Take a Hike

Tackle a Three-Day Backpacking Adventure with a Little Help from New Friends

Swedish outdoor gear brand Fjällräven hosts its third Classic USA group trek near Leadville.

By Cindy Hirschfeld March 28, 2018

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Hikers during 2017's Fjällräven Classic USA in Colorado

If the idea of backpacking as a communal experience, with a little bit of help along the way, motivates you to get out on the trail, Swedish company Fjällräven has your number. For the third year in a row, the Fjällräven Classic USA (June 27–29) lets up to 400 hikers put the brand’s vintage-inspired gear through its paces while providing support stations with food, first aid, and entertainment along the way. You can even bring your dog, as long as he or she stays on leash. This year’s route is practically in our backyard: a three-day, 34-mile backcountry trek from just outside Leadville to Copper Mountain.

Fjällräven originated its first en masse trek in Lapland in 2005, inspired by the legislated Swedish right to spend time in the outdoors. Since then, that event has grown to attract some 2,000 outdoor enthusiasts each year and has become a rite of passage for many. In addition to the US, the brand has established annual treks in Denmark and Hong Kong.

The Colorado Classic trek starts at Tennessee Pass, then traverses the north side of Camp Hale, where troops from the famed 10th Mountain Division trained during World War II. Day 2’s route follows a section of the Colorado Trail, with a sturdy 3,000 feet of elevation gain. The final day traverses over Searle Pass and past Janet’s Cabin (a backcountry ski hut) before finishing on the slopes of Copper.

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Setting up camp during the 2017 Classic

You’ll need to bring all of your own backpacking and camping gear, while Fjällräven provides transportation to and from the trailheads from its Boulder store (if needed); gas for your stoves; freeze-dried food for all meals and some snacks; a water filter bottle; the aforementioned aid stations; and a party at the finish. You can also purchase gear from Fjällräven ahead of time at a special discount.

The trek costs $299, and tickets are on sale now. The opportunity to meet other like-minded people who love exploring the outdoors—last year’s trip drew hikers from 10 different countries—may be priceless.

If the experience leaves you suitably inspired, sign up for Classic Hong Kong (Oct. 24–27), which runs some 30 miles through tropical forest and along beaches. Or prepare for Classic Sweden 2019 (this year’s trek is already sold out), which journeys for about 68 miles in wild terrain above the Arctic Circle. Bonus: three saunas provide restoration en route.


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