Backpacking in Colorado

lam396

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Dec 4, 2014
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245
I'm hoping to get some tips on trails/locations for a short backpacking trip to Colorado with the family. My kids love hiking and have been wanting to go backpacking but its just to dang hot in MO so I'd like to make the drive out to the mountains for cooler weather before September. I'm looking for a trail that goes to a lake that we can set up camp at to do some swimming and catch some fish. I'm good with an out and back or a loop but would like it to be less than 5 to 7 miles since the littlest is only 4. Anyone got any ideas to places for me to start looking? I've been scouring all-trails and have a short list of places but thought I would check here.
 

Whiskey_Fish

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Aug 25, 2015
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Wyoming
Browns/Timberline lake in the Poudre wilderness. Enough brook trout in that lake to give you a lifelong shoulder injury.


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justinspicher

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Dec 27, 2012
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Colorado
Where I live we have around 750ish miles of trails for hiking, trail running, mountain biking, horseback riding and ATV/UTV use. Most of it is above 10k. However, the scenery is so dope it could be marijuana. I’m done in SW Colorado and you might as well come out, everyone else is here.
 
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lam396

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Dec 4, 2014
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245
That’s a good one.

Looks like the trail goes up the gulch from the lake and the trailhead is near the lake? Easy enough to find a nice spot to put a shelter near the water?
 

TBHasler

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Jan 26, 2018
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Texas
Looks like the trail goes up the gulch from the lake and the trailhead is near the lake? Easy enough to find a nice spot to put a shelter near the water?

Yes, room to camp at this area. Also one of the easiest 14ers in CO is right next to this lake (Quandary Peak-14,265). Trails here are out and back in general but you have about 20 trail options within about a 10 min from this area.
 

LongWayAround

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Aug 10, 2015
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Blue lake by Breckenridge has 'no camping' signs posted currently. Not sure what the reach is on that regulation though. A friend went down to set a car camp spot last week.

Lake Agnes and the American lakes just off highway 14 are an easy hike with a good view and a short walk to RMNP.
 

Shipanik6

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Jan 11, 2019
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Illinois
Monarch Lake near Granby has a 4 mile trail around the lake and back to the parking lot. Campground nearby but if looking to backpack camp you can access the Indian Peaks Wilderness from the same trailhead. Just need a permit to backpack camp then.
 

30338

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Jun 2, 2013
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1,239
That water will be pretty chilly, at least too cold for me to swim. Shelf Lake off of Guanella Pass west of Denver has had good cutthroats in the past for us. Several camping spots along the 3 mile route in there.

A number of good trails in the Vail area starting on I-70 and headed up to lakes. Quick search should turn those up.
 

Carr5vols

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Apr 12, 2019
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Georgia
If you want a short drive loch Lomond near st marys isn't bad, you can drive up the road above st marys (hilltop road) took a stock jeep up the road ( wife had some pucker factor going) to the gate on 4th july weekend and hike to the lake then hike down to the glacier.
 

Northpark

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Mar 8, 2015
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Gold lake in the Mt Zirkel wilderness is a 6 mile roundtrip. It’s on the Steamboat side. On the North Park side The Rainbow Lakes is a easy trip for kiddos.

I’m will second rainbow lakes in north park (Walden, CO)
 

seldomseensmith

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Feb 18, 2017
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Location
New Mexico
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This doesn’t tick all your boxes but a real crowd pleaser. No fish up in the lakes. We took a family backpacking trip here this summer. A real high alpine experience. Ice and island lakes. Go mid week as it’s very popular.
4ae48795afc7e88006ea1f84bb5197b9.jpg

We only had to share the lake with one other party of 2.


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