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  1. #1
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    Default Cottonwood Pass Road Closed

    Me and my family are coming to Colorado for a little over a week at the end of July. After a show at Red Rocks, some rafting and some Jeep ridding we have 3 nights for backpacking. My cousin planned us a trip from Cottonwood pass to Twin Lakes starting the 1st of August. Luckily I just saw about the road closure. The family that is not hiking those days have already reserved lodging in Twin Lakes, so that is where we want to end our hike, and start the long drive home. Any alt starting points close with similar mileage that connect with the CT south of Huron peak? Or something else 35-45 miles with a 14er (or close) ending at Twin Lakes?

  2. #2
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    You have a zillion options, I'll mention a couple when I get home tomorrow.

  3. #3

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    Your planned CT West northbound route was around 36 miles and had an optional 2.3 mile (one way) side trip to Huron Peak.

    Another option is a CT southbound route around 34 miles starting at Tennessee Pass Trailhead with an optional 3.5 mile (one way) side trip to Mount Massive or a 3.5 mile (one way) side trip to Mount Elbert.

    Another option is a CT East northbound route around 39 miles starting at Avalanche Trailhead with an optional 2 mile (one way) side trip to Mount Yale.

    These distances might be a little off depending on exactly where your Twin Lakes lodging is. I'm assuming your lodging is close to Twin Lakes Village.
    Last edited by map man; 07-04-2018 at 18:58.
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  4. #4

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    That hike from Avalanche to Twin Lakes is TOUGH and not as pretty as the west side, but definitely a good option. If you do that and scale Mt Yale don't miss the turn off to the peak (like some hikers I passed did)...if you start going down, you missed it.

  5. #5
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    I agree, stay on the West side.

    Without looking at any maps, which I will do later, I suggest getting a short ride up US82 to the La Plata trailhead, climb La Plata (a worthy 14er), descend towards Winfield on a good trail, hike up to the Huron Trailhead area, which has some great camping spots, climb Huron (without overnight gear), come down, break camp, and hike out over Hope Pass. OR do this in reverse so your pack is a bit lighter going over La Plata.... so restating this:

    Get a very short ride (a mile or so) west on US82 to the Willis Gulch t/h, head south on the CDT over Hope pass to the Huron t/h area, good camping there, climb Huron w/o overnight stuff, descend, pick up gear, retrace along the CDT to just past Winfield to the trail that leads to the Sayers BM/La Plata saddle, finish climb up La Plata, descend the standard La Plata route and either arrange for a ride from there (a few miles west on US82 from Twin Lakes), or hitch back to TL's. I'll show all this on a map later.

    One other possibility is to do a lollipop route over Hope Pass and do a loop that collects Missouri, Belford and Oxford (3 nice 14ers), and then return over Hope Pass.

    Edit: or better yet on this last option, instead of returning over Hope Pass, you can descend from Belford via the Pine Creek trail, which heads out to US 24, get picked up there. Or reverse this option.
    Last edited by colorado_rob; 07-05-2018 at 09:59.

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    Default

    Thanks for the suggestions. A map would be great.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by qpjeep420 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. A map would be great.
    If you are considering doing most of your hiking on the Colorado Trail on this trip then The Colorado Trail Databook would be very handy to have. It has rudimentary maps and lists useful info like where the water sources and many (though not all) good camping spots are. Here is a link to the Databook:

    https://www.amazon.com/Colorado-Trai...ok+7th+edition
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    Get the guthook app also...very helpful


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by qpjeep420 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. A map would be great.
    Attached is a map of what I mentioned earlier... Basically what I'm suggesting is a hike that includes the 14ers Belford, Oxford and possible Missouri. Your could start at the Pine Creek t/h along US 24, hike in and camp somewhere near where I put the label "camp 1", next morning slug it out up to Mount Belford, drop you pack, scamper over to Mt. Oxford and back, then descend into the Missouri Basin where I put the label "camp 2". If you're really saucy and the weather holds, you could scamper up and back from Missouri Mtn. that same day, or early the next morning. Then, finish the descent to county road 390, hike west for a couple of K's, then hike out to Twin Lakes over Hope pass.

    Yes, this would be a very strenuous hike. Maybe too much so, now that I think about it.

    Another more modest variation is to get dropped off at the Missouri Gulch t/h, hike up to the "camp 2", make camp, then continue up Missouri Mtn, back to camp, the next morning hike up to Belford, over to Oxford and back, then back to camp, back down to 390 for pickup.

    Or, starting at the Willis Gulch t/h just west of Twin Lakes, head south on the CDT (red line, then purple) over Hope pass to a camp near the base of Huron (the purple/yellow junction), climb Huron the next morning, back camp, pack up and hike back to maybe the half-way point along the purple line, camp there, then the next morning hike out back over Hope Pass to Willis Gulch.

    Whatever you do, I'd avoid the east side Colorado Trail in those parts, just south of Twin Lakes, that is, not scenic at all, dry and boring.

    More options later when I get some time.
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  10. #10
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    How about Tennessee Pass south to Twin Lakes. It is in the low 30's mile range but gives you options to knock out Massive and/or Elbert.
    Lonehiker

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    It just occurred to me that you will be doing some Jeep riding, implying maybe that your pals have a jeep, and if so, perhaps you could talk them into a ride over the very scenic Tin Cup pass, start your hike from somewhere along the west side of Tin Cup (actually, kinda the north side), starting your CT west side hike from there, down to Texas Creek, then over Lake Ann pass, Hope Pass, back to Twin Lakes. IIRC, Tin Cup pass is no biggie on the east (south-ish) side, way rougher ion the west (north-ish) side, though I recently drove a Subaru Forester over the entire thing, much to my wife's anxiety (her car!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    How about Tennessee Pass south to Twin Lakes. It is in the low 30's mile range but gives you options to knock out Massive and/or Elbert.
    Nuthin' wrong with this option, simpler than what I've so far described, but not quite as scenic. But still way better than the CT on the collegiate east side south of Twin Lakes.

  13. #13
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Tennessee Pass SOBO has the advantage of a safety valve bail out into Leadville if anything went wrong.
    Have fun!
    Wayne

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    How about Tennessee Pass south to Twin Lakes. It is in the low 30's mile range but gives you options to knock out Massive and/or Elbert.
    My cousin did this section last year and was wanting to do something different. But it is not out of the question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    It just occurred to me that you will be doing some Jeep riding, implying maybe that your pals have a jeep, and if so, perhaps you could talk them into a ride over the very scenic Tin Cup pass, start your hike from somewhere along the west side of Tin Cup (actually, kinda the north side), starting your CT west side hike from there, down to Texas Creek, then over Lake Ann pass, Hope Pass, back to Twin Lakes. IIRC, Tin Cup pass is no biggie on the east (south-ish) side, way rougher ion the west (north-ish) side, though I recently drove a Subaru Forester over the entire thing, much to my wife's anxiety (her car!).
    It is my jeep, but I will be leaving with them while we are on the trail, so rough access points are just fine. (and kind of preferred) Thanks for all the suggestions. That Tin Cup pass start is looking interesting.

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I think we are going to try and start at North Cottonwood Creek Trailhead, head over the divide and back to our planned route. I think that will only add about 2 miles and one climb. and same ending point. If anyone is interested in joining us we will be at the trailhead sometime on the morning of Aug 1st. We will be the Mississippi flatlanders huffing and puffing up the mountain!

  17. #17
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    The big question remains.... WHO are you seeing at Red Rocks? If you've never been there, you'll find it's a fantastic venue.

    If you have time, make sure to check out the little underground Rock and Roll museum... they have limited daytime hours though.

    Also, enjoy the rafting! I'm guessing Brown's Canyon....

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    Sorry for not sharing that earlier, we are seeing The Tedeschi Trucks Band on the 28th, then maybe on the 29th too. I have never been to Red Rocks, but several other family members have. I think we are going to eat there before the show, so will try to hit that museum. I am already trying to plan a return trip next summer for Widespread Panic.

    Or rafting trip is setup for Clear Creek in Idaho Springs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by qpjeep420 View Post
    Sorry for not sharing that earlier, we are seeing The Tedeschi Trucks Band on the 28th, then maybe on the 29th too. I have never been to Red Rocks, but several other family members have. I think we are going to eat there before the show, so will try to hit that museum. I am already trying to plan a return trip next summer for Widespread Panic.

    Or rafting trip is setup for Clear Creek in Idaho Springs.
    A buddy of mine just got back from Panic at RR few weeks ago....was incredible! Derek and Susan live close by....they always put on a great show....enjoy CO....an amazing place!


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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by qpjeep420 View Post
    I think we are going to try and start at North Cottonwood Creek Trailhead, head over the divide and back to our planned route. I think that will only add about 2 miles and one climb.
    I assume that from North Cottonwood Creek Trailhead you will head west to Browns Pass by way of Kroenke Lake Trail, then jog north for a bit on the Browns Pass Trail, then west again on the Texas Creek Trail until you strike the CT West. It looks like that adds more like 5 miles to your original plan and not 2, just to give you a heads up. On the plus side, you will get to hike through the heart of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, and that section from Kroenke Lake steeply up to the Continental Divide, then on to Browns Pass, is all above tree line and should be really scenic, though I admit I haven't hiked it.
    Last edited by map man; 07-10-2018 at 19:45.
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