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Topic: Looking for a 3 day, 2 night hike in Rocky MT NP< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 23 2014, 12:53 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi everyone! I am looking to take my GF on a 3 day 2 night hike in RMNP. This will be her first back country hike, so i do not want anything incredibly difficult and long. However, i have lots of experience in multi day hikes and climbs. I would like a hike and a campsite that that is pleasant to the eyes (which is about everything there!). I want to give her an amazing experience so she will want to hike with me again  :laugh: Thank you in advance!!!
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double cabin Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 23 2014, 2:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As you will learn from the search function or from subsequent posters there is far better backpacking in the area outside the park.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 23 2014, 2:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(double cabin @ Apr. 23 2014, 2:37 pm)
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As you will learn from the search function or from subsequent posters there is far better backpacking in the area outside the park.

any suggestions? I have no knowledge of other areas outside the park because i am not from Colorado.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 23 2014, 3:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm sorry if this makes me a prig or nanny or whatever, but...

1. Since you mentioned that you're not from the area--is altitude acclimatization going to be an issue for you and your GF? You want her to have an awesome first BPing experience. Many folks struggle pretty mightily (especially on the first day) if they're not acclimatized to the elevation. That could really suck the fun out of it for her.

2. I agree that you can find better trips that will be less crowded outside of RMNP. (NPs are awesome, but generally aren't ideal for backpacking, and the places that are tend to be crowded.) Are you flying or driving? If driving, where are you driving from? (I might have some suggestions based on your answers)

3. I would highly recommend a basecamp trip. (You hike in on day 1, explore the area from your camp on day 2, then hike out on day 3). Novices often find the idea of having to pack up camp every morning a bit of a PITA.

4. Are you experienced in high-elevation Rockies BPing? People who haven't done it often overestimate what their capabilities will be. Be sure to err on the side of doing less--you don't want her first BP trip to be like a Batan death march.

5. Since it's a short trip, consider packing things you might not normally pack that might make it more enjoyable for her. My wife likes dayhiking but not so much BPing--she won't be happy BPing unless she can wash her hair with at-least partially heated water every day. So, if I want her to come BPing and be happy doing so, I know that I need to carry about 2 or 3 times the amount of fuel that I usually do. Etc.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 23 2014, 3:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cweston @ Apr. 23 2014, 3:06 pm)
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I'm sorry if this makes me a prig or nanny or whatever, but...

1. Since you mentioned that you're not from the area--is altitude acclimatization going to be an issue for you and your GF? You want her to have an awesome first BPing experience. Many folks struggle pretty mightily (especially on the first day) if they're not acclimatized to the elevation. That could really suck the fun out of it for her.

2. I agree that you can find better trips that will be less crowded outside of RMNP. (NPs are awesome, but generally aren't ideal for backpacking, and the places that are tend to be crowded.) Are you flying or driving? If driving, where are you driving from? (I might have some suggestions based on your answers)

3. I would highly recommend a basecamp trip. (You hike in on day 1, explore the area from your camp on day 2, then hike out on day 3). Novices often find the idea of having to pack up camp every morning a bit of a PITA.

4. Are you experienced in high-elevation Rockies BPing? People who haven't done it often overestimate what their capabilities will be. Be sure to err on the side of doing less--you don't want her first BP trip to be like a Batan death march.

5. Since it's a short trip, consider packing things you might not normally pack that might make it more enjoyable for her. My wife likes dayhiking but not so much BPing--she won't be happy BPing unless she can wash her hair with at-least partially heated water every day. So, if I want her to come BPing and be happy doing so, I know that I need to carry about 2 or 3 times the amount of fuel that I usually do. Etc.

1. Completely reasonable. We are from Illinois. However, we will be in Colorado Springs for a week before we do our hike, so that should help!

2. Driving from Illinois!

3. I really like the base camp idea and would prefer it. Just wasn't sure of my possibilities of doing that. I have really only experienced NP, and i know some don't let you stay in the same place for 2 days in a row.

4. Haha...i completely understand. I don't want her to feel like she is being tortured by back packing. I am experience in high altitude climbing. Just did Cotopaxi during Christmas with no pills and just 2 days in Ecuador coming from Illinois (flatland). It was difficult, but manageable.

5. Excellent points. Thanks for the advice!!
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 23 2014, 3:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you will be in Colorado Springs, than I would suggest a trip in the Sangre de Cristo range. The best hikes tend to be from near the town of Westcliffe (on the east side of the range) or the area near Crestone (on the west side of the range).

The area around Sand Creek, via Music Pass (on the east side) would be a great area for a first backpacking trip. It does draw a decent number of people (by Sangres standards, anyway), but there are so many places to camp that it's easy to get away from the crowds.

You could camp in the creek valley, and maybe dayhike up to the saddle north of the sand creek basin on your basecamp day. The views from that saddle are outstanding. There are also a couple scenic lakes a mile or so from the creek valley.

That's just one possibility among many. I recommend the book Hiking Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Wilderness by Jason Moore--it's a very comprehensive guidebook.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 23 2014, 3:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cweston @ Apr. 23 2014, 3:25 pm)
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If you will be in Colorado Springs, than I would suggest a trip in the Sangre de Cristo range. The best hikes tend to be from near the town of Westcliffe (on the east side of the range) or the area near Crestone (on the east side of the range).

The area around Sand Creek, via Music Pass (on the east side) would be a great area for a first backpacking trip. It does draw a decent number of people (by Sangres standards, anyway), but there are so many places to camp that it's easy to get away from the crowds.

You could camp in the creek valley, and maybe dayhike up to the saddle north of the sand creek basin on your basecamp day. The views from that saddle are outstanding.

That's just one possibility among many. I recommend the book Hiking Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Wilderness by Jason Moore--it's a very comprehensive guidebook.

Thanks, i really appreciate the suggestions!!  I will check them out tonight.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 23 2014, 3:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

PLease note the typo that I went back and edited: Crestone is on the WEST side of the Sangre range.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 23 2014, 5:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here are a few pics from the Music Pass/Sand Creek area from a trip with my daughter last summer:

Music Pass:




Camp in Upper Sand Creek Valley:




Looking down Sand Creek from the slopes to the north:




Crestone Needle and South Colony Lakes from the saddle north of the Sand Creek Valley:
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 23 2014, 8:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
If you will be in Colorado Springs, than I would suggest a trip in the Sangre de Cristo range.


+1

RMNP may arguably have the best "day hiking" of the NP's in the Rockies, but the backpacking opportunities are slim to none, and require jumping through flaming hoops in March to even get a permit.

The Sangre's are just a short drive from ' The Springs,  RMNP is at least 2 hrs from COS.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 24 2014, 8:24 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cweston @ Apr. 23 2014, 5:05 pm)
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Here are a few pics from the Music Pass/Sand Creek area from a trip with my daughter last summer:

Music Pass:




Camp in Upper Sand Creek Valley:




Looking down Sand Creek from the slopes to the north:




Crestone Needle and South Colony Lakes from the saddle north of the Sand Creek Valley:

Those are some pretty amazing pictures! I want to go there!
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