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3-4 day hikes in Rockies


JHaveman
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I am looking at taking a 3-4 day hiking trip in Colorado/Wyoming/Montana area with my family (my two kids are aged 15 and 17) sometime in mid-July, or August. Dates are pretty flexible anywhere in that 6-7 week window. I am looking for suggestions on good “loops” or hikes where a shuttle service is available as I won’t have 2 cars with me.

Some areas I have heard about, but know very little are: Glacier NP, Wind River Range (we did take a trip to Yellowstone/Grand Teton about 8 years ago, but only did day hiking)

I am not set on those areas, but I am really looking for a good experience. Does anyone have a good suggestion? I am pretty new to this activity, so I will

have a ton of questions.

Thanks!

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I am looking at taking a 3-4 day hiking trip in Colorado/Wyoming/Montana area with my family (my two kids are aged 15 and 17) sometime in mid-July, or August. Dates are pretty flexible anywhere in that 6-7 week window. I am looking for suggestions on good “loops” or hikes where a shuttle service is available as I won’t have 2 cars with me.

Some areas I have heard about, but know very little are: Glacier NP, Wind River Range (we did take a trip to Yellowstone/Grand Teton about 8 years ago, but only did day hiking)

I am not set on those areas, but I am really looking for a good experience. Does anyone have a good suggestion? I am pretty new to this activity, so I will

have a ton of questions.

Thanks!

There are a bunch of loop hikes that are in the wind river range. Do you have an idea of how many miles per day you guys would be wanting to do? The one problem with the wind river range is there are a lot of mosquito until later in the year (late august).

There are also a lot of options in colorado. Rocky mountain national park should be on your short list of places to visit too. Lots of day hiking and loops in there and estes park is a fun place to visit.

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We are looking to do about 5-8 miles per day. Could be more or less depending on the severity of the terrain and things to see along the way. We are taking 2 weeks so I am actually thinking of a 3 to 4 day hike and then a 2 to 3 day hike in a different location.

What other areas do you recommend?

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For 3-4 days these two in the Wind Rivers are tough to beat.

Head to Big Sandy Trailhead n. of Rock Springs, and SE of Pinedale. Best loop is Big Sandy Trail Head, Big Sandy Lake, Jackass Pass, Texas Pass, Shadow Lake, Marms's Lake, Dad's L. and back to Big Sandy Trailhead. OR from Big Sandy TH make a left after 1/2 mile and head to Dad's L. then Marm's, then up to East Fork Valley to Skull L and Pyramid. This one is easier than the first but is not a loop.

Trekkerman

(Take a fishing rod)

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We are looking to do about 5-8 miles per day. Could be more or less depending on the severity of the terrain and things to see along the way. We are taking 2 weeks so I am actually thinking of a 3 to 4 day hike and then a 2 to 3 day hike in a different location.

What other areas do you recommend?

Zion can be pretty warm in the middle of the summer, but still doable. Check out issue #7 for a trip i did in zion. I would definitely recommend hiking from lava point down the west rim trail and then eventually down into the main canyon past angels landing. That'll take up about 15-20 miles if i remember correctly. Afterwards you can cool off with a dayhike from the bottom of the narrows. you'll need a shuttle, but there are options in springdale.

5-8 miles a day doesn't give you much to work with in the wind rivers as its quite a few miles to get into the backcountry, and shuttles aren't easy unless you have two cars.

I would recommend the 4 pass loop near aspen if you want drop dead gorgeous hiking and no permit red tape in colorado. its around 26 miles and would be good in late july and august. Rocky mountain national park is great, and you can hike in on the grand lake side without many crowds (summerland park and the north inlet trail are great that time of year).

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Wow, thanks for the info. I am hearing a lot of suggestions for the 4 loop pass. 26 miles seems like a decent 3 to 4 day trip? No permit required? Is there a good on-line resource to use to look at trail maps, etc. for this loop? Also, I assume there is a permit required for Rocky Mountain NP?

Thanks for the help!

Edited by JHaveman
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Check out issue number 13 for some resources on the 4 pass loop. There is a permit, but its a free permit and there aren't any reservations or quotas needed as of last year. They are requiring bear proof containers now though. Rocky mountain national park does require paid permits (and does take reservations), and also will require bear proof containers. Both areas are at a higher elevation, so if you're from a lower elevation 3-4 days will allow you take your time and still be able to breathe.

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  • Premium Member
Aaron Zagrodnick

Wow, thanks for the info. I am hearing a lot of suggestions for the 4 loop pass. 26 miles seems like a decent 3 to 4 day trip? No permit required? Is there a good on-line resource to use to look at trail maps, etc. for this loop?

Here's a direct link to Ted's article on the Four Pass Loop:

http://www.trailgroove.com/issue13.html?autoflip=87

Page 90 & 106 should help! Also this might be a good read as well:

http://www.trailgroove.com/issue19.html?autoflip=11

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Wow, thanks for the info. I am hearing a lot of suggestions for the 4 loop pass.

Better as a day-hike, homes: http://www.trailgroove.com/issue18.html?autoflip=63

For a 3- or 4-day backpack in Colorado, I'd suggest going into the San Juans between Durango and Silverton. The Needles and Grenadiers are some of the best mountains in the state, and you can choose either company (Chicago Basin) or solitude (Vestal Basin).

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can't go wrong with the 4 pass loop. I would argue it's the best backpack in Colorado. Permit required but they are self issue at the trailhead (and cost nothing).

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