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Hiking Four Pass loop in Maroon Bells

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Hiking Four Pass loop in Maroon Bells

Postby adventureracer99 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:47 pm

Hi,

Several friends and I are planning to hike the 4 Pass Loop outside of Aspen, Co, the third week of July. We are all relatively experienced hikers, but are not familiar with this area of Colorado. I am hoping to find answers to a few questions from people that have hiked there. We are flying in on July 16, planning to acclimate for a few days, take @4 days to hike the trail, and fly out on the 24th. We have all hiked at altitude before with minimal problems, and know to expect thunderstorms in the afternoon :)

- Are bear canisters necessary, or is hanging food bags sufficient?

- Are there ample water sources available for filtering (i.e., is there any need to pack in extra water?)

-We have hotel reservations for the first and last night, and will be camping in the back country while hiking, but will probably camp/day hike for at least a couple of days after the loop. Any suggestions as to favorite day hikes or campgrounds in the area (we will have a car) would be appreciated!

- Any potentially dangerous creek crossings to worry about; will there be much snow on the trail at this time of year?

Any advice/tips/favorite places would be appreciated :)
Thanks,
Samantha
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Re: Hiking Four Pass loop in Maroon Bells

Postby Sunny Buns » Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:54 am

I hiked this loop back in I'm guessing 1990, maybe earlier. Probably in August. No problems with stream crossings that I remember. No need to carry extra water in those days. Back then I just hung my food and had no problems.
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Re: Hiking Four Pass loop in Maroon Bells

Postby displacedchzhead » Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:49 am

If the weather's good, and you want a nice side trip from the four pass loop: when you get to Buckskin Pass, turn N to Buckskin Benchmark. The views are crazy beautiful! Here's the Summitpost page. http://www.summitpost.org/buckskin-bm/153002
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Re: Hiking Four Pass loop in Maroon Bells

Postby Chris » Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:57 pm

adventureracer99 wrote:- Are bear canisters necessary, or is hanging food bags sufficient?


I generally only do the Four Pass Loop as a day trip, so can't say for sure... but hanging is usually fine in Colorado.

adventureracer99 wrote:- Are there ample water sources available for filtering (i.e., is there any need to pack in extra water?)


Plenty of water.

adventureracer99 wrote:-We have hotel reservations for the first and last night, and will be camping in the back country while hiking, but will probably camp/day hike for at least a couple of days after the loop. Any suggestions as to favorite day hikes or campgrounds in the area (we will have a car) would be appreciated!


The campgrounds along the Maroon Lake Road are nice, but usually fill up fast. Kebler Pass / Crested Butte has great wildflowers, but it's a decent drive from Aspen.

adventureracer99 wrote:- Any potentially dangerous creek crossings to worry about; will there be much snow on the trail at this time of year?


There used to be a tricky creek crossing before Snowmass Lake (going counterclockwise). It's be a few years since I've run the loop though, so not sure if it's still like that. I've never considered it that bad though it may be tougher w/ a pack on.

adventureracer99 wrote:Any advice/tips/favorite places would be appreciated :)
Thanks,
Samantha


It's a fantastic trip, you'll love it! One of my favorites anywhere... enjoy!
- Chris
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Re: Hiking Four Pass loop in Maroon Bells

Postby pappabroome » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:53 am

We hiked it back in 2011 in late July and it was the most epic trip I have done. I highly recommend going clockwise and spending one extra day out there. If you can get to Lake Geneva on the 2nd day, you are able to spend the entire 3rd day there. But I warn you getting to Lake Geneva on the 2nd day really takes dedication, especially with 50 lbs on your back. Plenty of water sources so you don't have to take extra water. Hang your food, bear boxes are not necessary. Take fishing gear as we caught about a dozen rainbow trout. Our last night was spent just past Snowmass Lake at a little area with a beaver dam. Weather was fantastic. Take pictures at each pass and enjoy the ride!!!
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