It's hard to believe, but it's already March! Many people have already made, or are in the process of making their hiking and backpacking plans for the upcoming summer. If you're planning a backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park this summer, here's a very challenging route to consider.
Backpacker Magazine has put together a video highlighting the so called "Grand Loop" in Rocky Mountain National Park. This historically inspired route includes a summit of Longs Peak from the Keplinger Couloir.
The route begins from Bear Lake and takes hikers up to Flattop Mountain. From the summit you'll descend down the west side of the Continental Divide via the Tonahutu Creek Trail as it makes its way to Big Meadows. From Big Meadows the loop makes a brief visit at Grand Lake before venturing back into the wilderness at the East Inlet Trailhead. After reaching Spirit Lake, the route goes off-trail and climbs over Boulder-Grand Pass, and back down to Thunder Lake. From the lake the trail ascends Thunder Ridge and the Keplinger Couloir to reach Longs Peak, the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park. From the top of the peak the trail descends back down the mountain via the Keyhole Route and the North Longs Peak Trail, to return back to Bear Lake.
Here's the video with more information on the route:
Rocky Mountain Hiking Trails