Don't hate me.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:20 PM
Now for the brutally honest part.
I LOVE GLACIER NATIONAL PARK!
There i said it.
I have been visiting GNP since my honeymoon in 1998. I am stepping way out of my comfort zone by agreeing to skip my 2 weeks in Glacier this summer for a trip to RMNP.
This is where you guys come in.
Help me plan a fantastic trip?
Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:26 PM
It would be helpful to us if you would give us some idea for what kind of trip you are looking for? Are you a mountain climbing machine who wants to hit all the peaks? Want to mix it up between day hikes and driving/sightseeing? Backcountry tent or amenities-chocked condo? Any and all of this is available, so let us know which way to steer you.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:32 PM
My initial inclination based on limited reading is a BC site in Glacier Gorge with the intention of bagging Pagoda and possibly Chief's Head :)
But I am open to any and all suggestions. You guys are the experts around here.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:52 PM
Posted 26 January 2012 - 03:39 PM
Yeppers! You can love more than one park!
Edited by foxfire, 26 January 2012 - 03:40 PM.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 03:50 PM
Pagoda and Chiefshead are worthy goals, indeed.
There are no trails up either peak.
It sounds like you'll be spending two weeks in the area. GG is not to be missed but a longer trip on the west side will give you more solitude.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 03:55 PM
a longer trip on the west side will give you more solitude.
Priceless info! Thanks!
I will be picking all of your brains more and more as we get closer. We are looking at the first week of August.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 04:40 PM
Posted 26 January 2012 - 04:41 PM
Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:07 PM
I can definitely help with GNP trip planning!
If you stick around, we may pick your brains about planning trips to Glacier too.
If you are camping in the backcountry (woo hoo for another backpacker around here!!!) you need to plan on calling the backcountry office on March 1 to reserve your site(s). Glacier Gorge site is one of the best, as is Upper Ouzel Creek in Wild Basin. Sandbeach Lake is a great starting point for climbing Chiefs Head. The key is to get your plan together before March 1 so the best sites aren't booked when you'll be there.
Any suggestions for a perfect 3 day BC? A nice 3-4 day loop with no more than 8 miles a day would be ideal.
I would like to know more about the Chapin/Chiquita/Ypsilon hike. What would be the total mileage/elevation gain?
Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:49 PM
Across the Divide (requires 2 vehicles)
One possibility is to hike from a couple of different trailheads moving halfway through your trip like this:
I loved my trip to the Bluebird Lake area last year. You can stay upto three nights at one site and dayhike from there.(check out part 5 and 6 also from my links at the end of this report)
From Sandbeach Lake, you can get to Chiefs Head. (check out part 6 also)
The first few parts of this report show destinations you can reach by making Glacier Gorge your backcountry base camp.
Making the Lawn Lake area your base camp would give you a shot at summitting Mummy, Hagues, and Fairchild. You could move camp to near Ypsilon Lake for another night or two and go up above treeline to Spectacle Lakes.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:00 PM
Link to backcountry sites
Just to clarify: there aren't a lot of good LOOP options in RMNP. North Inlet/Tonahutu Trail is probably the best loop. But there are a lot of good options that aren't loops. You can also save pack weight by hiking out to your car, moving to another trailhead (reloading your food canister) and going to another amazing backcountry site.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:06 PM
That is some reading....thanks as our July trip looks like a backpack with son and son in law
Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:22 PM
One thing I'll point out though is the Park instates "Winter Regs." from after Labor Day until Memorial Day. Winter regs. are: camp away from campsites if pads are covered in snow and camp on rock or snow/away from streams. Camping is in zones instead of the campsites and that gives quiet a bit of liberty to where you put your camp. The permits are also much easier to obtain as it seems to be only the hardy ones that camp the shoulder seasons.
The big spring melt down usually begins the week before Memorial Day. It's cool to see the streams opening up down around 9500 ft. and winter still holding on above 11,000 ft.
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