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Rip & Go: Four Pass Loop

Like peaks, lakes, and wildflowers? You'll love this Rockies classic in White River National Forest.


Breakfast 1
On the road

Lunches 1 & 2 PB and honey wraps
Dinner 1 
Four-Pasta Salad
Breakfasts 2, 3, 4 
Oatmeal w/ honey
Lunches 3 & 4
Sausage, cheese, and tomato paste wraps
Dinner 2
ramen with peanut butter
Dinner 3
Tortillas w/chicken and ranch
Maroon Mix, apples, energy bars, cheese sticks, jerky

Four-Pasta Salad
Easy, hearty Italian

1 cup rotini
1 small can black olives
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 ounces Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta cooks, soak tomatoes in hot water until soft. Drain both pasta and tomatoes. Combine all ingredients and stir until the cheese softens.

Maroon Mix
Flavorful gorp to match your surroundings

1 cup Cheerios
1 cup almonds
½ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup dried cherries
¼ cup dried cranberries

Combine all ingredients in a zip-top bag. If desired, let mixture sit in the sun until chocolate chips melt (about 10 minutes); shake well.

The Grocery List

[  ]  apples (produce)
[  ]  sun-dried tomatoes (salad bar)
[  ]  1 packet ranch dressing (salad bar)
[  ]  energy bars  (3)
[  ]  black olives (4)
[  ]  almonds  (5)
[  ]  chocolate chips  (5)
[  ]  dried cherries  (5)
[  ]  dried cranberries  (5)
[  ]  Cheerios  (6)
[  ]  peanut butter  (6)
[  ]  honey  (6)
[  ]  oatmeal  (6)
[  ]  Manchego cheese  (9)
[  ]  tomato paste  (10)
[  ]  tortillas  (11)
[  ]  rotini  (11)
[  ]  ramen  (11)
[  ]  chicken packet  (14)
[  ]  sausage  (15)
[  ]  cheese sticks  (15)
[  ]  beef jerky  (15)

Pack Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper


Clark’s Market
300 Puppy Smith Rd., Aspen, CO
(970) 925-8046

PIT STOP Swing by Little Annie’s for the beef stew, says Goff. Comfort foods like BBQ ribs, brats, and fried chicken fill out the menu. 517 Hyman Ave., Aspen, CO; (970) 925-1098;

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  1. seansean2424yahoo-com

    Its CLOCKWISE dummies! The description above regarding the route is correct besides that first and major “counterclockwise” part lol. I just got back, absolutely stunning scenery and fantastic hiking. Many suggestions for you, but to start with the above description, the directions follow a “Clockwise” route, starting from the Maroon Lake Trailhead and heading South East to Maroon Pass and then North West to the Wall and finally East to end and connect back to the main trail in between Crater Lake and Maroon Lake, a clockwise route. That being said, you can follow a counterclockwise route, but the directions above would be backwards, and this route starts off rather steep, vs the clockwise route that starts off moderately steep. Also, the campsite #’s on the maps at Maroon Bells are incorrect, although placed correctly, the #’s are backwards. Major suggestion that I learned the hard way: this is a MISSION backpacking trip, not a leisurely trip; pack extra light, those 4 passes will beat you with a heavy pack, and prepare for anything, ice and snow on the passes with strong wind, thunderstorms and lightning in summer afternoons. Bear canisters are required. Fires are restricted in some camp sites, “discouraged” in others, I brought my hatchet and was well worth it, my trip was end of Sept 2016 and the temp dropped to 20f in the early AM with everything frosted over, keep your water inside tent when sleeping. I regrettably brought fishing equipment, wouldn’t suggest it, Snowmass Lake might give you some luck, but once again this route is a mission, not much time for leisure, depending on daylight. If you want to park your car at the trailhead you need to get there before 8am, after the only way up is on the tourist bus, which I drove overnight to avoid. Good luck and have fun!

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    • littlebuddy

      I ran the Loop several years ago in late August. Took 9-10 hours – spent a lot of time looking at the incredible scenery. No problem wading the creeks that time of year. Carried the ice axe, but did not need it. July 2015 might need an axe on some snow patches, but if you are comfortable on soft snow or can find away around the snow, maybe not. Best part was during the week, I only met two backpackers, so I had the place to myself most of the time. It is an incredible adventure run!!

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