Tag Archives: Advanced Backpack

Flat Tops Wilderness 50-Miler Loop, Flattops Wilderness, CO – (Trip #CO-010)

Flat Tops wilderness backpacking loop

guidetrails.com – Shingle Peak, Flattops Wilderness

One of the most coveted scouting awards is the 50-Miler. This trip was built to meet this challenge as a backpacking loop trip in the Flattops Wilderness of Colorado. High, wild and remote, this volcanic region provides untamed wilderness where Teddy Roosevelt once tramped.

Starting from Stillwater Trailhead (at Stillwater Reservoir) southwest of Yampa, CO, you’ll average just over 10 miles a day to complete a large loop in the northeastern side of the Flat Tops in a counterclockwise fashion. A significant portion of the trip is walked along the eroded and extinct volcano that gives the area its name. Additionally, this trip offers excellent fishing as well as climbs up the Devil’s Causeway (scary narrow ridgeline, be safe) and along the Chinese Wall (huge rock escarpment).

Download the Itinerary and or open a 3 Page Topo Map. The Trails Illustrated Topo Map is useful for this trip. Right click and download the .gpx File for waypoints and tracks of this trip. BANG!!!

awards backpacking trip

50-Miler BSA Award

The Grand Loop, Rocky Mountain National Park – (Trip# CO-015)

Long Peak

Rocky Mountain National Park, Longs Peak

This trip will blow your mind. A long loop backpacking trip that circumnavigates the interior of Rocky Mountain National Park (images). It includes off-trail travel, some class-3 climbing up the back of Longs Peak and a chance for a very unique and remote trip in with a very popular National Park. This is a high adventure, difficult trip for strong backpackers.

You will need to get your backcountry camping permit from the Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Office. The permit application is found of page 7 of the national park’s brochure. You’ll need the following campsites in this order: (92) Renegade, (84) South Meadow, (68) Lake Verna, (48) Hunters Creek, (38) Boulder Brook. As with all national parks, they limit the group size to 6. You may have to get creative if sites are unavailable or your group is larger.

Starting from Bear Lake Trailhead you head up and over Flattop Mountain to Renegade Campsite.The trip totals 43.4 miles during which you’ll circumnavigate the park in a counterclockwise fashion. A short stretch along the road at the north side of Grand Lake will quickly put you back in the woods. You can also resupply here if you need to. Take note of the off-trail sections on the topo maps that are denoted by the dashed lines.

Download the Itinerary and or open a full size Topo Map or the 4 Sections Map. Right click and download the .gpx File for waypoints and tracks of this trip. BANG!!!

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.

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.