3+5 days around Denver, what to do

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damgaard

 
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3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by damgaard » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:20 pm

Hi,

I am Danish Viking sailing into Denver for a 3 day conference. I will have approx. 3 days before and 5 days after the conference that can be spent in the mountains.
Does anybody have suggestions on where to go and peaks to climb?

I have lots of experience (I climbed Shasta and Hood on a previous trip to the US, and have climbed a lot of European summits), but since I will be going solo, I am looking for something that is not more difficult than scrambling. I am living at sea level but after some days in the mountains 14.000 feet summits should be doable.
I'll be travelling light, so sadly no backcountry overnight trips, Unless there is a place in the area, that have huts like in the Alps, so you can stay overnight without hauling 20 kg of tent, stove, sleeping bag etc. up there? If no huts, the trips should be doable in a day, but I like long days, so 4.500 feet of ascend and 10 hours is ok.

I'll be going between Sept. 17th and 26th.

best regards Jesper

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ExcitableBoy

 
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Re: 3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by ExcitableBoy » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:59 pm

This probably won't apply as I assume you are among the living:

"I called up my friend LeRoy on the phone
I said, Buddy, I'm afraid to be alone
'Cause I got some weird ideas in my head
About things to do in Denver when you're dead

I was working on a steak the other day
And I saw Waddy in the Rattlesnake Cafe
Dressed in black, tossing back a shot of rye
Finding things to do in Denver when you die

You won't need a cab to find a priest
Maybe you should find a place to stay
Some place where they never change the sheets
And you just roll around Denver all day

LeRoy says there's something you should know
Not everybody has a place to go
And home is just a place to hang your head
And dream of things to do in Denver when you're dead

You won't need a cab to find a priest
Maybe you should find a place to stay
Some place where they never change the sheets
And you just roll around Denver all day
You just roll around Denver all day"

Things To Do in Denver When You're Dead
Warren Zevon

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spiderman

 
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Re: 3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by spiderman » Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:16 am

Such an easy way to find out: go to 14ers.com and decide on the level of difficulty that you are up for. You can also check the weather forecast, find out trailhead conditions, ask questions, and possibly find someone else to do it. The first snowstorms have started but chances are that the peaks are mostly still bare in late September.

There are no huts in this state. Someday get an ultralight set of gear so that your overnight pack is only 10-20 lbs. It takes the misery out of multi-day trips.

If you want some fun scrambling, the Maroon Bells are incredible. It is Colorado Class 3 which means that it is easy stuff that occasionally requires your hands. Castle and Conundrum are also quite fun and the route is entirely on trail. Mount of the Holy Cross (MoHC) is a very long day hike and might be beyond your desired level, but is on trail. Huron is an easy day hike. Lots of options. Check it out and PM spiderman if you have any questions.

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damgaard

 
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Re: 3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by damgaard » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:41 pm

So many mountains, too little time ...

I've been surfing around a bit on summitpost and 14ers.

Maroons look great, but it sounds like the rock might be a little too crappy for my taste.

I am now thinking at spending the first 3 days in Rocky Mtn NP. Looks like a roundtrip via Flattop-Hallett-Otis is doable? Maybe Longs if legs and weather are up for it. Are there other better routes in the NP?

The last 5 days could be a mixture of (1), Greys/Toreys, (2) Bierstadt/Evans traverse and (3) Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross combo. But I need to browse around some more.

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Tonka

 
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Re: 3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by Tonka » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:49 pm

The last 5 days could be a mixture of (1), Greys/Toreys, (2) Bierstadt/Evans traverse and (3) Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross combo. But I need to browse around some more.


Not to knock any CO peaks but unless your banging out the 14ers these are not the most exciting options. If you have 5 days that gives you time to head down to the San Juans which has much to offer.

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MarkDidier

 
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Re: 3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by MarkDidier » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:20 am

If you are going to spend 3 days in RMNP, my $0.02.

Highly recommend a hike back into Glacier Gorge...absolutely beautiful. Although I haven't had the chance to try for either, you can go for Pagoda or McHenry's from here. Since it sounds like you want to keep to scrambling, Pagoda might be a better option.

If you are going to try the Hallett/Otis peaks, I would recommend not doing an out and back on the Flattop Mountain Trail. Two weeks ago I went up the East Ridge of Otis from Lake Haiyaha. Fun scrambling on huge boulders and solid talus. No route has been put up yet, but it is pretty straightforward from the lake. Easy option for Hallett from there and then a descent via Flattop Mountain Trail. The views are better on the way down that trail than on the way up.

Locals could give you better info on Longs, but that late into September it might not be the simple scramble that it is in the summer.

I personally love Wild Basin, and there are a number of good peak options here. But the approaches are long...but you will be rewarded with solitude. Mount Alice is my personal favorite.

As for your last five days, I have to concur with Tonka...a visit to the San Juans would be time better spent than on front range 14ers.

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damgaard

 
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Re: 3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by damgaard » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:43 pm

To MarkDidier
I'll have a go on your route doing a Otis-Hallett-Flattop roundtrip. It looked double on google earth and apparently it is :)

About the 5 day trip I concur, the San Juans looks more interesting, so plans changed from bagging 14.000'ers to a Colorado roadtrip with some mountains thrown in:

Day 0: Denver - Colorado Springs, check out Garden of the Gods
Day 1: Great Sand dunes NP, maybe climb Mt. Mestas between west of Walsenburg, stay in Alamosa
Day 2: Alamosa - Ouray. I need a half day mountain for this day. Any suggestions?
Day 3: Mt. Sneffels
Day 4: Black Canyon, Grand Mesa, Colorado Nat. Monument, Stay in Grand Junction
Day 5: Grays & Toreys
Day 6: Georgetown - Denver. I need a 2-3 hour hike/peak on the way. Any suggestions?

br Jesper

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MarkDidier

 
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Re: 3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by MarkDidier » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:06 pm


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Scott
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Re: 3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by Scott » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:41 pm

Day 0: Denver - Colorado Springs, check out Garden of the Gods
Day 1: Great Sand dunes NP, maybe climb Mt. Mestas between west of Walsenburg, stay in Alamosa
Day 2: Alamosa - Ouray. I need a half day mountain for this day. Any suggestions?
Day 3: Mt. Sneffels
Day 4: Black Canyon, Grand Mesa, Colorado Nat. Monument, Stay in Grand Junction
Day 5: Grays & Toreys
Day 6: Georgetown - Denver. I need a 2-3 hour hike/peak on the way. Any suggestions?


Just so you know, that route would require about two days of driving. You may want to concentrate in one or two areas unless you like to spend that much time in the car. Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks might be good, or you could head down to the Crestones/Sand Dunes. Maybe even just the San Juans too.

The Gore Range, Flat Tops, and Mount Zirkel Wilderness are also scenic and could be combined.

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technicolorNH

 
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Re: 3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by technicolorNH » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:14 am

Although it's not what you're asking for advice on, the Denver Museum of Science and Nature is amazing. Garden of the Gods and the Great Sand Dunes are definitely worth the drive. The view from on top of Pikes Peak is amazing but the crowds up there can be a drag. When you look at the 14ers website not only look at the rating for the mountain and route but also the road rating for the trailhead. Spending a little extra cash for an SUV makes more trailheads accessible and gives you more muscle going up long inclines. Economy cars are nice on gas but sometimes it's good to have the ground clearance.

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Re: 3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by thebeave7 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:05 pm

If you want to drive less the Indian Peaks Wilderness and RMNP region have lots of fantastic hikes, fun summit scrambles (class 3-5) and lots of good camping options. Things are starting to quiet down for the fall, the aspens are just starting to change colors as well. Great time to be in the high country.

Eric

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damgaard

 
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Re: 3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by damgaard » Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:04 pm

My plan is almost finalized now, just two small gaps to fill out:

A 3-4 hours hike close to route 160 between Alamosa and Durango. There are no??? peaks on summitpost for this area. Does anybody have any experience on Sheep Mountain just north of Wolf Creek Pass? I can't find any beta.

A 3-4 hours hike between Georgetown and Denver. Maybe the area around Centennial Cone?

br Jesper

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Tonka

 
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Re: 3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by Tonka » Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:32 pm

A 3-4 hours hike between Georgetown and Denver. Maybe the area around Centennial Cone?


You could head back to Loveland pass and go up Sniktau and take the ridge over toward Grizzly as time allows. You can also just go up Guanella pass Rd and do Square top or Bierstadt if you're really fast.

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damgaard

 
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Re: 3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by damgaard » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:09 pm

Bierstadt it is - maybe even aim for Sawtooth depending on time :)

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pyerger

 
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Re: 3+5 days around Denver, what to do

by pyerger » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:44 pm

damgaard wrote:To MarkDidier
I'll have a go on your route doing a Otis-Hallett-Flattop roundtrip. It looked double on google earth and apparently it is :)

About the 5 day trip I concur, the San Juans looks more interesting, so plans changed from bagging 14.000'ers to a Colorado roadtrip with some mountains thrown in:

Day 0: Denver - Colorado Springs, check out Garden of the Gods
Day 1: Great Sand dunes NP, maybe climb Mt. Mestas between west of Walsenburg, stay in Alamosa
Day 2: Alamosa - Ouray. I need a half day mountain for this day. Any suggestions?
Day 3: Mt. Sneffels
Day 4: Black Canyon, Grand Mesa, Colorado Nat. Monument, Stay in Grand Junction
Day 5: Grays & Toreys
Day 6: Georgetown - Denver. I need a 2-3 hour hike/peak on the way. Any suggestions?

br Jesper

Yes lots of driving!! My two cents, if you head over to the sand dunes, you are close two some of the best scrambles on colorado 14ers! That would be the Crestones. Crestone needle, crestone peak, kit carson North ridge, all have fantastic routes on solid rock, Also slightly drier down there, so snow hits those peaks later than up north. But not always?

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