To connect Buchanan Creek with Cascade Creek in Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness, the Pfiffner Traverse ascends a knife-edge pass at the head of trail-less Thunderbolt Creek that offers sweeping views of the Pawnee Lake basin and the Continental Divide. The alternative to this route is an ordinary and relatively view-less all-trail route around the west […]
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The Pfiffner Traverse is a 75-mile backpacking high route that follows the Continental Divide and the crest of Colorado’s Front Range through Rocky Mountain National Park and the James Peak and Indian Peaks Wilderness Areas. It can be thru-hiked end-to-end (in 6 to 10 days, on average) or undertaken in sections with multi-night trips, long day hikes, and adventurous trail runs.
The Pfiffner Traverse Guide is a comprehensive resource for thru- and section-hikers. It includes preparatory information, plus topographic maps, route descriptions, and datasheets for the Primary Route, Alternates, and eight shorter loop trips.
The Northeast Gully is the most difficult feature on the Pfiffner Traverse: it’s filled with snow through mid-summer, covered with talus and loose scree in late-summer, and always steep. Unfortunately, it’s also a critical connector between Lone Eagle Cirque, Lost Tribe Lakes, and upper Arapaho Creek, all in Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness. An easy all-trail […]
It’s been years since I posted a complete backpacking gear list for a trip. Instead, I’ve been doing in-depth dives on specific categories (e.g. shelter systems, stove systems, first aid kits) that I believe are more instructive and universally relevant than lengthy gear lists that are specific to a single location, season, and group size. […]
Thanks to a delayed arrival of winter, in late-October of last year I finished piecing together the Pfiffner Traverse, a 77-mile high route through Colorado’s Front Range between Milner and Berthoud Passes. But I felt it important to get on the route again this year as a thru-hiker and as soon as conditions permitted, to […]
I first came to Colorado in May 2003, for an internship with GoLite. It was an eye-opening summer. Five days per week I was awed by Boulder’s scenery while bike commuting and trail running; and the other two days I weekend-warrior’d in the Front Range. First I tried Rocky Mountain National Park, but the $15 […]