Rainbow Lakes-Red Canyon Loop, Mt. Zirkel Wilderness, CO – (Trip #CO-008)

Mt. Zirkel

guidetrails.com – Red Canyon Topo

High, long, remote and challenging loop trip through the Mount Zirkel Wilderness in North Central Colorado. Totaling 23 miles including a long stretch on the Continental Divide make for a high and rugged trip.

The Rainbow Lake Trailhead is approximately 20 miles west of Walden, Colorado in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. Use this Google Navigation for driving directions from near Granby, CO. Elevation is approximately 8,700′ to a little over 11,800′ feet. Total loop distance is a whopping 24 miles in 2+ days of hiking (3.8/12/8). Views of Morning Light on Mt. Ethel and the deep Red Canyon are striking on this trip. Did I say this trip is remote? As a result the area has abundant wild animals including elk and deer.

Download the Itinerary and or open a Topo Map. Right click and save the .gpx File.

Goose Creek, Lost Creek Wilderness, CO – (Trip #CO-007)

Perfect first timer backpacking trip into the very beautiful Lost Creek Wilderness southwest of Bailey, CO. Goose Creek Trailhead is a little difficult to follow; be sure to pay close attention to the details on the itinerary. Elevation is approximately 8,000′ at trailhead and 8,800′ at camp. Round trip distance is approximately 7 miles and routefinding is straightforward. Your second day on this trip is ideal for exploring some of the humongous granite boulders north of camp.

Download the Itinerary and or open a Topo Map. Right click and download the .gpx File for waypoints and tracks of this trip.

 

 

Huge Sand Box Trip – Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO – (Trip #CO-006)

backpacking, trip, sand dunes

guidetrails.com – Great Sand Dunes Backpacking

A very unique and amazing trip into the the giant pile of sand that is the central attraction of the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Park HQ is 25 miles north of Blanca, CO or 23 miles east of Mosca, CO, kind of near Alamosa, Colorado. Trailhead is the main parking lot north of the HQ.  Basically you climb about a mile up and over the first ridge of sand and camp anywhere. Mind you there is no water in the dunes and the sand becomes intolerably hot during the day (hint: don’t be there when it gets hot!) Elevation is approximately 9,000′ at camp. Round trip distance is only a couple miles and routefinding is straightforward; you just walk out onto the sand.

Download the Itinerary and or open a Topo Map. Right click and ‘save as” this .gpx File for the cars.

Bear Tracks Lake Loop, Mt. Evans Wilderness, CO – (Trip #CO-005)

NOTE: Trail is likely impassible until mid to late summer 2013 due to a localized micro burst knocking thousands of acres of trees onto the trail!

Incredible easy loop hike near Denver, Colorado through the eastern Mt. Evans Wilderness of Colorado. The Camp Rock Trailhead is approximately 18 miles west of Evergreen, Colorado in the Mount Evans State Wildlife Area. Elevation is approximately 9,000′ to a little over 11,000′ feet. Total loop distance is 10.7 miles (3.5/2.2/5). Mt. Evans Shelter house and Bear Track Lake are highlights on this trip. The area has abundant wild animals including elk and deer.

Download the Itinerary and or open a Topo Map. The .gpx File is coming soon.

Four Pass Loop, Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness, CO – (Trip #CO-004)

The Four Pass Loop is considered to be one of the greatest backpacking trips in Colorado, if not the world. Incredible views as you circumnavigate the spectacular Maroon Bells. The difficulties of this hike come in the form of altitude: Trailhead is near 10,000 feet and the lowest point of the trip which goes over 12,000 at the four passes. The Maroon Lake Trailhead is approximately 8.8 miles south/west of Aspen, Colorado. Elevation is approximately 9,600′ to a little over 12,600′ feet. Total loop distance is apx 24 miles (3ish/7.5/6.2/7ish). In the trip you’ll climb over 4 passes, West Maroon, Frigid Air, Trail Rider and Buckskin pass. Though mildly popular (It’s Colorado after all) this trip is rugged and remote with abundant flora and fauna.

Download the Itinerary and or open a Topo Map. The .gpx File is coming soon.

Grays & Torreys 14ers, Clear Creek and Summit County, CO – (Trip #CO-003)

Grays Peak Trail

Trail to Grays Peak

Great first time fourteener trip (climbs over 14,000′) into the high alpine environment on the continental divide, approximately 8 miles southwest of Georgetown, CO. Trailhead is just south of Bakerville exit (221) on I70. It is important to note that the road to trailhead is “challenging” in that it is deeply washed out and 4WD, high clearance vehicles are best. Elevation is approximately 11,270′ at camp/trailhead and summits are 14,270′. Round trip distance is approximately 8 miles and route finding is straightforward…just follow the conga-line of people! Camp in the trailhead parking lot the night before for an early start. The high alpine environment is very unique and there are loads of nearly tame (but they are not) mountain goats along the trail. Updated conditions reports can be found on the 14er.com web page.

Download the Itinerary and or open a Topo Map. The .gpx File is coming soon.

Camp Lake Loop, Rawah Wilderness, CO – (Trip #CO-002)

Incredible moderate loop hike through the eastern Rawah Wilderness of Colorado. The West Branch Trailhead is approximately 69 miles west of Fort Collins, Colorado and 44 Miles east of Walden…it’s remote! Elevation is approximately 8,500′ to a little over 11,000′ feet. Total loop distance is 18 to 19 miles (5ish/5/8). Grassy Pass is a highlight on this trip for its incredible views. Very rugged and remote with abundant wild animals including moose can all be spotted on this trip.

Download the Itinerary and or open a Topo Map. The .gpx File is coming soon.

Lake Constantine, Holy Cross Wilderness, Colorado (Trip #CO-001)

backpacking colorado

guidetrails.com – Lake Constantine, Holy Cross Wilderness

Great first timer backpacking trip into the very beautiful Holy Cross Wilderness southwest of Avon, CO. Trailhead is just south of Minturn Colorado. Elevation is approximately 11,400′ at camp. Round trip distance is approximately 8 miles and routefinding is straightforward. Camp by the beautiful Lake Constantine which is loaded with trout. Waterfalls, bears, deer, elk can all be spotted on this trip.

Download the

Itinerary and or open a

Topo Map. The

.gpx File is coming soon.

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