|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – November 2012
Discover your own private Rockies paradise.
Start with the Grass Creek Yurt at 9,000 feet and link the following yurts: Montgomery Pass, Clark Peak or Ruby Jewel (they’re 700 feet apart), and North Fork Canadian. Each day’s hike is about 4.5 miles, but the short days allow for adventurous side hikes. From Clark Peak or Ruby Jewel yurt (at 9,600 feet), take a six-mile round-trip hike to Jewel Lake, a small tarn set within a deep, steep-walled cirque below Clark Peak. Or, about a mile before reaching Jewel Lake, take a trail branching right (marked by a cairn) all the way up 12,951-foot Clark Peak, the highest in the Medicine Bow Mountains, for a panorama of 12,000-footers and a bird’s-eye view of the Rawah Wilderness; allow six to eight hours round-trip for the climb. Plan an extra day at North Fork Canadian yurt for the 12-mile out-and-back trip to Kelly Lake to fish for lunker rainbows that weigh as much as two pounds.
Season Mid-July to mid-August for wildflowers; fall for fewer bugs
Map BACKPACKER PRO Map Never Summer Yurts ($20; backpacker.com/promaps)
Get there Begin at the Grass Creek trailhead on CR 41; leave a shuttle at the County Road 41 trailhead past North Fork Canadian Yurt.
Cost/info $60-$80/night (summer), $90-$120/night (winter); neversummernordic.com