Tag Archives: Easy Backpack

Conejos River Loop, South San Juan Wilderness, CO – (Trip #CO-018)

Conejos Falls

South San Juan Wilderness Loop Hike

The last confirmed grizzly bear sighting in Colorado was in the South San Juan Wilderness in 1979. Reports are that grizzlies might remain in the area, just no confirmed sightings.  The bear history and the incredible Conejos Falls is the draw for this extremely remote trip.

The loop trail is 50+ miles southwest of Alamosa, CO and takes you to the headwaters of the Conejos River. Totaling a short 14 miles, the real difficulty is the altitude in that you’ll cross Continental Divide (via the Continental Divide Trail.

Trailhead is along FR 247 past Platoro Reservoir in the South San Juan Wilderness. Trailhead elevation is approximately 10,200′ with a highest altitude around 12,200′. Total loop distance is approximately 14.0 miles in 3 days of hiking (4/6/4).

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

Rich Creek / Rough and Tumbling Creek Loop, Buffalo Peaks Wilderness – (Trip # CO-016)

guidetrails.com - Cutthroat

guidetrails.com – Cutthroat

Backpacking and fishing perfectly matched on this excellent loop trip through the eastern edge of the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness, about 15 miles north of Fairplay, Colorado. Totaling a short 11.4 miles, the only difficulty may be encountered on the climb up on the first day to the upper reaches of Rich Creek. Fishing is reported as excellent on these creeks.

The Rich Creek-Tumble Creek Trailhead is approximately 15 miles southwest of Fairplay, Colorado in the Buffalo Creek Wilderness. Trailhead elevation is approximately 10,000′ and high camp on day 2 at Rough and Tumble Creek is around 11,200′. Total loop distance is approximately 11.4 miles in 2+ days of hiking (3.3.5/3.46/4.61).

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

Eaglesmere Lake/Cataract Lake Loop, Eagles Nest Wilderness, CO – (Trip #CO-012)

This is an excellent backpacking loop trip through the eastern Eagles Nest Wilderness, about 25 miles north of Silverthorne, Colorado (fairly near Denver). Totaling 14.6 miles, the only difficulty may be encountered on the climb out of the trailhead up to Eaglesmere Lake. Also, given that the trail is near Denver, significant numbers of people may be on the trails.

The Eaglesmere Trailhead is approximately 25 miles north of Silverthorne, Colorado in the Eagles Nest Wilderness. Trailhead elevation is approximately 8,700′ and high camp on day 2 at Upper Cataract Lake is around 10,770′. Total loop distance is approximately 14.6 miles in 2+ days of hiking (3.5/5.5/5.6).  A guy named Dondo has some interesting photo in his blog post about the area which you can see here. Fishing in the alpine lakes in this loop has been known to be fairly good.

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

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.

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.