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23parker
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Aug 2011
172 posts

Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Looking for recs on which way to head late September. Flying into Denver and looking to stay a few nights in the mountains.

Have been to Breckinridge and really enjoyed it, but want to hear some other suggestions. Also considered Estes.

Ideally within 2 hour drive from Denver.

Want to hike during the day and also be close to good options for dinner and drinks if possible at night.


kciDAtaE
Member since Apr 2017
10150 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
How can this not be Estes? 15 minutes away from some of the best hiking in the country.


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pjab
LSU Fan
NOLA/Denver
Member since Mar 2016
4964 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
You can go south to Salida and Monarch in about 3 hrs. Steamboat is about 3hrs as well. Grand Lake is on the west side of RMNP but it has a lot of burn scars from last year but there is a lot of land up there.

Anything within a 2 hrs drive of Denver will be packed. It’s worth the extra drive to get some breathing room.


hogfly
Arkansas Fan
Fayetteville, AR
Member since May 2014
3912 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
You'll be getting a little more into the off season by then. Salida is a good suggestion. Buena Vista is a little closer, and I was super surprised at how much it's developed. They have a little area there that basically looks like the Seaside of Mountain Towns. Here is the website for it: LINK /




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Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
31006 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Leadville.

Tennessee Pass. Shrine Pass off Redcliffe. Mt. Elbert Forebay. Independence Pass. All within an hour. Aspen groves everywhere.

Leadville is about two hours from the airport. Everyone will flock to Aspen, Eagle, Summit, RMNP ect. I can put you see some drives that definitely won't be overrun too.
This post was edited on 7/14 at 5:01 pm


23parker
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Aug 2011
172 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Appreciate all of the advice so far.

Would like to do another 14er. Did Quandary last year.


hogfly
Arkansas Fan
Fayetteville, AR
Member since May 2014
3912 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
If you do Salida or BV, you have the collegiate peaks there.


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MintBerry Crunch
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2010
3394 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Estes but get a day pass to the park on august 1


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Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
31006 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
quote:

Would like to do another 14er.


Sherman and Elbert are the two easiest options. Sherman is pretty damn easy for a 14er and it's right outside of Leadville. Elbert is a 25 minute drive south to near Twin Lakes. Be prepared for the possibility of snow up there by mid-september (I'm looking at Mt. Oxford with snow above 14k from today right now). You can easily hit Harvard/Oxford/Massive/La Plata from Leadville, but those take a bit more effort.

BV is about 45 minutes from Leadville too, and Cottonwood Pass area down there would be awesome for the leaves too.

I normally don't just recommend the Leadville area (since it's really small) for people to stay up here, but the fall colors are an exception because of the proximity to so much. Hour from Vail. 90 minutes to Aspen. 45 minutes to most of Summit. Less than an hour to BV. US 24 up to Minturn is a hell of a drive when the Aspens are turning. Have an AWD vehicle? Hit Shrine Pass out of Redcliffe, go through miles of Aspen groves, see some 14ers and the divide, then you're to the top of Vail Pass.



cgrand
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
HAMMOND
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27793 posts
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re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Leadville is a great close option
also the Morrison/Golden/evergreen area is spectacular


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OTIS2
LSU Fan
NoLA
Member since Jul 2008
46425 posts
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re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
I think Leadville is a great off the beaten path option .


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fatcatswag22
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Feb 2010
90 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Jumping in on this conversation since my wife and I are staying in Copper through July 30th, potentially a week more. Few questions...

Do y'all have any short day hike suggestions (3-5 miles) within 30 minutes of Copper that we can tackle during the week days? Disclosure, we're working remotely and can get out of work for the afternoon around 4pm, maybe sooner if we're lucky, so something that can be done in a couple hours.

We'd like to tackle at least one 14er while here. From reading this thread and other suggestions, I'm looking at Quandary, Gray & Torreys Peaks', Sherman, and Elbert. Reading about Sherman on Alltrails, it seems currently a PITA driving to, and Elbert is difficult for parking. Which of the Collegiate Peaks do you recommend? We're in-shape and relatively experienced hikers, if that helps.

Duke, I'm taking note of the scenic drives mentioned above. Do you have suggestions for great spots to grab lunch and beer after a hike, or for dinner options? Copper is kinda void of unique options, but it's a nice quiet resort.


Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
31006 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
What are you driving?

I'm assuming you got some AWD vehicle. There's a number of trailheads off Vail Pass and on the Shrine Pass road. Pretty quick drive over there from Copper.

Also, going north on CO 91 there is the Mayflower Gulch trailhead like 2/3-3/4 of the way to the top of Fremont Pass. Just a little farther up is another trail by a hell of a scenic lake surrounded by wall of rock.

Easy drive out from Copper. I'd ask around the resort and your bartenders for other ideas in Summit.

This is covering you for some quick hike options. Research and see specific trails if need be and if it's longer than you want...just don't go all the way.

I'll give you some Elbert advice and some other bigger weekend hike/drive options in another post.


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Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
31006 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
On the subject of 14ers, I may have you a work around for the Elbert parking situation.

You can either hit the Blackcloud trailhead off CO 82. You'll need to plug it into the GPS because it is not marked from the road and extremely easy to miss.

or

Take the Forest Service Road right next to the South Elbert Trailhead. It goes back to a second trailhead for Elbert, cuts off a mile from the start/finish. You will need AWD and it's only wide enough for one car.

Another option would be to hit the north trailhead, but you'll have to hike from the Halfmoon Campground before even getting to the trailhead. The road past the campground is closed until further notice.

For the Collegiates, maybe Belfort and Oxford off the Missouri Gulch trailhead. It's down off the Clear Creek Road right before you get to Vicksburg. Wildflowers should be on point back there. I know they were trying to make the Mt. Columbia trail not suck over the past couple of years, so that too might be worth checking out. Plus, if you're feeling up to it and the weather cooperates, you can hit the summit of Mt. Harvard from the top (but it's not easy).

If I can catch enough time in the next week or so, I'll take the road up to Sherman and check it out.

You need to take the Hope Pass hike too. You hit it from the Willis Gulch trailhead on CO 82, like two miles west of the Twin Lakes Village. It's well signed and part of the Colorado Trail. With the rain we've gotten recently, it's got to be wildflower explosion up there. Hell of a view overlooking Twin Lakes too. You can walk it all the way down to Winfield along Clear Creek or just to the summit of the pass. A good 3000 foot gain on that one, over about 4.5 miles.

quote:

Do you have suggestions for great spots to grab lunch and beer after a hike, or for dinner options?


Go see AJ at Angry James Brewery in Silverthorne.

For restaurants, just take the first exit for Frisco/Breckenridge and go down main street. People who come there and stay for skiing might have some better ideas. I'm an hour away from the Summit stuff, so I'm not as much use for that.
This post was edited on 7/15 at 9:25 pm


fatcatswag22
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Feb 2010
90 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Dude, appreciate the info. This is above and beyond. As for vehicle, I have a 2WD 4Runner (I know, oxymoron).

Mayflower Gulch looks perfect. I also have my eyes on Herman Gulch and Shrine Ridge as casual weekday/weekend hikes. Will be talking to some Copper folks tomorrow during beers. Hope Pass looks awesome; I may do that this Saturday or Sunday.

I will look into the 14ers. Now that I look at Mt Elbert, that looks intense. 5,100' climb over 11 miles I feel we can handle it, but need to test the waters with an easier 14er or similar hike first. In Oregon last month, we did a 6 mile out and back covering 3000' elevation gain for the 3 mile clikmb - that was a grind. Another note, I did find Mt Elbert via Blackcloud Trail on Alltrails (it's labeled Mount Elbert Southeast Ridge Trail).

Will check out Angry James. I've been enjoying some Outer Range so far. We were gonna head into Frisco Main St tomorrow for dinner.

Last, I was following the Colorado Trail thru-hiking thread and saw you're in Twin Lakes. I'll owe you a beer for the recs if you're around when making our way through.



Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
31006 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Elbert isn't crazy steep anywhere. Lots of switchbacks. The distance gets you, and the fact you really need to be up before sunrise the way the weather acts up there.

If you do Hope Pass on Saturday, swing by the visitor's center after. I'll be there after 1ish, volunteering as a local guide. Payment can be made in beer or edibles.


OTIS2
LSU Fan
NoLA
Member since Jul 2008
46425 posts
 Online 

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Duke, we passed through your welcome center back in late May. Really a nice stop. Pleasant people, and a very informative setup.


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jimbeam
US Army Fan
University of LSU
Member since Oct 2011
72381 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Leadville. Do Elbert. T


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Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
31006 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
Hitting Sherman on the Lake County side (Iowa Gulch) is pretty easy. Road is rocky but you could get a car up there clearance wise. Wife took the day off too and we went hiking.

And you absolutely should too. The wildflowers back there are on another level.


ChenierauTigre
LSU Fan
Dreamland
Member since Dec 2007
33445 posts

re: Colorado Mountain Town Mid September
I wish you were closer to Durango. I want someone to take me to Chaco Canyon.


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