Back-country Hiking in RMNP


I just returned from a back-country hiking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado with my husband. It was my first experience to hike into the back-country and spend the night. We were gone three days and two nights.

Our hike began on the West side of the park at the North Inlet Trailhead. On our first day, we hiked ten miles to the July campground where we spent the night and saw moose along the way. We arrived wet and cold because it had rained much of the day. I was so happy to take off my wet socks. I woke up at 4 AM to the sound of some moose calls, but got back to sleep quickly.

View from the Tent: Filtering Water at the Creek at Site 1

The next day, we only had to hike back down the mountain for three miles to get to our second camp site at Porcupine. That's good because we both had sore legs - a hurt calf for my husband and a hurt knee for me. To get to the site, we hiked across a long, wooden log (top photo). We were excited to have a firepit there, but it's hard to keep a fire going with wet wood. The creek was beautiful and every once in awhile, we had a bit of sunshine to warm up in.

On the second night, it was cold in the tent and my 20 degree sleeping bag couldn't keep me warm enough. In the morning, we found ice on our tent. We began our hike back to the trail head with frozen fingers and toes. My Hot Hands hand warmers helped, though.

We rented hiking gear for about $100 dollars at Warming House in Estes Park and I'm glad we did, but my Gregory Deva backpack dug into my shoulder blades like crazy. (It's probably an old model - they're supposed to be good backpacks.) We hurried back to the car in order to be rid of our heavy backpacks sooner and were surprised when a huge moose seemed to suddenly be on the trail. I was scared. He was scared. I froze and he walked away making his own path right through the trees. When you're that big, nothing stands in your way!

Just Arrived at the 2nd Camp!

I was surprised at how little I wanted to eat along the way. My favorite foods were trail mix and homemade almond butter bars. We stopped at the RMNP Alpine Visitor Center on the way back for the best tasting hot dog covered in chili and cheese ever - my appetite was back!

It was a gorgeous trail and both camps were nice sites with creeks running by our tent. The trail had many water crossings with wooden bridges and there was a river along the trail much of the way. I had a great time, but it's nice to be back in the RV with a refrigerator, running water and a heater.

Comments

  1. I heard Breckenridge had snow a couple of weeks ago. Glad to see you had a great time!

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    Replies
    1. One of the thru-hikers we talked to on the trail did experience snow. Brrr...

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  2. Looks spectacular!

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    Replies
    1. I wish I'd taken more pictures! So much beauty- the river, mountains and pine trees were so pretty!

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  3. I have never done an overnight hiking trip but would love to someday. A big dream is doing the Appalacian Trail (in parts).

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    Replies
    1. Then I bet you know all about Pharr and Jurek and their fast finishes of that trail. Wouldn't be surprised if hiking that trail becomes even more popular now!

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  4. I am with ya...I like hiking, but all the stuff you need to bring...I think I get too tired and sore. However, my kids are really getting into it...so it looks like I will have to learn to like it more!

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    Replies
    1. With the right gear, I'm sure it would be less painful on my shoulders. At least they recovered fast!

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  5. Wow, absolutely beautiful.

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  6. What a neat adventure! RV camping and back country camping are very different :) Pretty neat y'all got to see several moose. That one on the trail would have scared me, too!

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