Backpacker

Dayhike a Marathon

DAWN PAINTS MY dust as I charge up the trail. I’m on a mission, marching past groups of over-nighters who are moving at a more leisurely pace. Knowing I’m in a race against time puts a jump in my step, and I power past Maroon Lake, barely noticing the reflection of the Maroon Bells in the water.

The Four Pass Loop in Colorado’s Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is one of the best backpacking routes in the country. Named for its four 12,400-foot passes, the trail follows a 26-mile loop, gaining and losing over 7,000 feet of elevation. Most people tackle it

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