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Old 10-10-2015, 03:57 PM
 
6 posts, read 4,392 times
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Hi all,

I will be visiting a friend that recently moved to Denver and we are hoping to go backpacking while I am in town. Does anyone have any recommendations for ~30 mile routes near/around a water source with relatively low elevation gain? We are both experienced hikers from NY but I have no experience with how the higher elevation will affect me. It seems like even the flatter trails I find info on online seem to reach 12,000 feet. Any insight or advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-10-2015, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
943 posts, read 1,253,693 times
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Bring a lot of water.
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Old 10-10-2015, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
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Lost Creek Wilderness is lower in elevation, and not too far from Denver.

At any rate, this late in the season you really need to watch the weather and/or be prepared for winter conditions. Would you be able to pack it out 10-15 miles with a foot of snow (or more) on the ground?
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Old 10-10-2015, 05:17 PM
 
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If you are just coming into town for a brief visit, I'd suggest that you not head into the mountains West of Denver since you'll not have time to acclimate to the altitude. 30 miles ... while maybe well within your ability at lower elevations ... is a pretty aggressive hike with a backpack at altitude, even if there's not much elevation change.

IMO, your best hiking would be to stay close in around the front range area. Consider Chatfield Res area or Waterton Canyon hikes. You'll also avoid the possible weather extremes that may reach the mountain areas.
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:28 PM
 
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Don't forget to buy a Colorado Search and Rescue card so if someone has to find you they can be reimbursed. They are cheap!
https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dol...ue-corsar-card
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:37 PM
 
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Thank you all for the initial comments. I've seen Lost Creek pop up a couple places online, it sounds very appealing. Does anyone have any experience with the Buffalo Peaks wilderness? I found a 20+ mile loop there around 10,000 ft that looks promising as well, but that is west of Denver...

We have 4 season gear in case of snow and were hoping to spread 30 miles out across 3 days. From my initial search, both Chatfield and Waterton Canyon seem to be much shorter, civilized hikes. We were looking for a more backcountry experience, but it sounds like that may be a struggle since I will not be acclimated.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:08 PM
 
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Waterton Canyon is very civilized. Should you find yourself there for the purpose of acclimatizing remember that selfies with bears are strictly a no-no.
Denver Water: Stop trying to take selfies with bears in Waterton Canyon
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Old 10-11-2015, 03:59 AM
 
Location: Ken Caryl, CO
686 posts, read 2,142,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCarr518 View Post
Thank you all for the initial comments. I've seen Lost Creek pop up a couple places online, it sounds very appealing. Does anyone have any experience with the Buffalo Peaks wilderness? I found a 20+ mile loop there around 10,000 ft that looks promising as well, but that is west of Denver...

We have 4 season gear in case of snow and were hoping to spread 30 miles out across 3 days. From my initial search, both Chatfield and Waterton Canyon seem to be much shorter, civilized hikes. We were looking for a more backcountry experience, but it sounds like that may be a struggle since I will not be acclimated.
Unless you are climbing a 14'er I don't think you will have a super difficult of a time backpacking. Just drink water and rest when you need to. If you can find areas without a ton of elevation gain that would probably be even better. I took out of town guests to Staunton State Park for a decent hike last weekend and they made it fine. Neither Chatfield nor Waterton (which is closed anyway) would have near the length of backpacking you are looking for.
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Old 10-11-2015, 05:49 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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Why not hike Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs? or Red Rocks in Morrison, CO
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Most sources say to spend a day or two in the Denver area to acclimate to the altitude. Then you should be OK, assuming you are in good shape and have some common sense. This link has some good info.
Altitude Illness - Chapter 2 - 2016 Yellow Book | Travelers' Health | CDC
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