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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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@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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@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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@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

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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