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First Youth Backpacking Trip

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First Youth Backpacking Trip

Postby climbingcowboy » Mon May 26, 2014 10:12 am

I'm new to CO coming from Flagstaff AZ. I'm taking my 8 year old son on his first backpacking trip in July. We'll be leaving out of Denver area. I was thinking of packing into a cool lake and spending 2-3 nights kicking back and hiking around from there to check out stuff, instead of packing up the tent each day. But wouldn't be opposed to a 2-3 night with stopping twice if its a loop. Don't really want to have to hike more then 4-6 hours a day since this is his first I want it to be fun and relaxing not having to push it each day. We're regular outdoorsman hunting/hiking/skiing. Taking the hounds along also. Elevation isn't to big of deal since we're used to living at 7000'

Thank in advance
Geoff
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Re: First Youth Backpacking Trip

Postby Matt Lemke » Tue May 27, 2014 5:04 am

Can you bring dogs into wilderness areas? If not you reduce your list of potential places dramatically and the list of Colorado's most beautiful places you can visit essentially drops to zero.
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Re: First Youth Backpacking Trip

Postby Bill Reed » Tue May 27, 2014 4:40 pm

Matt Lemke wrote:Can you bring dogs into wilderness areas? If not you reduce your list of potential places dramatically and the list of Colorado's most beautiful places you can visit essentially drops to zero.


Though there could be some, I'm not aware of any non-national park wilderness areas in the state that don't allow dogs. Rocky Mountain NP does not allow dogs on any trails.
climbingcowboy wrote:I'm new to CO coming from Flagstaff AZ. I'm taking my 8 year old son on his first backpacking trip in July. We'll be leaving out of Denver area. I was thinking of packing into a cool lake and spending 2-3 nights kicking back and hiking around from there to check out stuff, instead of packing up the tent each day. But wouldn't be opposed to a 2-3 night with stopping twice if its a loop. Don't really want to have to hike more then 4-6 hours a day since this is his first I want it to be fun and relaxing not having to push it each day. We're regular outdoorsman hunting/hiking/skiing. Taking the hounds along also. Elevation isn't to big of deal since we're used to living at 7000'

Thank in advance
Geoff


How far do you want to drive from Denver?
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Re: First Youth Backpacking Trip

Postby fatdad » Tue May 27, 2014 6:41 pm

I'm assuming that you've done a fair bit of hiking with your 8 yr. old already, otherwise just "4-6 hours" of hiking per day seems like an awful lot. I'd say an 8 yr. old probably has not much more than an hour, especially if he or she is carrying even a small pack. If you want fun and relaxing, I'd stick to a nice lake 1-3 miles from the trail head.
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Re: First Youth Backpacking Trip

Postby WyomingSummits » Tue May 27, 2014 6:56 pm

fatdad wrote:I'm assuming that you've done a fair bit of hiking with your 8 yr. old already, otherwise just "4-6 hours" of hiking per day seems like an awful lot. I'd say an 8 yr. old probably has not much more than an hour, especially if he or she is carrying even a small pack. If you want fun and relaxing, I'd stick to a nice lake 1-3 miles from the trail head.


Depends on the 8 yr old. Scott's boy could prob out hike many avid hikers at 8, judging by the trip reports. :)
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Re: First Youth Backpacking Trip

Postby Scott » Tue May 27, 2014 7:35 pm

I'd say an 8 yr. old probably has not much more than an hour, especially if he or she is carrying even a small pack.


I respectfully, but very strongly disagree.

Trip logs from when our daughter was 3-4 and our son was 5-6:

http://www.summitpost.org/2008-trip-log/375607

Ages 4-5 and 6-7:

http://www.summitpost.org/2009-trip-log/477971

Ages 5-6 and 7-8:

http://www.summitpost.org/2010-trip-log/590857

Ages 6-7 and 8-9:

http://www.summitpost.org/2011-trip-log/690759

Ages 7-8 and 9-10:

http://www.summitpost.org/2012-trip-log/770043

Ages 8-9 and 10-11:

http://www.summitpost.org/2013-trip-log/833850

Ages 9-10 and 11-12:

http://www.summitpost.org/2014-trip-log/884198

Any kid that is non-lazy or doesn't have some serious health issues should be able to walk at least 4-6 hours a day.
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Re: First Youth Backpacking Trip

Postby mconnell » Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 pm

I agree with Scott. My son's first backpacking trip at age 9 was 10 miles the first day, with a little under 3000 vertical feet of elevation gain (and descent). My daughter was a little older (12) on her first trip. That was Pikes Peak to treeline, so about 10 miles the first day, 5000' of elevation gain.

On both of these trips, we do not push hard. I let the kids set the pace so we were walking about 8 hours each day with a lot of breaks. On both hikes, we had the option of stopping early if the kids got tired, but they both out hiked me (I was carrying most of the weight, but they both had packs). Both trips were planned by the kids, so they really took ownership of it and really wanted to make it to their goals.
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Re: First Youth Backpacking Trip

Postby climbingcowboy » Wed May 28, 2014 9:30 pm

Thanks all,
Drive distance I'm not sure is 2-3 hours enough?
Hiking time/distance? We hike in the Flagstaff mountains at 7000"-9000" for 2-3 hours all the time so if taking a relaxing (or kids) pace and hiking 4-6 to get somewhere and setup a camp for a couple days is needed we'll do it. I know if we do just an hour hike then so is everybody else, and there's bound to be lots of people around, it you know a place that is only 1-2 hours and not packed cool let me know, just don't see that happing.

So lets just say roughly:
Drive 3 hours
Hike 3 hours
Lake/river, dogs, fire needed
Difficulty not to bad
Bugs to my flesh ratio low
People to me ratio low to moderate
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Re: First Youth Backpacking Trip

Postby MarkDidier » Thu May 29, 2014 6:08 am

I suppose there are probably a bazillion choices in Colorado...but Blue Lakes Basin in the San Juans might fit your bill. By no means a short hike in, but a beautiful alpine lake setting. We were there in the middle of the week (granted, after Labor Day) but had the place to ourselves. There are the upper lakes to hike to, as well as amazing Blue Lakes Pass. Plenty of exploring to be done in the area. While most of this TR doesn't apply to your goals, if should give you an idea of what the area has to offer.

Regardless of where you end up, have a blast...and be sure to post a TR/pics afterwards.

http://www.summitpost.org/blue-lakes-basin-and-the-southwest-ridge-of-mount-sneffels/755347
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Re: First Youth Backpacking Trip

Postby Bill Reed » Thu May 29, 2014 3:10 pm

Lots of places that would fit the bill. Here's a couple that might work for you cowboy:

Missouri Lakes: http://www.hikingwalking.com/destinatio ... ass_detail

Lyle and Morman Lakes: http://www.hikingwalking.com/destinatio ... mon_detail

I haven't been to these but they've been on my list for awhile. Guessing you wouldn't be the only folks there.

How crowded?? Finding solitude a few miles from the trailhead, 3 hours from Denver is gonna be tough. Avoid the weekends if you can.

How many mosquitoes? Usually too many, at least in July-Be prepared!

Good luck wherever you end up going and as Mark said, please let us know how it went.
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Re: First Youth Backpacking Trip

Postby Niederbayer » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:49 pm

bugs will be a nuissance whereever you go unfortunately

GORE RANGE

Upper Piney Lake - Gore Range -would be my favourite - rarely visited - trail starts at Piney Lake follows the creek all the time - but it takes more than 3 hours to get there

other lakes in the Gores - makeable in about 3 hours

Pitkin/Booth/Upper Cataract Lake

for a roundtrip with two lakes

hike to Deluge Lake - cross the ridge - head down to Snow Lake and hike out back to the trail head along Gore Creek - section from Snow lake to the trail close to Gore Lake is trailless - maybe tough for your dog

driving will be 2 hours for all lakes except for Upper Piney - takes another 45 min from Vail to trailhead

another area wit lakes within the 3 hour range would be the upper draynage of South Boulder Creek - Heart Lake, Iceberg Lakes, Araphoe Lake, Crater Lake - all reachable from the Moffat Tunnel Trailhead - was only at Araphoe Lake in summer - was pretty busy with fisherman - may well be that
the lakes with are farer out see less traffic

right north of this areaa is the Middle Boulder Creek drainage with several other lakes _ King Lake,Betty Lake, Skyscraper Reservoir - reachable via Trailheads behind Eldora

Several lakes in the James Peak Wilderness - Loch Lomond etc

Beartrack Lakes - behind Mount Rosalie and reachable from Mount Evans Road in less then 3 hours (trailless however) - longer hike via Deer Creek

tons of lakes in the Flathead Mountains with the option to combine several of them in a roundtrip - but access to many like Wall Lake will require longer drives than 3 hours

as you can see almost endless options - what kind of trips are you planning with your kids - climbing mountains? stroll through meadows? depending on yoru plans this woudl narrow choices down


you can bringd dogs into Colorado Wilderness Regions - but you MUST KEEP DOG LEASHED all the time - I met too many unleashed dogs during my hikes and too often got growled at by a dog with the owner hundreds of yards away
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