HST Community      colorado backpacking info

colorado backpacking info | High Sierra Topix  

colorado backpacking info

A forum that'll feed your need for exploring the limitless adventure possibilities found in "other" places. Post trip reports or ask questions about outdoor adventures beyond the Sierra Nevada here.

colorado backpacking info

Postby overheadx2 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:33 pm

Sorry Mav and Eric, I know I probably should have posted this in the beyond the sierra section, but I wanted to make sure it was seen. I will move it if you would like. Any how, I got some good intel last year about the San Juan wilderness area as well as some other southern Colorado areas from Tom_H but decided on a trip to Maroon Bells. It was amazing, but the fishing was not very good and it was very crowded. We went to Maroon bells because my brother wanted to go there for the photography and it was supposed to be one of the top hikes in Colorado. In 2018, I want to do another trip to Colorado but am looking for something with some passes, FISHING and solitude. I am looking for a loop from 20 to 35 miles in the depending on the amount altitude gains and the amount of XC in the San Juan NF , Uncompahgre NF or even the Durango railroad. I am pretty comfortable with XC travel and class 2 passes but not much interest in peak bagging or climbing. I would enjoy getting off the trail without completely bushwhacking. Any suggestions?



User avatar
overheadx2
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 499
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:08 pm
Location: huntington beach
Experience: N/A

Re: colorado backpacking info

Postby Teresa Gergen » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:49 pm

I'm afraid I don't know anything about fishing. If you do any hike from the Durango to Silverton train, you won't have solitude. If you do anything near the 14er peaks, or the higher 13er peaks, you probably also won't have much solitude. The area north of Pagosa Springs has a lot of trails that connect such that you could come up with loop hikes. The peaks there are mostly 12ers, so fewer people are drawn up high. The lower parts of the trails closer to town might be crowded with dayhikers on weekends, but higher up I'd guess you'd still have a lot of solitude. Things have changed significantly in the last handful of years in CO as our population has exploded, and I've been spending my summers away since I retired, so I might not have the most current mental picture of the situation. Check out the Trails Illustrated maps or caltopo.com.
User avatar
Teresa Gergen
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:47 pm
Location: Boulder, CO
Experience: N/A

Re: colorado backpacking info

Postby gregodorizzi » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:52 pm

Would you consider a point-to-point N/S (or S/N) journey between Rocky Mtn National Park (north) and I-70? You can tailor a route that matches your desired mileage and exit to the east relatively easily toward Boulder (or enter at a desired mid-point and hike to I-70 going south or to the national park going north). The 'route' is called the Pfiffner Traverse, but it's mostly cross-country, so there's not a genuine fixed route. And it's almost completely off-trail through the park and through the Indian Peaks Wilderness and James Peak Wilderness. I've encountered as much solitude doing this trip as I have in my XC trips in the Sierra. It's spectacular. :thumbsup:
User avatar
gregodorizzi
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:14 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: colorado backpacking info

Postby Tom_H » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:34 pm

Out of quite a few trips through Uncompaghre, I only saw two people...and both were from a distance. (Although my boss encountered two female Outward Bound instructors practicing naturism in their camp on one trip I did.) The high mountain scenery is beautiful, especially from the walk up climb of Uncompaghre Peak (14er). We counted 14 eagles (8 Golden, 6 Balds) all at one time in the many drainages flowing away from that peak at sunset. (There's a square rock windbreak on top for bivvying.) The alpenglow is surreal almost every night. You understand where John Denver's Fire in the Sky comes from.

There were some fish in the streams, but it's not a fishing paradise by any means. There are a couple of tarns, no lakes.

The passes are high and seem to take forever to scale, but all have trails. We did one tough scramble up a col to shortcut the Uncompaghre climb once. Wetterhorn Peak (14er) is a 5.6 climb, tremendous exposure, but not overly technical.

So I got you serious solitude and majestic scenery, but not ideal fishing.

CalTopo Map
User avatar
Tom_H
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 736
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:11 pm
Location: Camas, WA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: colorado backpacking info

Postby jhfowler » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:39 pm

I did a trip on the CDT in the South San Juans in late July this year and can't wait to go back some time with my wife. We only ran into a couple of section hikers and 3 thru hikers. Summit Peak was spectacular!

https://jimmyjamhikingclub.wordpress.com/2017/07/29/spectacular-summit-peak/

Image
User avatar
jhfowler
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:00 am
Location: San Diego, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: colorado backpacking info

Postby Teresa Gergen » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:15 pm

Rocky Mtn NP and Indian Peaks Wilderness require overnight permits. Almost nowhere else does.

Pfiffner Traverse:
https://andrewskurka.com/adventures/pfi ... o-rockies/

Wetterhorn is Class 3 by its easiest route.
User avatar
Teresa Gergen
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:47 pm
Location: Boulder, CO
Experience: N/A

Re: colorado backpacking info

Postby OpenSkiesBeckon » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:32 pm

I recommend checking out a loop out of Beartown Trailhead (https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/riogran ... ecid=28902) IF IF IF you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle. You go up over Hunchback Pass, then drop down into the Vallecito drainage, then up the Trinity Basin area, then up past Silex Lake, over past Leviathan, then over to Sunlight Basin. Head down Sunlight drainage back to Vallecito Creek, back up and over Hunchback. Half the time is XC, but it's not hard XC, very doable and the country is spectacular.

The hardest part is driving to Beartown Trailhead. That's a tough road, but I did it with no issues in a stock 4-Runner. Got to drive through the Rio Grande. :)

Now, if you truly want solitude in the San Juans, head to the southeast corner of 'em. The peaks aren't as epic, but there's a ton of country, few roads, and fewer people.
User avatar
OpenSkiesBeckon
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:46 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: colorado backpacking info

Postby Teresa Gergen » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:33 am

IMO, the area OpenSkiesBeckon refers to is by far the most beautiful in CO. Incredible views of Vestal et al from the summits of Peak Two and Peak Three.

The Beartown TH is an easier 4WD drive if you come from Silverton (west) instead of from Lake City (east). Still 4WD (and I haven't done it for years, so YMMV).

If you go down the Colorado Trail into Elk Basin, or cross into the Vestal Lake basin, or go anywhere near the Needle Creek basin, you won't have solitude.
User avatar
Teresa Gergen
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:47 pm
Location: Boulder, CO
Experience: N/A


Return to Beyond The Sierra Nevada



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests