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DayHiker.com • View topic - RMNP dayhike

RMNP dayhike

RMNP dayhike

Postby Van-Go » Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:10 pm

Recently returned from 77 miles of hiking in RMNP. The plan was to backpack/camp but foul weather turned several of my overnighters into dayhikes. I proved to myself I could have dayhiked nearly all of these routes. All these hikes are beautiful and if fit you can do them in a long day. The mileage isn't long but they include climbs and less oxygen as much of it is above 8,600 ft.

Lake Loop: 15 miles. Take shuttle from the Park-n-ride and start at Bear Lake. Loop is clockwise hiking uphill past Sourdough camp and hitting Odessa, Fern, and Cub lakes before taking an easterly turn past Bierstadt Lake and on to you car at the Park-n-ride.

Across the Park: 16 miles one way. I stashed a suitcase at the Grand View Inn in Grand Lake, CO, so that I could spend the night, get a change of clothes and new food, before heading back. It was a lariat which included a different trail west of the divide on the way there vs. the way back. After dropping the suitcase I then drove around through Estes Park and parked at the Park-n-ride. I took a shuttle to Glacier Gorge Junction and started my hike (supposed to be an overnighter at Renegade but we had horrible weather - rain/sleet/wind and a submerged camp - so we kept going and I did it with a full pack in one day - though my overnight pack sans food/water is sub 9lbs).

The route:

Glacier Gorge Junction TH and hike up to the divide at Flattop Mountain, cross the Bighorn Flats viat the N. Tonahutu Trail Turn south at Big Meadows (once you pass the sites of Sunset/Sunrise) and on to Grand Lake. Take the trail/road to Grand Lake Lodge and hike out to Hwy 34 - walk along the road 1 mile to Grand Lake.

To return:

Hike from your position in Grand Lake towards the water treatment plant (anyone can tell you) and turn off the paved road until you get to the North Inlet TH. Hike on a right of way to Summerland Park and continue the N. Inlet Trail to Flattop Mountain and retrace your steps to the shuttle at Glacier Gorge Junction. Free shuttle back to your car.

Lock Vale and Glacier Gorge: 12-14 miles. Leave the Glacier Gorge Junction TH and hike to Black Lake in Glacier Gorge and return to the turn-off and then head SW to The Lock going all the way to Andrews Glacier - a nice side trip (if you can manage) is up to Sky Pond.

Of course, you can always do the Glacier Gorge TH to Flattop and back or the Longs Peak TH to the summit and back (14 miles)

All of these hikes are above 8500 ft. altitude with Flattop being just under 12,000 (side trip up Hallett Peak will put you above 12K) and Longs is not for the faint of heart at 14, 200 and change.

As with all hikes above treeline be off Longs, Flattop, and Bighorn Flats by 1pm at the latest to avoid weather and lightning.

I put in 77 miles and was supposed to stay 5 nights but only managed 3 nights out. I was also supposed to stay at the Boulderfield on my Longs summit day but a call for 20 degrees and snow (in August) kept me at the trailhead and I did it as a dayhike.
Van-Go
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:07 pm
Location: Wilmington, NC

Re: RMNP dayhike

Postby robertjmiller » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:02 am

nice, those long hikes sounds like fun. I have done some shorter ones including and .
robertjmiller
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:02 am

Postby Van-Go » Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:38 pm

Robert:

Those are nice hikes and part of my route as well. Enjoyed your pictures - very nice.

Btw, "Loch" not "Lock." Once noticed I could not return back in to edit.
Van-Go
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:07 pm
Location: Wilmington, NC


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