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Back Country Hiking

Backcountry HikingBackcountry recreational opportunities abound within the Alpine Triangle and range from isolation in the most pristine settings to hiking along popular, developed trails.

The area boasts over 100 miles of trails maintained by the BLM or the Forest Service. More undeveloped trails provide access to remote parts of the backcountry where other visitors are seldom encountered.

The Big Blue and Weminuche Wilderness Areas, along with Redcloud Peak and Handies Peak Wilderness Study Areas, provide recreation opportunities in remote settings.

Trails provide hiking access to five of Colorado's fifty-four "fourteener" peaks (14,000 feet or more). These peaks are Redcloud, Sunshine, Handies, Uncompahgre, and Wetterhorn; and all can be reached from the Alpine Loop Byway. Trails to all five peaks are fairly moderate, but tend to become more difficult near the top. Wetterhorn Peak is the most challenging. Numerous other peaks and meadows offer spectacular scenery, remote settings, and greater risk for those who are more adventuresome.

Popular backpacking areas include Highland Mary Lakes, Whitehead Gulch, Alpine Gulch and Bear Creek. The enclosed map and list of trails indicate many opportunities for day hikes or more hardy multi-day loop trips.