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Backpacking trip advice

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  • Backpacking trip advice

    What up, folks! Been a looooooong long time since I posted here, but I need y'all's help...

    So I am planning a backpacking trip with my two sons (13 & 14yo) and my stepdad (72 and very fit) for about five days starting June 10th or thereabouts.

    I am looking for a trip that meets most of the following criteria:

    --can fly into a relatively accessible airport and drive within a couple hours to trailhead

    --would be suitable for two kids that are fit but still novice backpackers

    --would be beautiful and remote

    --would afford me the opportunity for good flyfishing along the way (given we will probably be doing no more than 6-8 miles a day tops).

    It doesn't have to be in the U.S. necessarily, but my first couple ideas were the Pacific Crest Trail (don't know what the fishing there is like), and Slough Creek or some other hike in Yellowstone (I've never been up to the upper meadows but was thinking we could hike up then do day hikes from there, I just know early/mid June may still be too early for fishing in a lot of the park)

    Anyhow, my goal is to (perhaps not-so-secretly) wrap a fishing trip for me into a truly spectacular backpacking trip for everyone. Does anyone have any ideas? I need to start planning now!!

    Thanks :-)

  • #2
    I imagine JONHKIES will chime in, but you should look into the Flat Tops Wilderness in CO. It is like 4 hours Denver and has TONS of different trails and types of water to fish.


    • #3
      Drifter is another who chronicled a big loop he did out West. Hopefully hell chime in as well.

      The one trip I want to do with my son now that hes older is a Boundary Waters canoe trip. I did it several years ago with a handful of guys and had a great time with Great fishing.
      I am officially upgrading Gatorbyte from "fly in my ointment" to "thorn in my side". If he happens to elevate himself to "pain in my a$$" I'm gonna blame it on RScott.

      Want to Help Ease DNR's Budget Woes? Buy a TU license Plate!



      • #4
        I think June 10th is going to be very early for most trips in the Rockies. Pretty sure Slough in the park was closed until July 15 when I first started fishing it 20 years ago; Park regs now seem to be all open (unless otherwise closed) on Memorial day and close first of Nov. Still, Memorial Day is pretty close to June 10, and runoff and snow the higher you go, which I think is remote backpacking will mean. And I'd guess the conditions issue to be involved most trouty backpacking places out west (Kelly came to mind, but again, I'd expect to deal with either runoff or snow). Maybe options in NM or AZ that I have no close experience with.

        OTOH, mid June should be prime for smokies or anywhere in the East.
        Last edited by Upstream; 01-23-18, 02:25 PM.


        • #5
          Good point. I did not take the date into consideration. I would potentially do something closer to home, think upper east coast. West VA?


          • #6
            [QUOTE=baldea;891134]Drifter is another who chronicled a big loop he did out West. Hopefully hell chime in as well.

            I have not seen a post from Drifter in a while. His expertise and knowledge have been very helpful to me over the years. Especially loved his posts about the trip he took out west last year. I was just wondering if all is well with Drifter.? Perhaps he just taking some "time away" from the board?


            • #7

              I agree that June 10th might be a tad early depending on how the spring season goes. It could be shorts and tee shirts in Denver and snowshoes 60 miles west. You really don't want to make a decision until late May at the earliest. RMNP offers a lot of what you want and while that Park is busy, the usual rules apply that when you walk 200 yards from the nearest parking lot you leave 99% of the other visitors behind.

              Another possibility is Indian Peaks Wilderness but due to the elevation and proximity to the Continental Divide many times the campground near Brainard Lake often does not even open until the 4th of July weekend.

              One option is the Colorado State Forest which a lot of people in Colorado are not even aware of. It actually borders the northern boundary of RMNP and in the highest elevations is a spruce forest.

              Someone mentioned the Flat Tops and that is always a good choice although more of a drive, especially if some of the passes are still closed. Be sure to check the roads but a great drive (if Cameron Pass is open) is taking CO 14 to Walden and then to the Flat Tops.

              Regardless you really cannot pick a bad location, just pay close attention to elevation and where the snow line is for your planned trip.


              • #8
                Perhaps look at Northern New Mexico.

                Further south in the Rockies in early June is worthy of your consideration.

                Winter snow melt/run off can really foul up stream fishing. As well as, remaining snow that prevents trail access. Also consider plannimg around lower elevations.

                I do a week long wilderness backpacking trip in the Rockies every year the first week of July. One year in the Wind River Range of Wyoming we went in 3 days on foot and had to turn back due to too much snow. I also do a few 3-5 day trips a year.

                Always have a regional Plan A, B, C, etc..., so you can quickly adjust your trip.

                Feel free to PM me for further info regarding gear selection, meal planning, travel tips, etc...

                Good Luck!

                Mr. Fishunt


                • #9
                  Have you considered a Chattooga River trip? You could backpack into Rock Gorge and then fish up / down river from your campsite for days. That was a staple trip of mine when I was a bit younger. Man, I love that river!
                  Message sent from your mom's bedroom during pillow talk

                  Buck Henry
                  Simple Goat Herder
                  Former NGTO President
                  Hall of Fame Member


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Snag Whisperer View Post
                    I imagine JONHKIES will chime in, but you should look into the Flat Tops Wilderness in CO. It is like 4 hours Denver and has TONS of different trails and types of water to fish.

                    Done this 2x, once on foot and the second on horseback, and I absolutely recommend it.