1. Its towering canyon walls and trails will open up, revealing a private world of hiking and sun bathing. Though peak bagging numerous 14,000 footers is a true highlight of backpacking in Colorado, there’s more to the state than the snow-capped behemoths. The Gores have a special appeal for the adventurous backpacker looking to tackle tougher terrain. The Most Extreme … Elevation gain: … I want to be a badass too. Rocky Mountain National Park. This is a trip report about how I summited the highest 100 peaks in Colorado going Solo (by myself) and completing the routes as single day hikes from the trailheads without the traditional method of backpacking and use of a high camp. The trail tops out on Hallet Peak, Flattop Mountain, and Ptarmigan Peak. These transitioned into longer loops through Golden Gate Canyon State Park and Lair O’ the Bear Out and Back. Thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail was his first backpacking foray, and he hasn’t stopped crushing miles since. It’s called the … Home – San Juan Tactical – About Us. Hop on the iconic CDT as it makes its way from Mexico to Canada, crossing through the state of Colorado. So many trails, so little time. A popular option for first-time visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park is the park’s Continental Divide Loop which gives hikers a taste of the cross-country Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. Don't see the email? Fort Collins is right up there as one of the state's best getaways for a classic taste of Colorado life. Community-minded and free during farmer’s market, (Wednesdays and Saturdays right out front,) MOCA’s … I am nervous to run trails alone. With this in mind, I strongly recommend arriving there by 8 or 8:30 am (especially on a weekend) because they can go quickly. Be sure to check in for the most up-to-date info. There’s something magical about spending the night in the Rocky Mountains. June is still pretty snowy in the high alpine, although trails at lower elevations are typically snow-free. Even a moderate hike in the Gores will feel like a total butt buster. For more outdoor exploring, check out our favorite hikes near Breckenridge, hikes near Telluride, or the best cabin rentals near Estes and Rocky Mountain National Park. In the July months, the high alpine of Colorado comes to life. The park is broken into five regions that showcase the vast diversity of wildlife, plant life, and epic scenery that can be experienced within the Rocky Mountains. Average time to complete: Overnight. December 12, 2020. Colorado is home to some of the most beautiful backpacking trips in the US. Distance: 14 miles round trip Elevation: 2,444 feet of gain Average time to complete: Overnight. GREAT post and something I think about a LOT. Happy hiking! If you’re scoffing at a 28-mile trek, there’s an extended 54-mile variant for those looking for a more challenging adventure. Named among the top 10 safest cities in America by Forbes, Colorado Springs and the region is the perfect place for a little solo adventure. Backpacking in Colorado is a bucket-list activity for locals and visitors alike. Traversing 486 miles of Rocky Mountain terrain, the Colorado Trail is a primary artery in Colorado’s outdoor scene, directing adventurers like lifeblood across the mountainous state from Denver to Durango. UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT. Day hikers and multi-day backpackers can pick and choose from any of the trail’s amazing highlights, such as the scenic Alphabetizer Loop or a direct route through the San Juan Mountains to Coney Summit, which peaks at 13,334 feet in elevation. Sky-high domes made of solid rock, broken boulders, and stretching granite arches are just a few of the spectacles to be seen here. California Trails. I got started when I hiked the Long Trail in Vermont in 2008. Colorado is filled with surprises, including a shocking amount of places to camp for absolutely free. Distance: 486 miles. Menu. Maybe that’s because in Colorado you can get closer to the sun in elevation than just about everywhere else in the United States. By. The trail spends most of its time in the aspen and pine forests before popping up into a high alpine valley with gorgeous views. All of our favorite backpacking trips in Colorado listed below are located in designated wilderness areas. I’m 70, heading out on a 70-mile solo on the Colorado Trail next week to check my badass quotient. Seven Falls had flooding so I forget it's current status you can check here www.sevenfalls.com but they had some neat trails above. Reviews (1247) Photos (7229) Cliff Knight reviewed Lizard Rock Trail. This stunner starts at Monarch Lake and follows Buchanan Creek into the Indian Peaks Wilderness on the Arapahoe Pass Spur Trail. Solo Backpacking Colorado - Looking For Fall Turkeys - YouTube Backpacking in Colorado is the dream of every outdoor enthusiast under the sun. Follow all drone regulations. SCARIEST moment I have had camping and was completely alone. Colorado born and bred, she loves backpacking, trail running, backcountry skiing, and packrafting, especially with her husband, one-year-old daughter, and lovable rescue mutt Tally. After thru-hiking in 2016 and "weekend warrior" section hikes in 2017, I had 90 miles of the CT left (Segments 16-20). A fantastic way to explore hiking trails on public land in Colorado is via the Colorado Trail Explorer App. Though there are a number of trails to explore in the region, many ambitious backpackers opt to take on the difficult Four Pass Loop. The most common way to get there is to go south on I-25 to exit 49 towards Walsenburg, then go west on US 160, continuing north on State Highway 150. Note: This website participates in affiliate marketing. Below, we’ve given you the information to research and find your own backpacking paths through Colorado’s vast backcountry, but we’ve also provided a few example backpacking journeys we think you’ll love. Be in a good shape. Buffalo Peaks Wilderness. Let's adventure together! Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. December 12, 2020. However, if you are planning to head to the mountains, the best season for backpacking is from July through September. You can’t talk about the best backpacking in Colorado without mentioning the 4 Passes Loop. This is certainly a more strenuous backpacking loop, but it’s worth it. In a state known for mountains, the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness stands out among Colorado’s mountainous locales. Directions. Rating. Green valleys butt against beautiful rocky peaks streaked with snow. That’s what separates Lost Creek Wilderness from much of Colorado. It started small with short trail runs through Chautauqua Park in Boulder and Matthew Winters State Park. The 30-mile loop will surely work your ankles and glutes, but the path doesn’t demand that you struggle on endless switchbacks over extreme elevation changes like many other Rocky Mountain routes require. However, if you’re new to mountain environments, take these tips into consideration before backpacking in Colorado. No visit to Rocky Mountain National Park is complete without spending the night in the backcountry. Backpacking Colorado Me and a couple friends are planning a backpacking trip next summer in Colorado and are looking for some suggestions. The water source typically runs through mid-spring, so be sure to check up on local conditions before heading out (otherwise, you’re carrying your water with you). Distance: 30 miles of Continental Divide Trail, 45 miles as a loop Elevation: around 11,600 feet of gain Average time to complete: 5 days. Six summits rise over 14,000 … The sites you will see are spectacular, but, unlike the crowds at the nearby Aspen resorts, backpackers will discover sights few will ever see. Backpacking without a stove is the easiest, leanest, and safest way to wander the wilderness. The 5 Easiest 14ers To Solo Hike In Colorado. Stratified cliffs stretch for miles. Hop aboard the Durango Train (AKA the Backpacking Train) and take a ride through gorgeous landscapes on your way into the Chicago Basin of the Weminuche National Wilderness. Remember to be a respectful and responsible backpacker while on your Colorado road trip. Flag down the next train leaving the basin and have the conductor direct you to one of the other unforgettable outdoor experiences in the area. Great Sand Dunes National Park : four hour drive from Denver, RV/trailer camping, car camping spots, backpacking options, pets welcome on leash, potable water and … In 2020, it recently became illegal to camp at the Rattlesnake Arches. Colorado Trail: Solo Backpacking in 2018. It’s a tough trail that includes an excessive amount of elevation gain coupled with fording high-flowing creeks. The transition to solo hiking was also one of trust—trusting that I was capable of exploring on my own safely and confidently. Just "be prepared" -- "hike your own hike." Local Tip: Don’t forget, you’re in the desert and you’ll need to pack in all of your water. Adventure Travel. The high and low points of this trek are only 2,000 feet different in elevation. Solo backpacking can be freeing and fun. I’ve lived in Colorado for over a decade and I’ve had the privilege of going on some amazing backpacking trips in Colorado. Solo Travel. Our backpacking trips will involve hiking a mile or much more from a trailhead to locations in the Colorado wilderness. This is the United State’s highest thru-hike, with a majority of the trail above 10,000 feet. … Here are some tips to help you have a positive experience: Go solo car camping: If the idea of sleeping alone in a tent makes you extremely anxious, then try a few nights of solo car camping. Colorado backpacking trips in the Weminuche Wilderness, Lizard Head Wilderness, San Juan National Forest, and more. Click through the slideshow above to see our top picks for solo hikes, from day trips to multi-day backpacking journeys. Under the ever-looming Rockies, there are lush forests of fir and pine concealing rushing river canyons, outstanding granite oddities, and meadows full of moose! Beginners can opt to break the trail into two nights, or more avid backpackers can choose to make this a quick overnight jaunt. To camp or go backpacking solo at Great Sand Dunes, you first have to secure a free backcountry permit. Scaling mountains in order to nab sweeping vistas from the summits of 14,000-foot peaks is a Colorado tradition, but that’s not all that Lost Creek has to offer. Stone towers, … Wilderness backpacking at its finest! I had planned to finish the trail during summer 2018, but I took a job in Madison, Wisconsin and had to move by June 15. It is possible to day hike this trail, however, you should spend the night here. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. There’s a trail for all ability levels, making Colorado an epic place to backpack. ADVICE. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy, The Official Guidebook of the Colorado Trail Foundation, Trekkin’ Breck: 10 Best Hikes Near Breckenridge, Colorado, The 12 Best Airbnb Rentals in Denver, Colorado, 11 Best Airbnb Rentals in Fort Collins, Colorado, 13 Best Adventure Vehicles for Hikers & Backpackers, Backpacking Without a Stove: How to Go Sin Fuego, 12 Best & Most Unique Airbnb Rentals in Montana, Rocky Mountain High: Colorado’s Best Waterfall Hikes, 13 Beautiful & Free Camping Spots in Colorado. There are 55 mountains spread over the entire state of Colorado that exceed 14,000 feet. Boulder was named one of the best cities in the U.S. for solo travelers, so you’ll be right at home here. Cliff Diving in Paradise. Yeah, you read that right. That means if you click on some of the links and purchase something, I get a small kickback at no added cost to you. From here, you can set up a base camp and climb Elous, Windom, and Sunlight Peak. Forest fires are an enormous problem in Colorado and are often caused by reckless campers. Looking for 3-5 day backpacking routes in Colorado/western US in early July. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy here. Heather Balogh Rochfort is a freelance writer and author with a focus on outdoor adventure, travel, and fitness. Rugged alpine scenery and abundant wildlife make this International Biosphere Reserve justifiably popular. Whether it be in the mountains, on the beach, or along the city streets — he believes walking is the best way to experience the world. Read up on a guidebook like The Official Guidebook of the Colorado Trail Foundation before attempting to conquer any portion of this amazing trail. Extend your vacation with guided Jeep rides, river rafting along the mighty Animas River, and a vintage steam train ride to Cascade Canyon. At an average elevation of 10,300 feet, there will still be plenty of snow on high peaks in the summertime, and afternoon storms remain a threat. Much of the wilderness within its borders is completely inaccessible by anything but your own two feet. After thru-hiking in 2016 and "weekend warrior" section hikes in 2017, I had 90 miles of the CT left (Segments 16-20). After accepting a new job and deciding to take a week off in between, I ventured out of the midwest for the week to go sightseeing. The most I’ve ever done was fly from Chicago to Michigan by myself (and that’s not saying much). She'd rather be dirty than done up. The visitor center where you’ll get your permit for backpacking Great Sand Dunes National Park. If there is a quintessential Colorado backpacking trip, you could definitely make the case for Lone Eagle Peak & Crater Lake being near the top of the list. Just on the outskirts of Colorado Springs, hidden from view by towering rock walls and forest lies a deep emerald jewel that the locals call Paradise Cove. Tips for Solo Backpacking. Whether you're looking for an expert level backpacking trip, or a simple two-hour hike, there are very few areas in North America that will come close to what Colorado has to offer. I was able to make a small campfire for cooking, and had a great time enjoying the views. But it’s just as nice as an out-and-back. Challenge your alpine skills with four distinct passes complete with stellar mountain scenery. The Needles District, Canyonlands National Park. This is a mid-to-late summer excursion for daring backpackers — there’s too much snow otherwise. This is the best backpacking trip in Colorado for those seeking dramatic alpine views without tons of ass-kicking el-gain. I show my adventures and what I find along the way. Distance: 12.5 miles out and back Elevation: 2,890 feet, with a large majority of that gain in the last two miles. Loop trails in Colorado are a rarity, so enjoy the fact that you’ll never see the same thing twice along this route. The Colorado Rockies are the ideal escape for a little self-exploration. It started small with short trail runs through Chautauqua Park in Boulder and Matthew Winters State Park. around Colorado Springs: Garden of the Gods is great, around Helen Hunt Falls and Red Rock Canyon. Difficulty. It can’t match the high-end, premium features of Terra Nova and Hilleberg; nor is it as competitive as Snugpak or Wild Country on price. July is considered a monsoon season in the mountains. VIEW FULL MAP. Backpacking is a past time that many people, especially once moving to Colorado, are curious to try. Updated: Jan 24, 2019. Author: Steve Howe Updated: Feb 14, 2017 Original: Sep 30, 2001. The two ultimate backpacking adventures in Colorado are the Colorado Trail (approximately 470 miles) and Continental Divide Trail (approximately 800 miles). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. When it comes to the best backpacking trips in Colorado, this is the ultimate local guide. This means that you should take extra care to follow Leave No Trace principals when venturing out here. These trips will require backpacks, tents, sleeping bags and other gear and food that you will be carrying on your back needed to keep you fed, warm and dry. Distance: 15 miles to the basin and back to the train stop. You’ll never know what you could find! The Colorado Trail winds its way from Denver to Durango over 486 of mountainous terrain. A very long hike or the train are the only ways in. Backpacking in the alpine offers stunning beauty and plenty of challenging terrain. Coloradans are also very conscious of the environment … For the more daring, its cliffs also provide three … Thank you! The Chicago Basin in the San Juan Mountains is an excellent place to backpack and climb some of Colorado’s famed 14,000-foot peaks. The stunning Elk Range towers with dramatic peaks. It’s as simple as that. Keep in mind that no dogs are allowed on the trails in Rocky Mountain, you’ll need to book your permits in advance, and the entire loop takes around 5 days to complete. One of the best ways to backpack in Colorado is to combine your backpacking trip with a couple of peaks. This iconic trail winds its way over four distinct passes all while delivering breath-taking views of the Elk Range. Solo Backpacking on the Colorado Trail to Slide Lake//Sadie's First Backpacking Trip! Distance: 11.8 miles round trip Elevation: 3,402 feet of gain Average time to complete: A perfect, pre-season overnight. If that sounds like you, this is a route you will love. What are you waiting for? The train can take you to where adventurous opportunities await around the towns of Silverton and Telluride. From here, the ball is in your court if you decide to make base camp in Chicago Basin or set out on a long journey far into the wild beyond. We mainly have 3 season gear though I do have a bag liner and all my clothing is warm. 46,950 Reviews. Explore Colorado Backpacking Loops - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. Backpacking in Colorado is possible year-round depending on where you go and how much you’re willing to deal with the snow and cold. Lose yourself (figuratively speaking) in this hidden gem of wilderness where you have a decent chance of seeing more animals than people. Explore Colorado Backpacking Loops - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. The 10 Most Memorable Hikes in North America. For solo travelers looking for a great US destination to explore, I highly recommend Denver, Colorado. “The top thing when you are considering any trip, but especially when you are going out alone, is to have good first aid training because you are going to be handling any emergency situations by yourself,” says Rathke. Solo backpacking is something many people never even think of. I’ve been eager to get out to Colorado for years, but have yet to make the trip. Photo: IG clarityinperspective Easy Hikes. The taverns here are a cozy place to spend a cold Colorado night. Could you recommend me a Solo Tent for hiking in Colorado this summer? Reply Cathryn at . Region 3 is known as the deep wilderness escape, where lightly-trafficked trails loop around lonely mountains and down forgotten canyons. The Colorado Trail Foundation recognizes “Completers” by recording their name on the foundation’s website database and delivering a personalized completion certificate. I'm going to be in Colorado for five days starting Memorial Day weekend. Meg aka Fox is a 30-something who's born to explore. The title means exactly what it says. Maroon Bells Scenic Area. I quickly discovered that I liked it more than hiking with a partner or a group. We practice Leave No Trace principles to leave the wilderness as pristine (or better) than we found it. But this means it fits neatly on its own, in the middle, providing a mid-range option with an excellent balance between weight and price. Buffalo Peaks Loop, located just south of Fairplay is an excellent high-alpine beginner backpacking loop. Next, walk a 1/2 mile from the train stop (you’ll purchase a backpacker’s ticket, it’ll be obvious when to jump off) and then continue 6 more miles to the Chicago Basin. It's my first trip to Colorado. Being a Responsible Backpacker in Colorado. Be sure to check up on water sources before heading out. Quandary Peak. Choose from plenty of trails to create your own personalized loop. You’ll likely want to camp at the water source, below the final climb. We’ve put together a list of five spectacular backpacking destinations to help you get out there and explore all that Colorado has to offer. Rocky Mountain National Park is the heart of the Colorado Rockies. From spare rooms and one-bedroom apartments to stunning mansions, TripAdvisor Rentals has over 830,000 properties in 190 countries available to suit your needs. Route type. Very inspiring. Follow his adventures and stories at betterhiker.com. Though only 27 miles long, the Four Pass Loop takes most people three to four days to complete. via /r/backpacking #hammock #hammocker #backpacking— Mary Murphy (@marymurphy3413) March 20, 2018 via Twitter March 20, … Thank you! Temperatures start to drop in October, although you can still sneak in a warm-weather weekend, just be prepared for the cold once the sun goes down. These trips will require backpacks, tents, sleeping bags and other gear and food that you will be carrying on your back needed to keep you fed, warm and dry. Just shy of 500,000 acres, Weminuche National Wilderness is the largest wilderness in Colorado. Reviews (1247) Photos (7229) Cliff Knight reviewed Lizard Rock Trail. You … Colorado Trail: Solo Backpacking in 2018. We offer a variety of trips that fit a range of fitness and experience levels. Grazing elk and moose are not an uncommon site beheld by unobtrusive hikers who quietly stalk the area. Mountain Lion encounter while solo backpacking in Colorado. When it comes to the best backpacking trips in Colorado, this is the ultimate... Backpacking Gore Lake The Best Alpine Lake in Colorado. Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Colorado. Even it’s lowest point at 3,315 feet on the Arikaree River holds the record for being the highest low-point of any state in America. Elevation: 4,393 feet to the basin from Needleton Average time to complete: A long weekend or 3 nights recommended. I have 10 days off from work coming up next week (June 28th - July 7th), and I'm planning getting out of the desert (I'm doing field work in southern Nevada this summer) and exploring Colorado. So if you’re itching to get out in April, May or even early June, check out the Ben Tyler Trail. The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art is very Boulder. Here is one group’s record of their time riding the Backpacking Train and hiking around the Chicago Basin. Before we dive in, I must address something very important. Attempting a thru-hike earlier in the year means you’ll be navigating over some serious snowpack, and in the fall you’ll get overwhelmed by dangerous, earth-shaking thunderstorms. As an avid and experienced hiker, I must say that hiking alone is NEVER a safe option. Weather is unpredictable and extreme conditions can happen in a blink of an eye. If you are injured and solo, it’s best to stay on the trail and wait. Book a weekend stay in one of these unique vacation rentals, and you'll quickly see how Montana earned its nickname of the Big Sky State. Our list of the best hikes near Breckenridge has something for everyone, whether you’re an adventurous mountaineer looking for a challenge or a young family looking for a kid-friendly nature walk. Boulder’s super walkable, safe, welcoming and has an independent streak. Colorado backpacking trips in the Weminuche Wilderness, Lizard Head Wilderness, San Juan National Forest, and more. The trail treats you to epic canyon views along with plenty of amazing rock formations and arches. This means you should be prepared to encounter quick and violent thunderstorms in the afternoon. A 136-mile trail network slices through the Lost Creek Wilderness, taking hikers through thick coniferous forests and past out-of-this-world granite formations. You can find most of the best Colorado backpacking trips on federally owned lands, such as national forest and BLM lands. Spectacular alpine vistas cold Colorado night trails take hikers to spectacular alpine vistas a base and. Day hike this trail … Longs Peak via the Colorado trail to Lake//Sadie... Wanted to go, so I did it by myself ( and that ’ s too much snow.. Ve Got to Try the best season for backpacking in Colorado, a! S paradise: located only about 4 hours from Denver camping sites along the way and Ptarmigan.! Mile or much more from a Trailhead to locations in the Colorado trail winds way! 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