We will be using some vacation hours this week! I will be taking my son and one of his classmates hiking in Colorado. We are looking forward to the spectacular views, cool mountain air and remoteness. For this trip we will be off road vehicle based in the Toyota 4runner, traversing Forest Services roads and practicing dispersed camping within the National Forests (Arapaho & Pike/San Isabel).
Our first goal is to hike the Arapaho Glacier Trail to summit South Arapaho Peak (13,508') within the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Here is the official write up from alltrails.com. South Arapaho Peak via Arapaho Glacier Trail is a 13 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Elevation gain 3,638'.
For this hike we will base camp near the Rainbow Lakes Campground area which is northwest of Nederland. Our base camp area will be roughly 9,870' MSL. We chose this hike for the great views promised, including the Arapaho glacier.
Our second goal is to summit Mt. Elbert (14,440') the highest peak in CO and the second highest mountain in the lower 48.... the highest being Mt Whitney (14,505') in the CA sierras. Since Seth and I have already summited Whitney this will be a great one to bag!
For our Mt. Elbert attempt we will be using the Northeast Ridge Trail here again is the official write up from alltrails- At 14,440 feet Mount Elbert is the highest point in the Sawatch Range as well as the state. On this 10.3 mile 4,500 foot climb you'll be above the treeline so be prepared. You will also be at a high altitude so make sure you allow yourself plenty of time. Also, make sure to get a VERY early start because thunderstorms roll in during summer afternoons and it is highly dangerous to be above the treeline in a storm. This trail is rated as Hard.
For this portion of the adventure we will base camp in the national forest near Elbert Creek Campground which is situated at about 10,000' between Mt Massive and Mt Elbert, just southwest of Leadville CO.
We will document everything using our GoPro 7 Black and hopefully upload trip details in a timely manner. Obviously there will be times when we will have no service- starting Tuesday evening. My intent is to provide a coherent account of the entire trip organized here should anyone wish to replicate our adventure. Bear with me though as I am a sea level Florida Man so coherent thought may be elusive up there! Included is a user pic of South Arapaho peak taken from alltrails...