Mid-March hike near CO???

7:14 p.m. on January 8, 2013 (EST)
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Howdy hikers,

Wondering if any of you might have some suggestions for a 3-5 day hike in CO around mid-late march (bday trip for two). I know this is generally snow season there, but as a beginner I'm looking mostly for base of mountain and valley type hikes. Don't want to burn out on the snow slopes until I'm a little more steady.

Any tips or recommendations you have (even if nearby and not necessarily in CO) would be greatly appreciated.

11:52 a.m. on January 9, 2013 (EST)
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timrz,

This question reminds me of the time I planned a trip to Grand Lake, CO  for Memorial Day weekend soon after moving there .  I came over a rise to find the lake still frozen and covered with snow at the end of May.

Colorado is tall.  In March you could get lucky on the eastern plains like the National Grassland, or in the Grand Valley over by Grand Junction.  More than likely you will be in the snow even at the lowest elevations.

7:38 p.m. on January 9, 2013 (EST)
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470 forum posts

And freekin' cold in CO too.

Grand Canyon might be a consideration depending upon how snow is at the rim.  April is less chancy.

Even the lower and warmer NP (Zion et al) would not be snow free.  You could check those.   I think a nice warm fire in a lodge with day hikes out into the snow with snow shoes would be a fun Bday party.  After about 10 mins of falling down with snow shoes you will have it figured out.

Snowshoeing is a lot of fun.  Usually you would be better off to drag a punt (toboggan kind of thing) to carry the bulk (clothing, fuel, winter tent, food, kitchen sink) that would cause you to weigh too much for snow travel if it is in a pack.  I'd guess there would be few trail heads cleared to get to in March in Colorado. 

July 22, 2014
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