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one19

Northern Colorado loops for a multi-day trip

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one19

Greetings and salutations. 

I'm planning a 3-4 day backpacking trip in Colorado this August and I need help choosing a destination. Currently, I'm considering the Camp Lakes/Rawah Lakes/Twin Crater Lakes Loop Trail near Red Feather Lakes. Does anyone have experience? I'm mostly concerned about weather and temps; what rating sleeping bag should I take? I've seen temperature numbers all over the place, from 30 degrees to mid-fifties at night. 

I'm planning for two -- we're both in our fifties, athletic, and in good shape. We have good experience doing long day hikes but this will be the first multi-day trip for both of us.

If you can recommend a loop in Northern Colorado, let me know. I'm open to considering just about anything. I'd just like to know what to expect so I can pack accordingly. 

Thanks for your help!

Cary

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Aaron

Hi Cary and welcome to the forum. I haven’t hiked that particular loop but in regards to the sleeping bag, at that type of elevation outside of winter I take a 20 degree bag and call it good. One thing I’ve also done is keep a 20 degree and a 30 degree bag (or close to it) in the rotation and then take the bag that fits the forecast the best right before the trip.

That time of the year the 30 degree will work well in most cases...but I’ve also been snowed on with morning coffee freezing in my cup before I finish it in the Rockies in late August. A 20 degree bag is nice to have if that type of cold front rolls through!

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one19

Thanks, Aaron. Just the kind of advice I'm in need of. Appreciate it!

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Aaron

Glad that helps on the gear question. Let us know how the trip goes as well!

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one19

Will do. First have to get the planning and prep decisions made. Thanks again, Aaron.

Cary

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Bill Hensley

Cary, one of my favorite loops is in RMNP. From Grand Lake, to Big Meadow, to Haynack, over Flattop, Pine Martin, side hike to Natomis, then back to Grand Lake. Best of the Rockies.

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Philos 67

I've hiked that loop a couple times, although 15 years ago.  Camp Lake is forested.  The beauty of that loop is the middle part at and above timberline.  If you take 4 days, head on day hikes to Lakes #3, #4, and Twin Crater Lakes.  Camping at Lake #4 is incredible if you have good weather.  Otherwise camp closer to or below timberline.  I think the loop is about 20 miles.  You can easily make it 30 or 35 with day hikes or getting off the loop to get to the upper lakes and cirques.  The hike up to timberline, and down to the car is forest - pretty, but more an hors d'oeuvre and small dessert than full blown amazement you get at timberline.  Also, it can be crowded if you're up there on a weekend.  

http://www.hillmap.com/m/ag1zfmhpbGxtYXAtaGRychULEghTYXZlZE1hcBiAgIDuqoaoCQw

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