Is it insane to take Audubon from the Coney Flats side?

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jibler
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Is it insane to take Audubon from the Coney Flats side?

Post by jibler »

I have been wanting to get up on Audubon for years - yet it keeps escaping me.


And it seems like the Brainard lake area is more jammed with people than ever before.



I have been known to park the car very early on the 4x4 road and just hike into the coney flats area - more than once - but usually going on to the north from there.



In a quest to have a semi-backwoodsy experience and not deal with brainard at all - what about camping around coney flats and then hitting audubon?

am i making too big a deal about brainard these days?

don't you have to make a reservation to take a dayhike there now?
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HikerGuy
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Re: Is it insane to take Audubon from the Coney Flats side?

Post by HikerGuy »

Other than the longer distance, sounds like a nice alternative to me. You can take the Beaver Creek Trail from there, it intersects with the standard route.
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Tornadoman
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Re: Is it insane to take Audubon from the Coney Flats side?

Post by Tornadoman »

RE: Brainard- can't comment on the rest... You need a parking reservation for the upper lot, which I measured as 2.2 miles from the lower winter lot (no permit needed). It's an easy road walk with not much elevation gain, so I wouldn't let Brainard logistics stop you. If you do want to reserve a spot for the upper lot, here's the link. https://www.recreation.gov/timed-entry/10087515
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XterraRob
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Re: Is it insane to take Audubon from the Coney Flats side?

Post by XterraRob »

Is there a trail to Audubon from the Coney Flats area or is that classified?
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jfm3
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Re: Is it insane to take Audubon from the Coney Flats side?

Post by jfm3 »

Yes, there is a trail from Coney Flats to Audubon. It's the Beaver Creek trail. It climbs up the north slope of the foothills below Audubon. At the top you can turn right to go up the regular Audubon route, or continue straight (south) down to Brainard Lake. This is part of the Pawnee-Buchanan Pass loop. The lower portion, in the trees, is excellent trail. Up near the top it gets very rocky. The climb from Coney Flats to the Audubon junction is only 1800' but it feels much longer than that at the back end of the full Pawnee-Buchanan Pass Loop.

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XterraRob
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Re: Is it insane to take Audubon from the Coney Flats side?

Post by XterraRob »

jfm3 wrote: Tue Jun 28, 2022 1:47 pm Yes, there is a trail from Coney Flats to Audubon. It's the Beaver Creek trail. It climbs up the north slope of the foothills below Audubon. At the top you can turn right to go up the regular Audubon route, or continue straight (south) down to Brainard Lake. This is part of the Pawnee-Buchanan Pass loop. The lower portion, in the trees, is excellent trail. Up near the top it gets very rocky. The climb from Coney Flats to the Audubon junction is only 1800' but it feels much longer than that at the back end of the full Pawnee-Buchanan Pass Loop.

https://www.trailrunproject.com/trail/7 ... hanan-loop
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DeTour
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Re: Is it insane to take Audubon from the Coney Flats side?

Post by DeTour »

Re: Brainard parking - surprisingly easy to reserve, and in our case later change, a parking permit. Spaces available for all time slots for Fathers Day weekend up to middle of the preceding week. You just need to be willing to part with the $16.
For Audubon, the closest TH is actually Mitchell Lake, which is just about exactly 3 paved miles and 400-some feet above the free/no reservation “winter” parking lot. Mitchell Lake TH opens July 1.
One idea suggested to me was to park at the free winter lot and bike the road up to Mitchell Lake TH. I loved the idea and want to do it, but the others in my group aren’t so enthused.
I posted a CR here for Audubon trail from Brainard about a week ago.
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jibler
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Re: Is it insane to take Audubon from the Coney Flats side?

Post by jibler »

follow up:

what about a classic wrap around hitting Paiute then Audubon on the return?


Google Earth makes that area looks suspiciously gnarly - is that even a thing?
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Re: Is it insane to take Audubon from the Coney Flats side?

Post by Jaro »

I’ll second the bike approach to Mitchell Lake TH before the road opens. It saves a good bit of energy & the ability to coast back out to your car after the hike is glorious.

I’d recommend traversing from Audubon to Paiute. The ridge going that direction is pretty fun. Also, if you’ve got the energy after Paiute tacking on Toll is fun.
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RyanSchilling
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Re: Is it insane to take Audubon from the Coney Flats side?

Post by RyanSchilling »

I noticed the timed entry site doesn't accept reservations between 8pm and 5am. So if you arrive before 5am, do you not need a reservation?
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