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Old 04-05-2012, 06:12 PM
 
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A friend and I are looking at doing a three night backpacking adventure in the Colorado back country and are looking for suggestions. What we are looking for is a beautiful, but not strenuous, trip with decent lake or stream fishing along the way. We will not be fly fishing so hopefully the trout bite on Meps spinners.

We are coming from Iowa so don't want to drive to the far corners of Colorado. Somewhere in central/north central CO would be great. So far we are looking in RMNP, around the Breckenridge area, and Salida/Buena Vista areas. Dates are pretty open but we are looking at July/August.

All suggestions welcome.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:13 PM
 
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Also any suggestion on where to rent backpacking gear for a reasonable price?
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Staten Island, NY
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Lake Ester, Leadville area. Best backpacking trip I've ever been on. I'd rate it moderate+ in terms of difficulty, but definitely hiking, no climbing at all.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:08 PM
 
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Boo on the no "far corners of Colorado." I feel the most supernal backpack in Colorado is up Chicago Basin in the Needles. Hard to get to in so many ways, but that is what makes it worth it.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:40 PM
 
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I'd look at Eagles Nest Wilderness:

Eagles Nest Wilderness - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Very easy access from I-70 and Vail and within a mile north of the interstate you are in the boonies.

The wilderness is laced with graded forestry trails(20 mph) which makes for easy access to different parts of the wilderness.

There is also Piney Lake out there, which in my opinion is one of the best photo settings in Colorado.

The only man made structure out there I know of is Piney Ranch at the edge of Piney Lake and they have food and canoe rentals.

Image Search Results for piney lake vail
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke9686 View Post
Also any suggestion on where to rent backpacking gear for a reasonable price?
REI rents equipment.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke9686 View Post
A friend and I are looking at doing a three night backpacking adventure in the Colorado back country and are looking for suggestions. What we are looking for is a beautiful, but not strenuous, trip with decent lake or stream fishing along the way. We will not be fly fishing so hopefully the trout bite on Meps spinners.
The Holy Cross wilderness has the most water (streams, lakes, etc.) and is beautiful. I'd either recommend that or the eastern side of the Weminuche wildnerness.

If you're really into fishing, then you could try the Flattop Mountain wildnerness which have a number of lakes that receive little fishing pressure and therefore are good.

You probably already know this: you can get a detailed topo/trail map of each wildnerness published by National Geographic. That's what I would do if I were going backpacking.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:41 PM
 
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Understand that most of the Colorado mountains are now locked in very serious drought. Fire danger this summer is likely to be extreme, and streamflows are likely to be low in many areas. Water management guys I know tell me that, in many areas, streamflows may have already peaked--almost two months ahead of what is normal. This is the worst drought conditions I've seen this early since 1977, which was one of the very driest years on record in Colorado. The weather pattern may change, but if it doesn't, I wouldn't waste my money on a trip to Colorado. Head north to Montana, where they have had something approaching a normal winter.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:06 PM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
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But on the flip side, the snow levels are much lower in most places, which will open up a lot more hiking at higher elevations earlier in the year. A lot less chance of getting snowed out on your fourth of July backpacking trip this year.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by davemess10 View Post
But on the flip side, the snow levels are much lower in most places, which will open up a lot more hiking at higher elevations earlier in the year. A lot less chance of getting snowed out on your fourth of July backpacking trip this year.
Not much fun backpacking or camping if ALL open fires are banned (even campstoves), which, as things stand now, is a very real possibility this summer.
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