Mar 21, 2012 at 10:21 am #1287584
Can someone recommend a good overnight trail(s) at lower altitudes in Colorado (preferably near Denver within a couple hours) that would be good the first week in April this year, 2012? I'm a novice backpacker and have two 12 year old boys with me. We're all in good shape. Thanks!Mar 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm #1858317
@timdcyLocale: Gore Range
I did an overnight trip last year in fall on the Beaver Brook/Judy Gaskill trail system which is located near Evergreen. The trailhead is very easy to get to, and there shouldn't be too much snow in the area… some of the front-rangers here may be able to say otherwise.
Not much in the way of wilderness, but the trail is pretty fun and you get some pretty good views of the Denver skyline. Here's a link:Mar 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm #1858351
Not much snow right now so that might be a good choice. It will depend on the weather between now and then. I really couldn't think of anyplace to go in April in a normal year.Mar 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm #1858430
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
Lost Creek Wilderness has some lower elevation areas on the eastern side. Aprial is still pretty early though.
If there is snow here are a couple tips.
1. The trail will vanish at some point. Be ready to use a map and compass or be willing to turn back if you honesty aren't comfortable with it. Lost Creek isn't really mountaineering country but there are some rugged areas and I almost got in trouble a couple times in the snow.
2. Be aware that snow may soften up later in the day. I once hiked up to 12,000 feet on three feet of solid snow. Than it melted in the sun and it was a very miserable slog back out.
Good luck. REI in Denver usually has a good Trails Illustrated map of the area.
Edit – About the closest you can get to Denver are the first couple sections of the Colorado Trail. The only downside its its dry, probably drier than normal this year so make sure you bring enough water.Mar 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm #1858470
Be aware that segment 1 of the CT is closing again on April 1st for 3 weeks. If there isn't snow between now and the trip the first couple of segments might well be a good choice. I leave a few miles directly north of the CT and we still have snow in the trees on north slopes. But it hit 70 (!!!) today so if this keeps up it, there sure won't be much left. Great for hiking but we're looking bad for fire season so far.Mar 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm #1858471
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
If the CT is close the alternate route (which skips roughly 6 miles of Segment 1) is the Indian Creek trail to the south (more attractive in my opinion anyway).Mar 24, 2012 at 11:22 am #1858672
White Ranch has some camp sites that are pretty nice and would be easy for a couple kids to get to.
http://jeffco.us/openspace/openspace_T56_R57.htmMar 26, 2012 at 9:56 am #1859480
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
Yeah, I'll +1 Lost Creek. As has been said, in any other year April around here can still be rather extreme, but this winter has been a great disappointment to the skiers. It's still getting damned cold every now and then, though, so be ready for it.
Also, out here "low elevation" is a relative term… :)Mar 27, 2012 at 8:01 pm #1860288
So if you live in Denver you already know about the Lower North Fork fire. They are predicting 4 days to contain it. The early segments of the CT maybe a bad choice for next week. There's no snow in the forecast and we're on our way to the driest March in recorded history. This is the earliest I've seen fire bans. Please check with the NFS on fire bans/restrictions wherever you end up going.
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