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The Blancmange

RMNP trip planning

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Our troop is considering a trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park area next summer. Would like to include at least a couple days of backpacking. This will be a mix of older and younger scouts.  Just looking for ideas as far as comparing camping in the National Park, in the surrounding Arapaho NF, or elsewhere.  Anyone willing to share their itinerary?  

 

Thanks in advance!

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I've been trying to infect our youth with a vision for RMNP for years. Props to yours wanting to give it a go.

My brother is a hike-master there during the summer. He took me on a few hikes in both RMNP and Arapaho. He's not a fan of backpacking, but one day I think we'll get it together.

Personally, I find an insertion into the Wild Basin from near Allenspark very appealing. But not having done any of this with scouts, I'll not give any specific advice. Just, some general points on planning:

 

First: required reading for you and your scouts: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/wilderness-camping.htm

 

Second, you need plans A, B, and C for any of this.

 

Third, just like Philmont, start your boys on the hike-a-month club so that they are comfortable with all their gear by departure.

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Thanks for the ideas.   I'm thinking it may be best to have a mix of backpacking and car camping to allow for some mobility around the area. I've been there before and know what the elevation can do to you if you're not in shape so that is definitely an important suggestion.   

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Thanks for the ideas.   I'm thinking it may be best to have a mix of backpacking and car camping to allow for some mobility around the area. I've been there before and know what the elevation can do to you if you're not in shape so that is definitely an important suggestion.   

Definitely spend the first couple of days or two at at least 8,000 ft doing light duty stuff to help the folks prone to elevation sickness. And you never know who in the group that's gonna be. It does not seem to fall along the lines of "not in shape". When I went with my family, it hit Son #1 - at age 14 the most athletic of us all - the worst as we were on a side trip to Pike's Peak. Then the day or two after, we hoofed up with our friends to the continental divide at Flattop, and suddenly my buddy - an avid runner - was hit really hard with what he described as "odd headaches" while his 11 year-old daughter, his son, Son #1, and I were just fine. The symptoms alleviated on the way back down. A couple of days later, my brother took us on a hike to Hallet's Peak ... no problems whatsoever.

 

Other thing to note about hiking boots: They do protect from some sprains, but limit mobility. Hands-down my buddy's 11-year-old daughter did just fine in tennis shoes over all the rocks. But, she was an avid dancer (now in a professional ballet company). So, if your boys are into it, they could sign up for twice-weekly lessons at the dance studio, and build those ankles up to where sprains would be very unlikely. :D

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