NostalgicOutdoors™- Rocky Mountain National Park- Backcountry Wilderness Camping Guide


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NostalgicOutdoors™- Rocky Mountain National Park- Backcountry Wilderness Camping Guide

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NostalgicOutdoors™- Rocky Mountain National Park- Backcountry Wilderness Camping Guide

  1. 1. Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Wilderness Camping Guide Planning your trip The first step in planning your trip is to decide where you want to camp and for what length of time. We suggest you purchase a Rocky Mountain National Park topographical map to choose a destination and route. You can then use the map on the inside of this guide, to select backcountry campsites. As you plan your trip, take into consideration the physical condition of the least experienced member of your party, and the distance and elevation gain from the trailhead to your destination. Rocky Mountain National Park is a high elevation park. If you live at sea level, it will take you several days to become acclimated to this elevation. Most trails begin above 7,000 feet (2,000 meters) and climb abruptly higher. If you are not acclimated, you can get high altitude sickness. Rangers recommend that you spend at least one night at 7,000 or 8,000 feet (2,000 or 2,500 meters) prior to setting out. This will allow your body to begin to adjust to the elevation. When you visit or call the park, discuss your plans with a ranger. Find out whether snow has melted from the trails and destination where you wish to hike. Check the weather forecast before starting on your trip. Be aware that mountain weather changes very quickly. Within just a few hours, bright sunny skies may give way to raging storms. High winds often occur in the high country. Wind chill accelerates the lowering of body temperature which can result in hypothermia. Proper clothing is your first line of defense against cold. Plan to dress in layers so you can regulate your temperature by bundling up or peeling down. Be sure to pack rain and storm gear. Remember, you assume complete responsibility for your own safety and that of your group while hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. Welcome to the backcountry wilderness of Rocky Mountain National Park. We hope you will use this guide to plan a safe, enjoyable and memorable trip. This guide includes information on how to plan for your trip, obtain a backcountry permit, use the trails, set up camp, hike in a cross-country area, and care for the backcountry. In addition to reading this guide, please read the following free publications: Rocky Mountain National Park Newspaper, Fishing, Bear Lake Area Hiking, Longs Peak Keyhole Route, and Hiking in the Kawuneeche valley. These are available at park visitor centers. You may also call (970) 586-1206 for general park information or to request specific brochures. You may order any of the following publications by phoning the Rocky Mountain Nature Association at (970) 586-0121: Trails IllustratedTopographic Map of Rocky Mountain National Park; Backpacking One Step at aTime, Manning; Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park, Dannen. There are many other excellent sources on backcountry hiking and camping. Take the time to learn the seven Leave No Trace ethics, how to backpack safely, and how to care for the environment. Always remember this is your park. Its 265,828 acres are a resource for not only you but many future generations. Because the backcountry regions of the park have greatly increased in popularity over the last few years, we need to enlist your support as “keepers of the royal lands”, the historic charge given to park rangers. We hope you enjoy your stay in one of America’s premier backpacking destinations. Backcountry waterfall
  2. 2. PERMIT PARAMETERS Designated sites • Individual sites: For parties of one to seven people. Each party is assigned one campsite. Each camping area has one to six sites. We recommend you travel in small parties as fewer people per site leave less impact on Rocky’s fragile backcountry. • Group sites: For parties of eight to 12 people. Groups must camp at special sites. Because of impact caused by group interaction in and between sites (site spread, social trails, etc.), groups over seven persons may not camp in neighboring individual sites but must use group sites or split up and camp at least one mile apart. • No more than three consecutive nights in one camp area. Cross-country areas Cross-country areas are the least traveled and least accessible places in Rocky Mountain National Park. Stock are not permitted to travel in these areas. Those who travel here must be skilled with a map and compass and must be proficient in Leave No Trace camping and hiking ethics and techniques. Cross-country areas are remote areas characterized by rugged terrain, dense forests, icy streams and wet bogs. These areas are below treeline. Fires are not allowed. There are no developed campsites, no developed trails, and no pit toilets. The following regulations and guidelines, in addition to those listed above, apply to cross-country area campers. • Have no more than seven people in your party. • Plan more hiking time to get to your destination than if you were on a trail. • Use a portable stove for cooking. • Stay within the boundaries of the cross-country area. • Camp at least 70 adult steps (200 feet/60 meters) away from any water source. • Be out of sight and sound of any other party. • Move your camp at least one mile (1.6 kilometers) each day. • No more than two consecutive nights in one cross-country area. THE PERMIT You must have a backcountry permit to camp overnight in the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park. You can pick one up at the Headquarters Backcountry Office (beside the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center on Highway 36 west of Estes Park, CO) or at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center (Highway 34, north of Grand Lake, CO). To minimize impact on the park’s resources, the number of permits issued is limited. You may obtain day-of-trip permits in person year‑round. You may make reservations by mail or in person anytime after March 1 for a permit for that calendar year. You may only make reservations by phone from March 1 to May 15 and anytime after October 1 for a permit for that calendar year. Write: Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Office 1000 W. Hwy 36 Estes Park, CO 80517 Call: (970) 586-1242 TTY: (970) 586-1319 For reservations, use the attached “Trip Planning Worksheet” (page 7) or a separate piece paper: • Include your name, address, zip code and telephone number. • List an itinerary with dates corresponding to campsites or cross-country areas where you plan to stay. If you plan to stay in a cross-country area, indicate the area(s) where you wish to camp. • Specify the number of people that will be in your party. (Limit of seven per party for individual campsites and cross-country areas. Limit of eight to 12 per party for group campsites.) There is a $20 administrative fee for permits during peak season periods (non-refundable and non-exchangeable). Fees are not to be sent when requesting reservations, but are payable (by exact cash or check or credit card) when the permit is issued. During the winter and early spring, when the backcountry is not as frequently used, you may self-register at the Wild Basin Entrance, Longs Peak Ranger Station, Dunraven Trailhead, and Fall River and Beaver Meadows entrance stations. During the busy summer months, if you have a permit reservation, you must pick up the permit by 10 a.m. on the first day of your planned backcountry stay; otherwise, the permit will be canceled in its entirety, and given to other backpackers. If you know you will not be using your permit, please cancel your reservation as soon as possible. June through September, campers may stay in the backcountry for a maximum of 7 nights. October through May, campers may stay in the backcountry a maximum of 14 nights with no more than a total of 21 nights per year. How to use the permit Your permit is a contract between you and the National Park Service stating that you agree to treat the backcountry with respect and that you will take care of the wilderness. You will see backcountry regulations on the back of each permit. Read, understand, sign, and obey them. Attach the permit in plain view on the outside of your backpack at all times when you are hiking to or from your campsite. When you reach camp, attach the permit to the outside of your tent. The permit indicates the number of people in your party, and specifies a campsite for each night you are in the backcountry. You must stick with your planned itinerary so that campsites do not become overcrowded and overused. In addition to a permit, you will receive a dash tag, to be placed on the dashboard of your vehicle. Since overnight parking is only allowed with a backcountry permit, failure to properly display a dash tag may result in a citation and/or a towing fee. Backcountry Guide 2 Mount Ypsilon
  3. 3. Climbers and bivouac camps If you plan to bivouac, you must obtain a bivy permit. You can make reservations as described for backcountry permits. The following rules apply for bivouacs: • You may have no more than four people in your party. • All in the party must climb. • You must bivy in the area specified on your permit. • Bivys must be on rock or snow. • Bivys must be set up at dusk and taken down by dawn. • No tents or structures are permitted. • Fires are not allowed. • Helmets are advised for climbing. • No more than three consecutive nights in one bivy area. Sprague Lake Camp This is a special wheelchair accessible backcountry campsite near Sprague Lake. It is half‑a‑mile (one kilometer) from the trailhead to the campsite. The camp accommodates up to 12 campers including a maximum of five wheelchair users. If you are hearing or sight impaired and have a certified assistance dog, your dog may accompany you to this or any other campsite or trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. To make reservations please read the section entitled THE PERMIT. Packing with horses or llamas There are special campsites and rules for overnight camping with stock. Some trails are closed to stock use. Call (970) 586-1206 or (970) 586-1242 for information about packing with stock. Ask for the Horse and Pack Animals brochure. “When in the wilds, we must not carry our problems with us or the joy is lost.” -Sigurd Olson Backcountry Guide 3 THE BACKCOUNTRY TRIP Setting out Before you leave home, always tell someone your trip itinerary and when you are planning to return. Allow plenty of time for your trip. Consider the distance you plan to travel, the elevation of the trailhead and your destination, the amount of weight you are carrying, your physical condition, current and forecasted weather, and the hours of daylight remaining. Remember: • Avoid taking excess foods to trailheads, as bears have been known to break into cars for food and scented items. • At trailheads store food in food storage lockers where provided. • Properly display your permit and vehicle dash tag. • Read the trailhead bulletin board. • Falling trees are an ever present hazard especially during windy or snowy conditions. • Plan to be off summits early in the day to avoid thunder and lightning storms. Note: wind is hazardous in exposed areas. • Streams, lakes and waterfalls can be dangerous and deadly at any time of year, especially during high runoff in May and June as well as after thunderstorms. Keep your distance from stream and river banks because powerful currents exist. Provide proper supervision for children. Use caution in winter when crossing rivers. • Hunting & Recreational Use of Firearms are Prohibited. Possession of Firearms must Comply with Federal & State Laws. • Pets and vehicles (including mountain bikes) are not permitted in the backcountry. • Bring insect repellent to fend off mosquitoes. Check frequently for ticks. • Hike on the trail and hike single-file. Resist the temptation to walk off the trail when it is muddy. Mud will flake off your boots much sooner than trampled plants will grow back. • Never shortcut switchbacks. • Pick up litter you find along the way. • Horses and llamas have the right-of-way. Step off the trail on the downhill side and stand quietly until the stock passes. • Never leave food unattended or unsecured from wildlife. • Never feed wildlife as this can be hazardous. • Do not disturb any flowers or plants. Please respect the fragile tundra Alpine tundra vegetation is hardy. These plants survive extreme cold, strong winds, intense ultraviolet radiation, and very low humidity. Although these plants are tough, they cannot withstand repeated trampling. It takes 100 years for many alpine tundra plants to grow an inch. Where there are no maintained trails and in undeveloped places, you may walk across the alpine tundra, in contrast to below treeline, in the tundra you do not walk in single file. Spread out, so that your foot prints are not concentrated on a small area, and rock-hop rather than stepping on vegetation.Trail through aspen grove Moss Campion
  4. 4. Note: • A Dispersed Camping Zone (DCZ) is similar to a Cross-country Area, except that you may stay three consecutive nights, and you do not have to move each night. • Mileages listed are from the nearest trailhead (not all trailheads are listed). • All sites are stoves only unless designated (WF), where wood fires are permitted in grates provided at the site and no fire ban is in effect. Use dead and down wood only. • The higher the elevation the later the site melts out from snow. For current conditions contact the Backcountry Office (970) 586-1242. Rocky Mountain N West Side West Side Code Campsite Name Number of sites Distance Elevation individual /group in miles in feet East Inlet Area East Inlet Trailhead 8,390 061 East Meadow DCZ 2 1.9 8,550 063 Cat’s Lair DCZ 2 3.3 9,200 064 Gray Jay Group 1 4.9 9,650 065 Slickrock 1 6.0 10,000 066 Solitaire 1 6.2 10,120 067 Upper East Inlet 1 6.6 10,200 068 Lake Verna 1 6.9 10,280 North Inlet Area North Inlet Trailhead 8,540 069 Summerland Park 1 1 1.5 8,610 071 Cascade Falls DCZ 2 3.1 8,840 072 Big Pool 2 5.0 9,160 073 Grouseberry (Closed) 074 North Inlet Group (stock) (WF) 1 6.5 9,290 075 Foot Bridge (WF) (Closed) 076 Ptarmigan 1 6.7 9,360 077 Porcupine (WF) 2 6.8 9,360 078 North Inlet Junction 2 7.5 9,600 079 North Inlet Falls 1 7.6 9,540 080 Pine Marten 2 7.8 9,560 081 July 3 1 9.7 10,760 Tonahutu Area Tonahutu Trailhead 8,540 Green Mountain Trailhead 8,800 082 Green Mountain 1 1.8 9,550 083 Paint Brush 1 2.3 9,400 084 South Meadow 1 2.0 9,450 085 Big Meadows Group 1 1.9 9,400 086 Sunset 1 3.0 9,550 087 Sunrise 1 3.5 9,600 088 Lower Granite Falls 2 5.1 9,760 089 Granite Falls 2 5.4 9,840 090 Tonahutu Meadows 2 6.2 10,050 091 Tonahutu Group (stock) (WF) 1 6.6 10,160 092 Renegade 1 7.3 10,500 093 Haynach (1 llama) 2 7.2 10,760 094 Timberline Group 1 7.4 10,570 095 Onahu Creek 1 2.4 9,480 096 Upper Onahu 1 2.8 9,600 097 Onahu Bridge 1 2.9 9,650 Timber Lake Area Timber Lake Trailhead 9,010 098 Timber Creek 2 3.0 10,400 099 Jackstraw 2 4.0 10,760 100 Rockslide 1 4.5 10,960 101 Snowbird 2 4.6 11,010 Never Summer Area Colorado River Trailhead 9,000 102 Valley View 1 3.2 10,260 105 Red Gulch Group 1 5.8 10,320 106 Hitchens Gulch 2 5.8 10,480 107 Dutch Town 1 6.0 10,760 108 Stage Road DCZ 1 4.2 9,530 109 Ditch Camp (group/stock) 1 1 4.6 10,160 110 Skeleton Gulch 1 6.2 10,600 111 Box Canyon 1 5.5 10,480 112 La Poudre Pass 1 6.7 10,200 Hague Creek Area Corral Creek Trailhead 10,000 113 Cache DCZ 1 5.6 10,150 114 Chapin Creek Group 1 6.1 10,240 115 Hague Creek(group/stock) 1 1 1.6 9,720 116 Desolation (Closed) 117 Flatiron (WF) 1 2.8 9,860 118 Mummy Pass Creek (WF) 2 4.6 10,640 119 Koenig (stock) 1 5.2 10,680 120 Mirror Lake 3 6.0 11,000 Code Name Number parties 1H Cascade Creek 2 2H Hague Creek 5 3H Cache La Poudre 3 2J Mosquito Creek 1 1K Onahu Creek 1 1L Nakai Peak 1 2L Mount Patterson 3 1M North Inlet 4 2M Ptarmigan Creek 1 3M Upper North Inlet 2 4M Ptarmigan Mountain 2 1N Mount Enentah 1 3N Echo Creek 2 1P Columbine Creek 4 Backcountry Desi Cross-cou Echo Creek Columbine Creek 3N 1P North 0 1 2 0 1 2 3 Miles 3 Kilometers 34 34 34 49 491 491 492 40 14 00 Corral W illow Creek Chapin Timber ColoradoRiver Gorg e Bi g Thom pson River La kes GRAND DITCH Creek Beaver Creek Creek Creek North Inlet Tonahutu Colorad o Supply Creek W illow Willow Creek C reek Pump Canal River Onahu Cache la Poudre River Creek Creek Snow Lake Lake Agnes Lake of the Clouds Parika Lake Poudre Lake Timber Lake Forest Lake Doughnut Lake Inkwell Lake Azure Lake Julian Lake Bowen Lake Blue Lake Haynach Lake Hayden Lake Lonesome Lake Rainbow Lake Ptarm Lake Bench Lake Granite Falls Cascade Falls Highest Lake Arrowhead Lake GRAND DITCH CachelaPoudreRiver Pettingell Lake Lake Nokoni Adams Falls Falls Lake Nan La Ve Strawberry Lake Adams Lake Lone Pine Lake Willow Creek Reservoir Colorado River Col orado River Roaring Arap aho Rainbow Bay Bay Columbine East Inlet Creek Fork Michigan Lakes L A K E G R A N B Y LONG DRAW RESERVOIR Monarch Lake GRAND LAKE 8367ft 2550m SHADOW MOUNTAIN LAKE Sprague Glacier Alva B. Adams Tunnel (w ater diversion structure) ARAPAHO NATIONAL RECREATION AREA 9mi 14km 12mi 19km 8mi 13km One-w Road closed from here east to Many Parks Curve mid-October to June NEVERSUMMERMOUNTAINS SHIPLER PARK BOX CANYON YELLOW STONE LITTLE SKELETON GULCH BAKER GULCH LONG M EADOW S BIGMEADOWS BLUE RIDGE KAWUNEECHE VALLEY F O R E S T C BIGHORN FLAT PARADISE PARK TABLE MOUNTAIN GREEN RIDGE Mummy Timber Lake Trail Onah u Creek Green Tonahutu Trail Trail North Inlet Trail East I nlet Trail Trail Creek Mountain Shadow Divid e Continental NationalSceni c Trail Divide Continental National Scenic Trail M tn Trail ColoradoRiver Ut e Trail Trail RedMtn Trail Continental Divide National Scenic Trail Divide Continen tal National Scenic Trail Tonahutu Spur Trail Knight Ridge Trail Poudre Ri ver Trail Trail Ridge Road Alpine VisitorCenter Kawuneeche Visitor Center To Fort Collins To To Walden To Granby and Cameron Pass Thunder Pass Site of Lulu City Holzwarth Historic Site La Poudre Pass Trailhead Thunder Mountain 12070ft 3679m Flatiron Mountain 12335ft 3760m Mount 1 3 Specimen Mountain 12489ft 3807m Jackstraw Mountain 11704ft 3567m Terra Tomah Mountain 12718ft 3876m Stones Pe 12922ft 3939m Mount Julian 12928ft 3940m Watanga Mountain 12375ft 3772m Mount Adams 12121 ft 3694 m Twin Peaks 11957ft 3644m Mount Acoma 10508ft 3203m Ptarmigan Mountain 12324ft 3756 m Andrews Peak 12565 ft 3830 m Mount Craig 12007ft 3660m Mount Bryant 11034 ft 3363 m Shadow Mountain 10155ft 3095m Lookout tower Mount Ida 12880 ft 3926 m Nakai Peak 12216ft 3723m Mount Patterson 11424ft 3482m Snowdrift Peak 12274ft 3741m Green Mtn 10313ft 3143 m Apiatan Mountain 10319ft 3145m Mount Cumulus 12725ft 3879m Mount Nimbus 12706ft 3873m Mount Stratus 12480ft 3804m Baker Mountain 12397ft 3779m Howard Mountain 12810ft 3904m Red Mountain 11605ft 3537m Bowen Mountain 12524ft 3817m Mineral Point 11488ft 3502m S 1 3 Highest point on road 12183ft 3713m Iceberg Pass Chapin Creek Trailhead Tundra Comm Trailhead Coyote Valley Trailhead Timber Lake Trailhead Bowen/Baker Trailhead Harbison Meadows Beaver Ponds Onahu Trailhead Green Mountain Trailhead Grand Lake Entrance Station East Inlet Trailhead Tonahutu/ North Inlet Trailheads East Shore Trailhead Pine Beach Shadow Mountain Cutthroat Bay (group campground) Stillwater Sunset Point Quinette Point Rainbow Bay Arapaho Bay-Roaring Fork Loop Knight Ridge Trailhead Willow Creek Arapaho Bay-Big Rock Loop Arapaho Bay-Moraine Loop Granby Dam Green Ridge West Portal Summerland Park GRAND LAKE Colorado River Trailhead Rock Cut Forest Canyon Lava Cliffs Fall River Pass Alpine Ridge Trail Milner Pass 10758ft 3279m Medicine Bow Curve Gore Range Lake Irene Farview Curve Timber Creek Mount Richthofen 12940ft 3944m Tepee Mountain 12568ft 3831m Lead Mountain 12537ft 3821m Mount Cirrus 12797ft 3901m Long Draw Road BOWEN GULCH Continental Continental Divide Divide NPS/USFS Corral Creek Trailhead Long Draw Shadow Mountain Dam 8720ft/2658m Open all year Seasonal Snackbar 11796ft 3595m WILDERNESSWILDERNESS (SCEN IC A ND W ILD RIVER) W I L D E R N E 67 66 65 64 63 61 Slickrock Gray Jay Group Cat’s Lair (DCZ) East Meadow (DCZ) Upp Solitaire 80 79 78 77 69 71 76 74 72 Summerland Park Cascade Falls (DCZ) Big Pool North Inlet Group (stock) Ptarmigan Porcupin North Inlet Falls P 97 114 1 115 113 105 102 107 106 108 110 109 111 112 100 101 99 82 88 92 91 84 85 86 87 89 93 94 9095 96 98 Sp Green Mountain South MeadowBig Meadows Group Sunset Sunrise Lower Granite Falls Granite Falls Tonahutu Meadows Tonahutu Grou Renegade Haynach (1 llama) Timberline G Onahu Creek Upper Onahu Onahu Bridge Timber Creek Jackstraw Rockslide Snowbird Valley View Red Gulch Group Hitchens GulchDutch Town Stage Road (DCZ) Ditch Camp (group/stock)Skeleton Gulch Box Canyon La Poudre Pass Chapin Cache (DCZ) Hague Creek (group/stock) Koenig (stock) 1P Columbine Creek 3N Echo Creek WEST 1k Onahu Creek 1L Nakai Peak 2L Mt. Patterson 1M North Inlet 1N Mt. Enentah 4M Ptarmigan Mountain 2D UpperForestCanyon Lo 4D HaydenGorge 24Little Rock Lake 2J Mosquito Creek 3HCacheLaPoudre 1H Cascade Creek ‘ 83 Paintbrush
  5. 5. East Side Code Campsite Name Number of sites Distance Elevation individual /group in miles in feet North Fork Area Dunraven Trailhead 7,960 001 Boundary Creek (WF) 2 4.6 9,120 002 Kettle Tarn (Temp Closed) 2 4.9 9,200 003 Silvanmere (WF) 2 5.6 9,360 004 Halfway (WF) 2 5.6 9,340 005 Aspen Meadow Group (WF) 1 5.9 9,520 006 Happily Lost (WF) 1 6.2 9,560 007 Lost Falls (WF) 2 6.7 9,600 008 Sugarloaf 1 8.2 10,290 009 Stormy Peaks South 1 8.6 10,840 010 Stormy Peaks 2 1 11.0 11,160 011 Lost Meadow (group/stock) 1 1 8.4 10,420 012 Lost Lake 4 9.7 10,710 Mummy Range Area Lawn Lake Trailhead 8,540 Lumpy Ridge/Cow Creek Trailheads 7,840 013 Rabbit Ears 1 1.4 8,100 014 Peregrine 1 2.0 8,480 015 McGregor Mt. (WF) 2 4.1 9,040 016 Bighorn Mt. (group/stock) (WF) 1 6.1 10,320 017 Lower Tileston 1 6.3 10,650 018 Tileston Meadows 2 6.0 10,800 019 Upper Chipmunk 2 4.2 10,640 021 Cutbank 1 2.4 9,620 022 Golden Banner 2 2.5 9,600 023 Lawn Lake (1 indiv/stock) 4 6.2 10,990 Gorge Lakes Area Milner Pass Trailhead 10,760 024 Little Rock Lake 1 6.0 10,280 Bear Lake Area Bear Lake Trailhead 9,475 Glacier Gorge Trailhead 9,240 Fern/Cub Lake Trailheads 8,150 025 Ute Meadow (llama) 1 2.7 9,800 026 Arch Rock (Closed) 027 Old Forest Inn 2 1.7 8,400 028 Fern Lake 4 1 3.8 9,530 029 Spruce Lake 2 4.6 9,670 030 Odessa Lake 2 4.1 10,020 031 Sourdough 1 2.5 10,600 032 Cub Creek 1 2.2 8,600 033 Mill Creek Basin 1 1.8 9,000 034 Upper Mill Creek 1 1.7 9,200 035 Wind River Bluff 1 1.0 8,800 036 Over the Hill 1 1.3 8,870 037 Upper Wind River 1 1.6 8,940 038 Boulder Brook ` 2 1 3.9 10,200 039 Glacier Gorge 1 3.8 10,000 040 Andrews Creek 1 3.6 10,560 A1 Sprague Lake Camp (WF) 1 0.5 8,730 Longs Peak Area Longs Peak Trailhead 9,404 041 Moore Park 2 1.7 9,760 042 Goblins Forest 6 1.2 10,120 043 Battle Mountain Group 1 2.8 11,000 044 Boulderfield (by tent) 9 6.0 12,760 Wild Basin Area Wild Basin/Finch Lake Trailheads 8,500 Sandbeach Lake Trailhead 8,310 045 Hole-in-the-Wall 1 1.9 9,240 046 Campers Creek 1 2.3 9,600 047 Beaver Mill 1 3.0 9,640 048 Hunters Creek 1 3.3 9,760 049 Sandbeach Lake 4 1 4.2 10,280 050 Pine Ridge 2 1.4 8,880 051 Tahosa 1 1.7 9,040 052 Aspen Knoll (llama) 1 2.3 9,400 053 Siskin 1 3.7 9,600 054 North St. Vrain 2 3.5 9,560 055 Thunder Lake (1 indiv/stock) 4 1 6.8 10,570 056 Ouzel Lake 1 4.9 10,020 057 Upper Ouzel Creek 1 5.6 10,600 058 Finch Lake (group/stock) 2 1 4.6 9,910 059 Pear Creek 3 6.4 10,550 060 Pear Lake 1 6.6 10,580 National Park East Side Code Name Number parties 1A South Cache La Poudre 1 1B Mount Dickinson 2 2B Cow Creek 2 2C Chiquita Creek 1 2D Upper Forest Canyon 3 3D Lower Forest Canyon 4 4D Hayden Gorge 1 1G Hunters Creek 1 2G Cony Creek 1 ignated Campsites untry Areas TelephoneBoat launch Overlook Self-guiding nature trail Accessible Livery Picnic area Generalized landcover in Rocky Mountain National Park Distance indicator Glacier Alpine tundra Forest or meadow 7 7 7 7 34 34 36 36 36 34 66 72 119 migan Mirror Lake Crystal Lake Lawn Lake Spectacle Lakes Ypsilon Lake Chasm Falls Chiquita Lake Marys Lake Lily Lake Lake Louise Lake Husted Lost Lake Lost FallsLake Dunraven Hague Fork ThompsonNorth River Big West Creek River Roari ng Creek Bridal Veil Falls Cub Lake Fern Falls The Pool Spruce Lake Marguerite Falls Grace Falls Fern Lake Odessa Lake Lake Helene Emerald Lake Nymph Lake The Loch Sky Pond e nita ake rna Spirit Lake Fourth Lake Fifth Lake Lake Of Glass Black Lake Peacock PoolChasm Lake Columbine Falls Copeland Lake Frozen Lake Lion Lake No 1 Lion Lake No 2 Snowbank Lake Sandbeach Lake Thunder Lake Pear LakeCony Lake Finch Lake Bluebird Lake Ouzel Lake Calypso Cascades Ouzel Falls Copeland Falls Bierstadt Lake Dream Lake Alberta Falls Timberline Falls Ribbon Falls Trio Falls Mills Lake Lake Haiyaha West Creek Falls Gem Lake Dry Gulch FishCreek Cow Fall River Big River Thompson Creek Glacier C reek North St Vrain Creek Cony Creek Ouzel Creek Middle Hutcheso n Lakes St Vrain Creek M ill BoulderBrook Creek LAKE ESTES Rowe Glacier Tyndall Glacier Andrews Glacier Mills Glacier Taylor Glacier Moomaw Glacier St Vrain G laciers Ram s Horn Tunnel Prospect M tn Tunnel 2mi 3km 3mi 5km 6mi 9km 1mi 2km 3mi 5km 2mi 3km 19mi 31km 2mi 3km 4mi 6km 5mi 8km 5mi 8km Road closed from here west to Colorado River Trailhead mid-October to Memorial Day way up only; closed in winter M U M M Y R A N G E B L A C K C A N Y O N GLACIERGORGE TAHOSAVALLEY BOULDERFIELD L U M P Y R I D G EHORSESHOE PARK A N Y O N T R A I L R I D G E HIDDEN VALLEY CANYON TS SPRUCE MORAINE PARK Pass Trail North Fork North Boun dary Law n Lake Trail Fern Lake Trail Ut e Tra il Nor th Longs Peak Trail Trail St orm Pass Ea st Bluebird Thunder Lake Trail Lake LongsP eak Trail Trail Trail Flattop Mtn Trail Trail Devils MarysLakeRd Bear Lake Rd Gulch Roa d Old Fall River Road Trail Ridge Road By-Pass MacGregor Avenue Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Moraine Park Visitor Center Fall River VisitorCenter To and Nederland Site of Eugenia Mine Mummy Pass 11440ft 3487m Stormy Peaks 12135ft 3699m Signal Mountain 11262ft 3433m Stormy Peaks Pass Fairchild Mountain 13502ft 4115m Mount Chiquita 13069ft 3983m Chapin 12454ft 3796m eak Thatchtop 12668ft 3861m Powell Peak 13208 ft 4026 m McHenrys Peak 13327ft 4062m Storm Peak 13326ft 4062m Granite Pass Longs Peak 14259ft 4346m Chiefs Head Peak 13579ft 4139m Copeland Mountain 13176ft 4016m Ogalalla Peak 13138ft 4004m Meadow Mountain 11632ft 3545m St Vrain Mountain 12162ft 3707m Mount Lady Washington Flattop Mtn 12324ft 3756m Taylor Peak 13153 ft 4009 m k Isolation Peak 13118 ft 3998m Ouzel Peak 12716ft 3876m Mount Alice 13310ft 4057m Pilot Mountain Tanima Peak Boulder-Grand Pass Hallett Peak 12713ft 3875m Otis Peak Sundance Mountain 12466ft 3800m Storm Pass Meeker Park Allenspark Peaceful Valley Ypsilon Mountain 13514ft 4119m Desolation Peaks 12949ft 3947m Hagues Peak 13560ft 4133m Mummy Mountain 13425ft 4092m Dark Mountain 10859ft 3310m The Needles 10068ft 3069m The Twin Owls Bighorn Mountain 11463ft 3494m Prospect Mountain 8900ft 2713m Gianttrack Mountain 9091ft 2771m Lily Mtn 9786ft 2983m Estes Cone 11006ft 3355m Mount Meeker 13911ft 4240m Pagoda Mountain 13497ft 4114m Mount Orton 11724ft 3573m Rams Horn Mountain 9553ft 2912m Twin Sisters Peaks 11428ft 3483m Deer Mtn 10013ft 3052m To Loveland To Lyons and Boulder To Lyons and Boulder Dunraven/North ForkTrailhead Cow Creek Trailhead Lumpy Ridge Trailhead Lawn Lake Trailhead Deer Mtn Trailhead Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead Hollowell Park Trailhead Cub Lake Trailhead Bierstadt Lake Trailhead Storm Pass Trailhead Glacier Gorge Trailhead Glacier Basin Wild Basin Trailhead Olive Ridge Camp Dick Peaceful Valley Bear Lake Trailhead Lily Lake Trailhead Park & Ride YMCA Conference Center Fern Lake Trailhead Longs Peak Trailhead Sandbeach Lake Trailhead Wild Basin Entrance Station Finch Lake Trailhead Longs Peak Tents only munities Many Parks Curve Moraine Park Sheep Mountain Glen Haven Rowe Peak Comanche Peak 12702ft 3872m ESTES PARK Beaver Meadows Entrance Station Aspenglen Sheep Lakes Endovalley Alluvial Fan Rainbow Curve Beaver Ponds West Horseshoe Park HOLLOWELL PARK Deer Ridge Junction PIERSON PARK East Portal Trailhead Continenta l Divide C O N S E R V A T I O N E A S E M E N T Seasonal Open all year Park Headquarters 7840ft/2390m Fall River Entrance Station 8240ft/2511m Twin SistersTrailhead Lily Mountain Trailhead W I L D E R N E S S W I L D E R N E S S E S S Allenspark Trailhead Sprague Lake Trailhead 50 45 81 59 Pear Creek 60 58 56 57Upper Ouzel Creek Finch Lake (group/stock) Pear Lake Ouzel Lake 52 51 49 55 54 46 47 48 Pine Ridge Tahosa Aspen Knoll (llama) 53 Siskin North St.Vrain Thunder Lake (1 indiv/stock) Sandbeach Lake Hunters Creek Beaver Mill Campers Creek Hole-in-the-Wall 68 k Lake Verna per East Inlet 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 A1 ne (WF) North Inlet Junction Pine Marten July Boulderfield Battle Mountain Group Goblins Forest Moore Park Sprague Lake Camp Andrews Creek Glacier Gorge Boulder Brook Upper Wind River Over The Hill Wind River Bluff 25 27 23 34 31 32 3330 28 29 22 21 18 19 15 16 17 13 14 117 119 118 120 8 7 9 10 12 11 6 5 4 3 2 1 Boundary Creek (WF) Kettle Tarn Silvanmere (WF) Halfway (WF) Aspen Meadow Group (WF) Happily Lost (WF) Lost Falls (WF) Sugarloaf Stormy Peaks South Stormy Peaks Lost Meadow (group/stock) Lost Lake Lawn Lake (1 indiv/stock) Tileston Meadows Lower Tileston Bighorn Mt. (group/stock) (WF) Golden Banner Cutbank Upper Chipmunk McGregor Mt. (WF) Rabbit Ears Peregrine Ute Meadow (llama) Old Forest Inn Cub Creek Fern Lake pruce Lake Odessa Lake Sourdough Mill Creek Basin Upper Mill Creek up (stock) (WF) Group n Creek Group Flatiron (WF) Mummy Pass Creek (WF) Mirror Lake EAST 3M Upper North Inlet 1G Hunters Creek 2G Cony Creek 3D ow erForestCanyon 2C Chiquita Creek 2B Cow Creek 1B Mt. Dickinson 2H Hague Creek 1A South Cache La Poudre Ranger station Restrooms Emergency telephone Campground Paved Road Unpaved road Trailhead 00 Backcountry Designated Campsites Crosscountry Areas C - BC Camping Guide - 1/2012 5000 K
  6. 6. At camp When you arrive at your destination, you will see trail signs that show where to find campsites. Pitch your tent in designated areas. Never dig or trench around a tent. There are no grizzly bears in Rocky Mountain National Park, but black bears do live here. Help park rangers keep bears and other animals (including mice, marmots, martens, porcupines, elk and deer) from becoming a problem, by carefully securing your food and garbage. A carry‑in/carry‑out bear resistant food storage canister is required May - October for backcountry camping below treeline and the Boulderfield on Longs Peak. All food, scented items, and trash must be kept in the canister, and placed 70 adult steps away from campsite. Keep a clean camp! Camp safely away from standing dead trees as near as is safely possible to the silver metal arrowhead that marks the site. Bear and mountain lion encounters can be potentially dangerous and can occur anywhere in the park. Ask for park information regarding proper wildlife interaction procedures. Keep your group close together, protect small children by picking them up, and never run. Preparing meals at camp Cook meals with a portable stove. Do not plan to build a fire. Fires are comforting and aesthetically pleasing, but they cause considerable impact on the backcountry. Wood is better used as habitat for wild creatures than as fuel for campers whose lives do not depend upon forest resources. Campfires have potential to get out of control if not well tended. For these reasons, fires are allowed in only a few designated campsites which have metal fire rings. Never take food in the sleeping area. Separate where you cook and eat from where you sleep. Keep all scented items out of your tent including soap, deodorant, and toothpaste. Seal uneaten food scraps and all garbage in airtight containers or storage bags and secure in bear canister. Carry all garbage out of the backcountry. Drinking water Always purify the drinking water you get in the backcountry by using one of the following methods: • Filter water with a water filter system that eliminates giardia. • Boil water for 1 minute and add an additional minute for each 1000 ft above sea level (example: 10,000 feet = 11 minutes). • Use water purifying tablets or drops that eliminate giardia. 70AdultSteps 70 Adult Steps Wash water Carry water at least 70 adult steps (200 feet/60 meters) from a lake or stream to wash yourself or your dishes. Use biodegradable soap. When disposing of wash water, first filter out all food scraps with a small screen. Pack the food scraps into an airtight container, secure in bear canister to be carried out later. Toss out the wash water by throwing it over a wide area. • Never wash directly in a lake or stream. • Do not scatter food scraps in the water or on the ground. • Do not throw food into pit toilets. • Pack out all food scraps, trash and uneaten food. Backcountry sanitation There are pit toilets at many backcountry campsites. When a pit toilet is not available, do the following: • Urinate in rocky places that won’t be damaged by animals who dig for salts and minerals found in urine. • Dig a hole, 6 inches (15 centimeters) deep, for fecal waste using a small trowel or pack out waste and paper. • Be sure that you defecate at least 70 adult steps (200 feet/ 60 meters) from camp, water or trails. • Do not bury sanitary napkins, tampons, or paper wipes. Dispose of them in an airtight container and pack them out. • Wash hands with biodegradable soap. Giardia and other diseases are frequently spread by unsanitary practices. Fishing To fish in Rocky Mountain National Park, you must have a Colorado state fishing license. You may purchase licenses at local sporting goods stores. Check at Rocky Mountain National Park visitor centers for fishing regulations, which vary at different lakes and streams in the park. Backcountry Guide 6 Quiet backcountry campsite
  7. 7. Leaving the backcountry If you end a trip early, notify the backcountry office to cancel the permit, so other backpackers may use your site. Please report all unusual wildlife sightings, trail conditions, or incidents to a ranger. Pack out all your garbage and that of others less considerate. If you see any violations of rules and regulations, please report them to a ranger as soon as possible. You can find showers and laundry facilities in Estes Park and in Grand Lake. These lands were set aside for you by our foreparents. It is our most sincere hope that you have an inspiring, refreshing and renewing backcountry wilderness experience in Rocky Mountain National Park. Last Name ___________________________ First Name___________________________ Address_____________________________ ____________________________________ City_________________________________ State_____________ Zip________________ Phone_______________________________ First Choice Date Campsite(s) ______ ________________________ ______ ________________________ ______ ________________________ ______ ________________________ ______ ________________________ ______ ________________________ ______ ________________________ # In Party_________ # of Stock________ Trailhead In____________________________ Trailhead Out__________________________ Vehicle License #_____________________ State_______________________________ Second Choice Date Campsite(s) ______ ________________________ ______ ________________________ ______ ________________________ ______ ________________________ ______ ________________________ ______ ________________________ ______ ________________________ TRIP PLANNING WORKSHEET Rocky Mountain National Park - Backcountry Office 1000 W. Hwy 36 Estes Park CO 80517 (970) 586-1242 This is NOT a Permit. Send no money with this request. Leave No Trace Join park rangers in protecting the natural conditions of the backcountry while hiking and camping. Ask a park ranger how you can Leave No Trace on your backcountry visit or contact: Leave No Trace Inc. P.O. Box 997 Boulder, CO 80306 or Plan ahead and prepare Travel and camp on durable surfaces Dispose of waste properly Leave what you find Minimize campfire impacts Respect wildlife Be considerate of other visitors Please complete fully and mail to the address above. Cut here Backcountry Guide 7
  8. 8. “Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books; if we drive the few remaining wild species into zoos or extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clear streams and push our paved roads through the last of silences.” -Wallace Stegner Backcountry Guide 8 It is the hope of the Park Rangers of Rocky Mountain National Park that you have the trip of a lifetime while you are here. Safety is the foundation of having the trip a lifetime. It is our desire that you leave with wonderful memories rather than a tragic story. Any planning that you can do to prevent an injury, accident or the separation of members of your party while in the wilderness is wise and will help make for a successful vacation. Risks in the backcountry are remote risks. Please take extra time to come out of the wilderness safely.