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Backpacker Magazine – October 2005

Top 3: Ridge Hikes

Live life on the edge as your dayhike three vertiginous ridges in Arizona, Vermont, and Colorado.

by: Annette McGivney and Lisa Densmore


©David Clifford

Mt. Sopris, CO
Climb past countless couloirs

The Hike
The way Sopris dominates the west side of the Roaring Fork River Valley, you expect a formidable, maybe technical, slog. But the trek over its two false summits and its twin 12,953-foot peaks is as much dramatic ridge walk as vertical climb. The tightrope begins 4 miles in, above the Thomas Lakes, and officially ends 2.5 miles--and countless cirques that plummet 1,500 feet on either side--later, atop the east peak. Walk the remaining .7 mile to the west peak while ogling the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness and the Rockies ranges beyond. With most of the gangplank hiking above 11,000 feet--some sections as narrow as 6 feet across--you won't have much trouble keeping your mind sharp.

The Wind Down
Soak up the world's largest hot springs, in Glenwood. www.hotspringspool.com

The Way
From Carbondale, go S on CO 133; turn left onto Prince Creek Road. Bear right toward Dinkle Lake and the trailhead. (970) 925-3445




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