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  1. #1
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    Default West side of twin lakes? Willis gulch?

    As boring as it was walking around the east side of lake is it a viable option to walk around west side of lake to go sobo CW....Hope pass..it looks to shave a few miles after resupply at TL versus the official east.


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    I could be wrong for some hikers, but the folks I saw/talked to doing the loop did hike around the west side, as I did. The Willis Gulch t/h works, though it is over a mile from town. Coming northbound on the west side, I cut through on what I think was the Leadville 100 routes, through established paths in the meadow just south of town. I did have to do a feet-wet creek crossing, but I walked pretty much right into town. Should be an easy hitch from/to Willis t/h though.

    Edit: see attached pic... lower left, see waypoint 009 where willis gulch trail connects with main CT/CDT, I went straight there towards 008, then kept going to cross 1 to maybe about cross 4 or 5, then saw path directly to town.

    Folks I had seen on the trail right while approaching 009 did the willis trail to the trailhead and got an immediate hitch to town, we got there simultaneously.

    I would definitely not do the walk around the east side of the lake to catch the CT west! Huge relatively boring and open/hot miles for no reason.,
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    Last edited by colorado_rob; 04-21-2017 at 09:58.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    I could be wrong for some hikers, but the folks I saw/talked to doing the loop did hike around the west side, as I did. The Willis Gulch t/h works, though it is over a mile from town. Coming northbound on the west side, I cut through on what I think was the Leadville 100 routes, through established paths in the meadow just south of town. I did have to do a feet-wet creek crossing, but I walked pretty much right into town. Should be an easy hitch from/to Willis t/h though.
    I was thinking if I can pull of the 22 day thru could shave a few miles that way if needed to headed out of a re supply at TL...sobo


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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    I was thinking if I can pull of the 22 day thru could shave a few miles that way if needed to headed out of a re supply at TL...sobo


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    Yep, quite a few miles saved going around the west side, the creek crossing is no big deal, lots of shallow places, couple of deeper ones too, so pick and choose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Yep, quite a few miles saved going around the west side, the creek crossing is no big deal, lots of shallow places, couple of deeper ones too, so pick and choose.
    Is it a marked trail or bush wacking?


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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Is it a marked trail or bush wacking?


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    Nothing marked, just a bunch of faint dirt roads and trails wandering around, all open sagebrush, flat, marshy in places. here's a google earth view. I can provide you with those waypoint coordinates. I was going North into town, followed very closely to the "cross" waypoints until near the road.
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    The only benefit I saw to taking the official route, other than taking the official route per se, was seeing the old resort. Otherwise it's a good time to contemplate your navel for a while. I met plenty of runners and at least one thru-hiker who went west.

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    I passed the resort about 10 at night....so guess doesn't really count....is it worth the extra 5+ miles???


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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Nothing marked, just a bunch of faint dirt roads and trails wandering around, all open sagebrush, flat, marshy in places. here's a google earth view. I can provide you with those waypoint coordinates. I was going North into town, followed very closely to the "cross" waypoints until near the road.
    Thx but I don't carry a gps just guthooks on phone...how many mikes shorter is that route?


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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Nothing marked, just a bunch of faint dirt roads and trails wandering around, all open sagebrush, flat, marshy in places. here's a google earth view. I can provide you with those waypoint coordinates. I was going North into town, followed very closely to the "cross" waypoints until near the road.
    Does route cross this?


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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    I could be wrong for some hikers, but the folks I saw/talked to doing the loop did hike around the west side, as I did. The Willis Gulch t/h works, though it is over a mile from town. Coming northbound on the west side, I cut through on what I think was the Leadville 100 routes, through established paths in the meadow just south of town. I did have to do a feet-wet creek crossing, but I walked pretty much right into town. Should be an easy hitch from/to Willis t/h though.

    Edit: see attached pic... lower left, see waypoint 009 where willis gulch trail connects with main CT/CDT, I went straight there towards 008, then kept going to cross 1 to maybe about cross 4 or 5, then saw path directly to town.

    Folks I had seen on the trail right while approaching 009 did the willis trail to the trailhead and got an immediate hitch to town, we got there simultaneously.

    I would definitely not do the walk around the east side of the lake to catch the CT west! Huge relatively boring and open/hot miles for no reason.,
    What time of yr was this CR? I've never gone this route. I heard it can be wet/marshy/muddy after a rain.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Does route cross this?
    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Thx but I don't carry a gps just guthooks on phone...how many mikes shorter is that route?
    If you take the Willis Gulch trail, you do cross that bridge, or if the bridge is out, you simply cross the stream. Should be no problem to do this. When I did my "shortcut", I crossed the stream nearly directly south of town (Twin Lakes).

    If you leave town and hike around the lake to that junction "008" on my earlier pic, it is roughly 11 miles. If you hitch to Willis gulch t/h and hike that trail, it is about 1.5 miles to that point "009", which is 0.7 south of "008", so compare 1.5 with 11 + 0.7 = 11.7, so basically 10 full miles shorter to NOT hike around the east side. I highly recommend NOT hiking around the east side. Not sure why anyone would do that if they are hiking the CT west.

    If you don't want to take my little shortcut, since you won't have a GPS, just take Willis Gulch. Should be easy hitch, one of the store owners might even just give you a quick ride. Nice couple.
    Last edited by colorado_rob; 04-21-2017 at 14:56.

  14. #14
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Does route cross this?


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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Thx but I don't carry a gps just guthooks on phone...how many mikes shorter is that route?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    What time of yr was this CR? I've never gone this route. I heard it can be wet/marshy/muddy after a rain.
    It was early August, I think 2 weeks before the Leadville 100, which is around August 15-16-ish. Yes, it can be marshy, but there are established tracks, and again, you have to cross a stream foot-wet anyway.

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    I just did a quick Caltopo refinement... It is indeed 11.3 miles from town via the east side, 1.3 from WG trailhead to the same junction (009). 10 miles different. 3 of those extra miles are cool, along the south side of the two lakes. The other 7 are open, hot and boring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    I just did a quick Caltopo refinement... It is indeed 11.3 miles from town via the east side, 1.3 from WG trailhead to the same junction (009). 10 miles different. 3 of those extra miles are cool, along the south side of the two lakes. The other 7 are open, hot and boring.
    Great thx....my thoughts also..not sure why anyone would want to go east side if doing CW.....thx again


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    Thanks for info reference the "shortcut". I have been eyeballing the map and had planned on hiking something similar to your shortcut to get to my Twin Lakes re-supply. Not sure if I had mentioned it in any other thread, but I plan on hiking the loop appx. 19-29 July. Plans are to start at Fooses Cr. TH and doing the sole re-supply at Twin Lakes. My direction of travel is the only detail yet to be determined. Would like to do west side first but will see how snow melt goes. As I type it is snowing pretty heavily where I live. So, will have to see how much more snow the CO mountains get this spring and what the melt is like.
    Lonehiker

  18. #18
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    I passed the resort about 10 at night....so guess doesn't really count....is it worth the extra 5+ miles???
    It wasn't a question for me, since I was not going to take any shortcuts on my hike. I was white blazing the CT, if you will. But I did enjoy it, and several buildings were open to the public. The previous time I'd walked through the site, on my fist CT hike in 1990, it was apparently derelict, so it was good to see some restoration.

  19. #19
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    Not a short cut just the more scenic approach trail to the CW......so happens to be 10 miles shorter.....


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  20. #20
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Not a short cut just the more scenic approach trail to the CW......so happens to be 10 miles shorter.....
    I never thought of doing the west side of the lakes a shortcut for doing the C-west option either. I suppose, technically, it is though. I never worry about such things, even though I did pass by every white blaze on the AT....

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