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Guanella Pass Road/Snowshoe Question

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Guanella Pass Road/Snowshoe Question

Postby haybo01 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:41 pm

I have an 8-year old son who wants to try snowshoeing tomorrow. I am looking for something relatively close to the south Denver metro area, easy to get to, and would allow a short or medium length snowshoe hike with some decent scenery. I don't know if my son will like it or not, he's unpredictable. I was thinking of driving up the Guanella Pass Road from Georgetown to as far as we could drive and then hiking up and down the road. Anybody have an opinion or suggestion on my plan? Thanks!

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Re: Guanella Pass Road/Snowshoe Question

Postby schrund » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:53 pm

If you keep an eye out for the last switchback on the Guanella Pass Road, there's a dirt road that goes to the old ghost town of Waldorf. Here's a website that gives a better description: http://www.everytrail.com/guide/argentine-pass-4x4-road-colorado The TH is closer to Georgetown and may save you some driving. You'll need to park "tight" into the switchback to allow room in case the plows are running.
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Re: Guanella Pass Road/Snowshoe Question

Postby haybo01 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:00 pm

Schrund -- Thanks for the snowshoe suggestion above Georgetown. Has anyone done this on showshoes? Is there any avalanche danger? I am not much of a winter hiker, and would not want to put my son in any danger. Thanks, Bob.

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Re: Guanella Pass Road/Snowshoe Question

Postby Jay521 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:34 pm

It's been a few years since I snowshoed up there but I do not recall any avy danger as long as you stay on the road. If you can't park right where the dirt road starts (there is room for a couple cars there), you can park a bit lower where they have plowed out a small parking lot. You will see that lot on your right just before you make a sharp right hand hairpin turn. That area is very popular with ATV'ers in the summer so they made an area where they can park with their trailers.

As I recall, all the "steepness" on this route is near the start - maybe the first mile or two. After than it is a pretty level road. Others may have better recollections than I do - or maybe have been up there more recently than I have.

Have fun!

Edit: My assertion about the lack of avy danger assumes that you don't get above treeline. I think it is several miles before you reach treeline.
Last edited by Jay521 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Guanella Pass Road/Snowshoe Question

Postby Econrecon » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:34 pm

I'd suggest Echo Lake for a first snowshoe with kids...you can drive to the Lake and you'll find some trails around the lake and through the woods. not technical and no avalanche danger. Just a nice walk through the woods with your son and hopefully the start to a great new winter activity.

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Re: Guanella Pass Road/Snowshoe Question

Postby Jay521 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:37 pm

EconRecon is correct - the Echo Lake area would make a nice outing as well.

Edit: The more I think about it, Echo Lake would be better than Guanella Pass/Waldorf Road for an 8 yr old's first time out. In my opinion, anyway...
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Re: Guanella Pass Road/Snowshoe Question

Postby MountainHiker » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:19 pm

As of yesterday, Guanella Pass road on the Georgetown side was plowed to the winter closure at about 10,800’. The road from there to the pass was mostly snow covered with a packed track. There is a signed snow slide area on the road.

Note the weather for tomorrow.

Georgetown:
Tonight: Snow likely, mainly after 11pm. Cloudy, with a low around 0. Wind chill values as low as -12. Southeast wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Monday: Snow. High near 15. Wind chill values as low as -11. East northeast wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Monday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around -2. Wind chill values as low as -15. West wind 5 to 8 mph. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible

Guanella Pass:
Tonight: Snow likely, mainly after 11pm. Cloudy, with a low around 0. Wind chill values as low as -16. South southeast wind 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Monday: Snow. High near 11. Wind chill values as low as -10. North northeast wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Monday Night: Snow likely, mainly before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around -1. Wind chill values as low as -17. West northwest wind 6 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
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