My wife and I are considering a long weekend in early November to Denver. We would arrive Sat AM/noonish flying into denver and so have the remainder of the day, all day sunday and then going to the Steeler-Bronco monday night game, flying out Tuesday. Can anybody point me in the right direction to make some plans for the weekend to do some hiking/scrambling and maybe get in a couple of 14ers. I'm thinking Sat we'd spend hiking/acclimating (we're low landers from western PA) and try to get a full day sunday and a good morning/early afternoon in Monday before showering up and grabbing something to eat/drink before the game. I would like to limit to non-techincal day trips as we'd like to only bring carry-ons so no ropes, gear or camping equipment. Basically, looking for something we could do in approach shoes. Also, not sure what to expect in way of snow at that time of year, so advice would be appreciated. I'm not apposed to driving a few hours if necessary Sat evening to get to something to do Sunday. I would appreciate some suggestions for things w/in 1-2 hours of Denver for Sat and Monday. Thanks for any help.
Estes Cone makes for a good acclimatization hike with a little scrambling at the top. I'm not sure what Longs Peak (14,255') is like in early November (probably varies from year to year), but I just got back from a weekend trip to Colorado where a friend and I did Estes Cone on Friday afternoon and Longs Peak on Saturday. Snowy conditions on Longs on Sep 12th, but I'm sure nothing compared to the potential conditions you could have in early November.
Eeeeeerrrrrmmmmmm, I'd personally stay away from Long's if you're not fully acclimatized. It's a long day even for those who live here and in November the weather can be extremely changeable.
I'd stick with Grey's/Torreys - bag 2 14ers in a day, and they're quite easy... Bierstadt is a fine option - the TH starts at 11K and it's all of 6 miles R/T. Road should be back together by then. If there are any fall colors remaining Guanella Pass is a great place to see them. And if there is snow on any of these peaks it'll be light and doable - bring gaiters if anything.
Scrambling options in beautiful country? Check out the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Any number of options there and it's probably some of the prettiest country in the Front Range.
Grays and Torreys is a great idea. Quandry Peak is also another great 14er that's not too tough. As far as Indian Peaks Wilderness goes, I agree there too except the easiest access point, Brainard Lake Road, closes in October. Rocky Mountain National Park is where its at although a lot of the peaks and scrambles have long approaches.