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Trail: Bowen-Baker Loop

Located just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park in the Never Summer Wilderness, This 5 or 6 night epic will set a new standard for your backpacking trips.  With at least 6 miles above tree line, one campsite and close to 7 miles of trail at tree line, this spectacular trip will leave you jaw dropped.

On the first day hike about 3 miles in to the first site off a service road.  It is heavily wooded and not too spectacular.  But an irrigation ditch nearby provides easy access to drinking water.

The second day, hike about 5 miles uphill to Parika Lake which at the level of treeline and offers spectacular star-gazing.

Wake up early the next morning on day three to summit near by Parika Peak just under 12,400 feet to watch an awe inspiring sunrise.  Then head south and hook up to the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) and take that along a ridge to Bowen lake.  Bowen lake is crystal blue with a backdrop of a massive scree field dotted with snow patches that runoff into the lake itself.  Gorgeous.

On day four, hike a short 4 miles downhill to Blue Lake, also a beautiful camp site.  Pack in a fly pole for outstanding brown and brook trout fishing.  12,542 ft Bowen Mountain is directly NNW of the site, but due to lack of a trail, you will need to bushwack the entire route (take a topo map).

When I did this route, we stayed at Blue lake for two days.  But whenever you decide to leave, hike 6 miles back out to the trail head.

Happy packing.

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