, since it's July 4th weekend).  We could get a hotel, but I was looking for a little lower cost option.

Thanks!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 8
highpeakdrifter Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 912
Joined: Jul. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 19 2013, 1:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Whenever I'm in Aspen, I always camp free at the trailhead for Conundrum Hot Springs, about 5 miles up Ashcroft Road. Lots of folks sleep there in their vehicles, and even tents, to hike the 9 miles up to the spring early in the morning. No bathrooms, just woods.

From there, it's just a twenty minute drive to the Maroon Entrance, where you will want to arrive before 8AM, to be able to drive your car up to the Maroon Bells TH. After 8 AM, you'll have to ride up in a bus, ($8.)  Call the Ranger Office in Glenwood Springs to verify that these parking rules for Maroon are still in effect.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 9
MsDoolittle Search for posts by this member.
Don't mess with a girl and her shovel
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 13501
Joined: Jul. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 19 2013, 11:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

All very good information listed above.

I'll echo SWT's statement, although I hardely doubt it needs it. I would NEVER put food in my tent with me.

I use an Ursack as my bear bag and tie it around a small tree trunk or something of the sort. No critters are getting through that.
http://www.ursack.com/
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 10
CubsFan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 5:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ok, we leave on Thursday morning (yeah, it'll be us and 1,000 of our closest friends :) )

One last question.  Where is a good place to camp on the first day, going clockwise?  I like to stay relatively close to water, so I want to make sure I have a relatively easy supply.

I was thinking of a couple possible locations.   On this map:
http://i2.wp.com/www.stu....s4x.jpg
one would be right where the trail diverges from West Maroon Creek.  We'd have access to the river, but ideally we'd like a little longer day than that.

Another option would be further up the trail. However, I"m unsure of what the water situation might be like up that way.  Does anyone have any idea if there's good campsites up that way with water available?

Thanks!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 11
Jim Fuller Search for posts by this member.
Benevolent Master
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 3291
Joined: Apr. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 5:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(CubsFan @ Jul. 02 2013, 3:10 pm)
QUOTE
....  Where is a good place to camp on the first day, going clockwise?  

There is a good campsite to the left of the trail, up a little knob, about 4 miles from the trailhead.  A couple of years ago, there was a young bear in the area, curious, but quick to flee.  There was a little "campsite" marker near the trail.  Beyond there, it's hard to find a good site.

Enjoy,


Attached Image
Attached Image

--------------
Uh-Oh
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 12
big_load Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 23553
Joined: Jun. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 6:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Jim Fuller @ Jul. 02 2013, 5:31 pm)
QUOTE

(CubsFan @ Jul. 02 2013, 3:10 pm)
QUOTE
....  Where is a good place to camp on the first day, going clockwise?  

There is a good campsite to the left of the trail, up a little knob, about 4 miles from the trailhead.  A couple of years ago, there was a young bear in the area, curious, but quick to flee.  There was a little "campsite" marker near the trail.  Beyond there, it's hard to find a good site.

Enjoy,

We camped in that general area, I think up near that second clump of green.  A few other people camped further on, a little more to the right of the trail on slopier ground.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 13
CubsFan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 03 2013, 10:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks guys!  Especially thanks for the the coordinates.  I'll put those in and it'll make it easy to find.

Thanks!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 14
CubsFan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 52
Joined: Jan. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 03 2013, 11:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just for anyone else that wanders upon this thread in the future with the same questions, I found a map of possible campsites east of West Maroon Pass:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5186829.pdf
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 15
burntfoot Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2560
Joined: Mar. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 03 2013, 2:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(CubsFan @ Jul. 02 2013, 3:10 pm)
QUOTE
One last question.  Where is a good place to camp on the first day, going clockwise?  I like to stay relatively close to water, so I want to make sure I have a relatively easy supply.

There are a couple of nice camping areas in an open area near trees shortly before the trail leaves the drainage and starts climbing up to the pass.  I'd camp there again.

--------------
I love the mountains!
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 16
Jim Fuller Search for posts by this member.
Benevolent Master
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 3291
Joined: Apr. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 03 2013, 3:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(CubsFan @ Jul. 03 2013, 9:18 am)
QUOTE
Just for anyone else that wanders upon this thread in the future with the same questions, I found a map of possible campsites east of West Maroon Pass:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5186829.pdf

That's an interesting map.  Thanks.  I have never known of its existence.  Combined with the little signs put up in the recent past, it suggests that they might be thinking of expanding the "designated campsites only" beyond the Crater Lake vicinity.  

The one I mentioned is number7.  I have also used #4 and #5.  

Enjoy,


Attached Image
Attached Image

--------------
Uh-Oh
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
15 replies since Jun. 12 2013, 10:44 am < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


 
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply Four Pass Loop Questions
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code



Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions