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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.



MULTIDAY
WILDFLOWERS Big Sandy to Highline Trail, WY
Score 80 miles of jagged Wind River peaks, huge trout, and flowers galore, says Chris Connelly (right). From Big Sandy trailhead, connect Jackass Pass, Cirque of the Towers, Texas Pass, Shadow Lake, and Upper Green River Lakes. See geranium, daisies, and raspberries. fs.fed.us/r4/btnf

PEAKBAGGING Longs Peak, CO
Earn your Rockies bona fides with this 43-mile loop across RMNP’s Continental Divide and back, ending on a sneak route up Longs. “It’s the most rewarding Fourteener I’ve ever done,” says Diane Mikulis. (See backpacker.com/grandloop for tracklogs, video, and more beta.)

WILDLIFE Big Salmon Lake Trail, MT
This 57-mile loop through the heart of the Bob teems with elk, moose, and bear. Pack a rod and dry flies: The trout fishing is “out of this world,” notes Frasier. From Holland Lake, track northeast to camp at Necklace Lakes, Big Salmon Lake, Flathead River, and Upper Holland Lake. fs.fed.us/r1/flathead


THE EXPERT
For Chris Connelly, 46, of Windsor, Colorado, last summer’s solo trip in the Wind Rivers was the year’s standout. Best campsite: open tundra benches 1,000 feet above Baldy Lakes on the third night.




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