How hard is hiking the four pass loop trail in Colorado ?

So me and my husband have decided we want to hike the four pass loop trail this summer mid July we plan on flying down to Aspen because that is peak wildflower season in crested butte where the trail ends. 

 My husband and I are both from Louisiana so we don’t get much hiking in unfortunately. Consider us I guess beginner hikers, however we are both extremely physically fit. (We run minimum of a mile uphill every morning). 

 We are planning on backpacking the 27.5 mile trail and it taking us 3-5 days. (We are giving ourselves extra time because our bodies aren’t acclimated to the altitude). 

 For our first backpacking trip I’m scared it’s a little ambitious of us and I’m starting to second guess if we should instead just rent a hotel and so day trip hikes? Any suggestions? Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated from other hikers. 

2 Answers

  • Fin
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    The Maroon Bells area is gorgeous.

    I'd recommend in addition to your runs you add walking 2-3 times/week starting with a 20-30lb pack, putting in at least 5 miles each time.  

    To be honest, I've only done a day hike as far as Frigid Air Pass, never the entire loop -too many people for me. I would say you're going to know by mile 5 if you want to do the entire loop because you'll have climbed ~2k elevation and have another 1.5k to climb before you get to the first pass, W. Maroon.  Unless you've been at this level of elevation before (9k-12.5k), there's no way to describe it and no way to know how it will affect you (dizziness, swelling, etc) - it can honestly vary every time you go up.  The big thing is to stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes replenished.

    If you decide to pull off of it, you can stay in Crested Butte and there are tons of hiking trails in the area, heck you can even try to day hike a 14-er.  There's a few in the immediate proximity.

    Source(s): CO Native and avid hiker
  • 1 month ago

    It's classified as a difficult trail largely due to the altitude. You'd probably be better off starting with something else and working up to this.

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