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Backpacker Magazine – January 2011

Trip Finder: Rockies

Your favorite Rockies hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

by: Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Longs Peak, CO. (Glenn Randall)
Longs Peak, CO. (Glenn Randall)
Reader expert Chris Connelly, of Windsor, CO.
Reader expert Chris Connelly, of Windsor, CO.


DAYHIKES

WILDFLOWERS Rustler Gulch Trail, CO
In late July, the mountains above Crested Butte go kaleidoscopic with chiming bell, Indian paintbrush, cow parsnip, and columbine. Sample the show on a mellow, 10-mile round-trip hike through Gunnison NF north of Gothic. Bonus: views of crumbling Precarious Peak. fs.fed.us/r2/gmug

PEAKBAGGING Scotchman Peak Trail, ID
Yes, the ascent is leg-quiveringly steep. But the reward for grunting your way up 3,700 feet in 4.2 miles to Scotchman Peak’s 7,009-foot summit? Equally breathtaking vistas of the rugged peaks around your perch, including the Blacktop, Goat, and Sugarloaf Mountains. fs.usda.gov/ipnf

WILDLIFE Mt. Washburn Trail, WY
Want a highlight reel of Yellowstone’s A-list fauna, but don’t have a week to play hide and seek? Hike this 6.2-mile round-trip from the Dunraven trailhead to the lookout atop 10,243-foot Mt. Washburn, says Frasier. He’s spotted bison, elk, and a mama grizzly with cubs all in one hike. nps.gov/yell



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