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Backpacking halfway between Austin and Denver?

I live just north of Austin, TX.  My buddy lives in Denver, CO.  We are trying to find a good backpacking trail that is roughly half way between us.  That way we can each drive ~6-7 hours rather than fly. 

 

We are both moderately experienced backpackers and are looking for a 2-3 day trip.  I am thinking New Mexico but not familiar with anything there.  Can anyone suggest a good place/trail?

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Re: Backpacking halfway between Austin and Denver?

@HokieHiker Gila Wilderness comes immediately to mind.  A superb area with all manner of trips of varying length possible.  Check out a Forest Service map because there are a fair number of wlderness areas a bit further north which would also be suitable and perhaps more equidistant.  But the Gila is worth any extra driving.  West from Austin and south from Denver.

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Re: Backpacking halfway between Austin and Denver?

@HokieHiker I'm in Austin, too; and have some friends in Fort Collins. We met in the Pecos Wilderness; just east of Santa Fe. Highly recommend the area. You can begin your hike at the parking area at Ski Santa Fe, or Jack's Creek Trailhead is a nice place to begin, also.

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Re: Backpacking halfway between Austin and Denver?

@HokieHiker I second the suggestions by @hikermor and @scottmc . My one piece of advice would be to try to avoid doing this trip in July/August; the temperatures can get pretty high during those months, which is something you may want to avoid for backpacking. Regardless, enjoy your trip and be safe!

www.brynsharpphotography.com
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