You and your pup are going to be going the distance today, so get ready. Pack in food and water, and remember to leave no trace--every wrapper and baggie has to come out with you! You're also going to want well fitted, sturdy shoes. This isn't the hike to break in new boots. Once you're properly hydrated, fed, and shod, it's time to start out!
Starting from the Upper Calico Trailhead, you're going to start with elevation gain! The first five miles of the trail are a steady climb through spruce and fir trees. The woods are a bit cooler, and a pleasant way to start your hike. Once you get out of the forest, you're going to have to climb up and down a series of steep peaks. The first is Papoose Peak. Stop for a great selfie, and then continue down the other side. You'll have a dip and climb to reach the peak of Elliott Mountain, and then you're on to the third peak: Sockrider Peak. The trail splits here. Horseback riders and cyclists will have to take one fork, while you and your dog take the other.
The bottom of Sockrider Peak is also the place the Upper and Lower Calico hikes meet. If you and your dog are ready to call it a day early, this is a great place to turn back. Otherwise, keep going to add 5+ miles to your hike (so ten miles out and back, for the full 22)!
Sniff out opportunity for great views on this varied and challenging hiking trail!