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Trip Details

Date Thursday  7/18/2013
End Date Sunday  7/28/2013
Group Denver
Event Title Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness, 10-Day (Extremely) Difficult Backpack
Start Time 1:30 PM
Status Complete
Leader Dave Callais
Member Price Free
Available Participants 2
Type Trip
Trip Type Backpack
Pace Moderate
Classification Difficult 
Trail Mileage 75
Elevation Gain 23000
Driving Distance 350


Meet at the Wooly Mammoth P&R in (Section HH) of the parking lot.

For more info Contact

For further information about this very difficult backpack, please contact the leader at: or at: 303-237-3726. No phone calls after 9:00 PM please!


    This extremely difficult, 10-day backpack in the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness will not only cover 75 miles in distance, but will take on a number of other passes (some unnamed) then the typical 4-pass loop that most people tend to do. The plan is to also move camp every day with some of the days being quite difficult and other days being fairly easy and short. On Day #1, July 19th (after doing a car camp the night before at the trail head), we’ll begin our backpack at the Avalanche trail head hiking southeast up Avalanche Creek some 6.5 miles & 2,000’ to near the Gift Creek trail to make camp. Day #2 will consist of continuing southeast up Avalanche Creek and making camp at Avalanche Lake- 4.0 miles/2,000’. Day #3 will truly test everyone as we head south, then east and finally northeast to Geneva Lake to make camp after backpacking 11.5 miles and climbing 4,600’. After the very tough day #3, Day #4 gives everyone a slight break as we leave Geneva Lake heading generally south up Hasley Basin to either the headwaters of Hasley Creek or if the weather is good, a little farther to Frigid Air Pass to make camp for the night. So, this day could vary slightly; we might cover 5.0 miles/1,400’ or 6.5 miles/2,750’ depending upon how the group feels as well as how well the weather cooperates. Staying on the pass could be an incredible experience! On Day #5, we’ll leave camp once again (from either of the above locations) and backpack southeast, then turning to the north climbing over West Maroon Pass, then descending off of the pass down to Crater Lake and finally north-west up Minnehaha Creek to a wonderful camp a good friend and I found a year ago. Before heading up this creek to camp though, we will most likely hike over to a waiting vehilce near Crater Lake to pick up our next "5" days of supplies. (A car shuttle is necessary!) This day is somewhat tough where we hike 9.0 miles and climb 2,400’ of elevation, but will also vary depending upon where we camped the day before. The hard days are all worth it in the long run because we make up for it on Day #6 where we backpack from Minnehaha Creek north and then east over Willow Pass to Willow Lake- 3.0 miles/1,100’. Day #7 has the group leaving Willow Lake and back-tracking over Willow Pass, then climbing generally northwest over Buckskin Pass to finally making camp at Snowmass Lake- 7.0 miles/1,900’. Day #8 has us leaving Snowmass Lake behind and descending north, then west up West Snowmass Creek making camp somewhere upstream along the creek- 9.0 miles/1,400’. On Day #9, we’ll hike west then south to Capitol Lake or if the group feels up to it, we’ll hike a little farther back to Avalanche Lake. If we stay at Capitol Lake, our day is 6.5 miles/3,500’ and if we continue to Avalanche Lake, the day then becomes 10.0 miles/4,300’. No matter how you slice it, this day will be another hard one; at least our packs will be lighter! Finally, on Day #10, we’ll leave this location and backpack generally northwest down Avalanche Creek back to the waiting vehicles and celebrate our incredible


This is a "Register with Leader Only" backpack, so if you're interested and want to get on the trip, you MUST contact the leader! This trip is also only for those backpackers with strong backpacking skills, endurance and stamina! One other note that needs mentioning is that we'll be leaving a vehicle at the Maroon Lake trail head with half of our supplies (which will be picked up near the end of the fifth day out). The leaving of a vehicle at this trail head would eliminate the need to carry all 10 days of food; it will unfortunately though add additional "4" miles of hiking to the fifth day due to our having to stray from the main trail to pick up the extra supplies. This shuttle vehicle will be set up on the evening of the 18th of July before we head over to the Avalanche trail head to car camp for the evening and then begin our journey the next morning!
The topos needed for this trip are: Redstone, Marble, Capital Peak, Snowmass Mountain and Maroon Bells.