Tread the Rockies’ rooftop on this spectacular trek through the Front Range. It’s six days of alpine splendor: Mountain goats skip through wildflower fields, mining ruins abound, and steely summits rise in all directions. Charge your camera battery, pack a windshell, and soar up a route that rambles mostly between 10,000 and 13,000 feet.
Day one starts with a three-mile climb through conifers, then crosses the exposed talus fields of the Tenmile Range. Camp below treeline near Miners Creek. On day two, you’ll wind across wooded slopes overlooking the Swan River and hunker down for the night among the pines above Horseshoe Gulch. Day three’s route stays just below treeline but peeks through openings back across the Tenmile Range. On day four, you enter the alpine zone where 13,370-foot Mt. Guyot looms above flower-filled tundra and marmots whistle at you.
“We saw herds of mountain goats,” says team leader Katie Richards, “and one even came within seven feet of us.” After crossing the Continental Divide, scale 14,270-foot Grays Peak for views over two watersheds. Follow Stevens Gulch down to Bakerville to finish.
-Text by Kelly Bastone
-Mapped by Team 23: Katie Richards, Kim Phillips, Kevin Hollebeek, Matt Vellone, and Chic Chilcott