COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

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desertadapted
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COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by desertadapted » Jun 24 2020 9:29 am

Our upstate NY summer vacation is on the rocks due to Covid travel restrictions. We're pivoting to semi-local backpacking to make up for it. We need to find a backpacking trip in UT, CO, NV, NM, CA, that is like the Cabin Loop (25 to 60 miles, limited elevation gain, plenty of water, ideally not point-to-point). I've spent the last 16 years hiking and backpacking in AZ, and I'm lousy out-of-state. Please help us save our family vacation! If you know of trails or areas to research in reasonable (one day) driving distance, please throw them out there. The NY travel restrictions out today have us scrambling, with limited research time. Thanks in advance.

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nonot
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by nonot » Jun 24 2020 9:48 am

An out and back along a river, such as middle fork of gila river (NM), or nearly any river in colorado with a 12+ mile hiking trail may be to your liking.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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hikeaz
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by hikeaz » Jun 24 2020 12:30 pm

Yeah... the limited elevation gain is the big limiter in summer in those states. Might press the 'one day drive', but maybe a section(s) of the Tahoe Rim? One of my favorites > Echo Lakes to Barker Pass - 32.7 miles. [ Tahoe Rim Trail :: map ] https://tahoerimtrail.org/wp-content/up ... _BP_19.pdf
Myriad hot springs along the drive home to soak weary muscles, too!
“In de taal zit een vrijheid verborgen waar de censor niet bij kan. Al onze schrijvers kennen dat geheim.”

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desertadapted
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by desertadapted » Jun 24 2020 1:17 pm

@hikeaz
Tahoe Rim and Middle Fork are now on the list. Thanks so much to you both. Great suggestions. Now all we need is to not have THOSE States issue AZ-quarantine orders too!

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big_load
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by big_load » Jun 24 2020 1:42 pm

I don't know how tightly you want to limit elevation gain. There are some nice loops possible in the Eagle Cap Wilderness in eastern OR. The lattitude brings the Alpine biome down to where the oxygen is.

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nonot
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by nonot » Jun 24 2020 3:40 pm

@big_load
OP was looking within a 1 day drive...just how fast do you drive!!! I think Chumley has some competition. :)
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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hikeaz
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by hikeaz » Jun 24 2020 3:50 pm

nonot wrote:
Jun 24 2020 3:40 pm
@big_load
OP was looking within a 1 day drive...just how fast do you drive!!! I think Chumley has some competition. :)
Just 1100 miles... An afternoon drive for Chums... : rambo :
“In de taal zit een vrijheid verborgen waar de censor niet bij kan. Al onze schrijvers kennen dat geheim.”

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big_load
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by big_load » Jun 24 2020 4:07 pm

hikeaz wrote:Just 1100 miles... An afternoon drive for Chums...
I'll do that in a day. A long day, but still a day.

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CannondaleKid
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by CannondaleKid » Jun 24 2020 7:36 pm

@big_load Well, a month or so ago a guy drove from New York to LA in something like 25-1/2 hours in a rental Mustang... of course with three gas tanks inside the car and another in the trunk he had no room for luggage or a family.
CannondaleKid

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chumley
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by chumley » Jun 24 2020 11:00 pm

@big_load
I think my longest regular single day trip has been Chicago to Denver or the reverse which I've done a few times. If I recall, it's about 13.5 hours if I can keep my average speed at or above 73. :)
Not guilty plea on all 3 counts

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big_load
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by big_load » Jun 25 2020 11:25 am

@chumley
When I was at Georgia Tech, I drove between Atlanta and Iowa City four times. I've done NJ to Iowa City at least six times. I thought those days are over, but I'm aiming to go from NJ to Yellowstone in two days in August.

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desertadapted
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by desertadapted » Jun 25 2020 11:37 am

@big_load
This is all starting to remind me of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. . .

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big_load
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by big_load » Jun 25 2020 12:23 pm

@desertadapted

I do enjoy a good road trip, although with somewhat less excitement.

I like the other suggestions so far. I haven't been back to the the Gila post-fire, but I liked it a lot. I was planning a Tahoe Rim Trail hike a couple years ago, but had to cancel because of work conflicts. I can't think of any flattish hikes in UT that aren't too hot right now. All my favorite CO hikes probably have too much elevation gain.

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SpiderLegs
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by SpiderLegs » Jun 25 2020 12:41 pm

Not to take this too far off course, my most impressive road trip was a solo moving trip, towing a car and with two small pets in a U-Haul. Drove from Harrisburg PA 90 minutes south down to BWI airport at daybreak to drop off my wife and kid at the airport. Drove back to Harrisburg and immediately hooked up my car to the back of the moving truck. Left Harrisburg on a Tuesday afternoon and pulled into Phoenix on Thursday night.

Now I complain if I need to drive more than 5-6 hours in one shot.
See my pics on Instagram @tucsonexplorer

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nonot
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by nonot » Jun 25 2020 12:45 pm

If the OP were to clarify what type of elevation gains they were limited to, it would help. The cabin loop as written up is 1000 ft AEG, and I'd agree with big load that rules out most of colorado hikes, though there are a few I can think of that aren't much more than that.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by outdoor_lover » Jun 25 2020 12:53 pm

I can't tell you how many overnight drives I've done between Phoenix and Minneapolis. From Phoenix, you can get to either western Nebraska or Eastern Oklahoma in one shot. I've also done Phoenix to San Francisco in one shot. Phoenix to Midland, TX also in one shot. Lots of options!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

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desertadapted
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by desertadapted » Jun 25 2020 1:28 pm

@nonot
Re elevation, ideally not much more than 2,000 AEG per ~20 miles. Our hiking group has one (lovable) weak link whose kryptonite is AEG. Put that person on flats and you get 30 mile days, but one big effin' climb and it's lights out . . .
Point being, I would very much welcome hike suggestions in CO that are "Cabin Loop Plus" re. AEG
We're leaning towards the Gila, having found a nice ~45 mile loop there that combines East and West Forks. There's currently a fire closure that has the road access shut, but we're hoping that will open up in the next three weeks. We're also monitoring water levels as the monsoon approaches. Other advantage to the Gila is that when we're done, we can head into town for sopapillas, which are the best culinary contribution since the sandwich.
The issue we're finding with the TRT now is that hiking the CA-side appears to technically violate CA's stay-at-home order. I'm a rule follower. Also, it needs to be point-to-point given our distances, and I don't have confidence in active public transit.
We found a series of loop/cherry stem hikes in the Uinta/Wasatch Wilderness outside of SLC that are backups to the Gila. I look forward to researching any CO ideas you have. 'Cuz I ain't driving to Oregon. :y:

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nonot
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by nonot » Jun 25 2020 4:25 pm

I can entirely commiserate with trying to avoid big AEG days, big AEGs can halve or more my own daily mileage, though I've never really tried for 30 miles in a day when lugging a mult-day backpack around. Somehow I have never obtained the loveable characteristic though, so I'm not doing something right.

Regarding Colorado:

1) Purgatory trail combined with the animas river trail. Animas is flat as a pancake but all the AEG is on the purgatory. As a bonus it may allow for dayhikes up to chicago basin, but that would put you over the AEG limit. Please note that you should avoid filtering from the animas river itself due to mining contamination, but purgatory parallels a stream that is accessible in the middle and end of the trail (heading down) and the stream from chicago basin at end of animas will have water.

2) Hermosa Creek Trail (while I've never hiked personally but is on my list) comes in just over your limit, but as an out and back is 2500 ft aeg for 36 miles of hiking.

Re Gila:
The Gila loop you're considering is quite beautiful and strongly recommended, just beware that flash floods are common during monsoon season in both middle and west forks due to fire damage upstream, so pay close attention to creek level if any rain is falling, especially if you notice heavier rain upstream of you. I got trapped by a flash flood on that exact trip for an extra half day (only time in my life experiencing one.) Don't camp unless you are 5 feet above the baseline water level.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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Grasshopper
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by Grasshopper » Jun 25 2020 4:32 pm

nonot wrote:I got trapped by a flash flood on that exact trip for an extra half day (only time in my life experiencing one.) Don't camp unless you are 5 feet above the baseline water level.
I remember that years ago triplog/photoset. For different reasons, some trips we recall forever like it was yesterday :sweat:
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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desertadapted
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Re: COVID Ruined our Plans - Need helping finding an out-of-state "Cabin Loop"

Post by desertadapted » Jun 26 2020 6:54 am

@nonot
Great suggestions re. CO; I will research.
Re. Gila, I'd spoken with someone at USFS who gave similar advice re water levels. We will be cautious.
Also, NM's governor is reportedly considering expanding travel restrictions into the State to cars and not just airplanes, so we're going to have "Cain Loop" plans for NM, CO, and UT, and pick the State that will allow folks from AZ in!
Re. 30 mile days? You can do it! Just do what I do and carry an extra can of hyperbole. It puts a spring in your step.

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