Monday, July 5, 2010
Since I had Monday off from work and Amanda had to work I decided to head down to the San Juans for a little day trip. My destination was part of the Alpine Loop and my goals were to find a few geocaches along the way and get a little hiking in.
After passing through Ouray, I turned off of the Million Dollar Highway at the Mineral Creek trail and started climbing.
As usual, I stopped at the Mickey Breen mine.
The view up into Poughkeepsie Gulch
I also stopped at Mineral Point to take a few photos
After leaving Mineral Point, my next destination was Engineer Pass. I’ve been over Engineer Pass a bunch of times, and every time I head over it, I see the old road cut into Darley Mountain and think that I should hike up it. I finally decided that this will be my day to do just that.
The old road cut into Darley Mountain
The start of the hike
Not much of a road anymore in most places
Looking back at Engineer Pass, Engineer Mountain and Oh! Point
Great views along the way
Unfortunately the road/path ended about 100 feet from the top of the mountain, and it was a little too dangerous for me to scramble up the very loose and steep talus slope…especially since I was alone.
Self-portrait before heading back down. The hike ended up only being a mile each way, with about 1,000 feet of elevation gain.
Looking back at Darley Mountain over the Engineer Pass sign
Back to the Jeep
Next up, I stopped at Animas Forks briefly to find a few geocaches….but I didn’t stay long since the place was pretty crowded.
From Animas Forks I continued on to Silverton and then started my journey back home over Red Mountain Pass. I made it home by dinner time and only ended up going through less than 3/4 of a tank of gas the whole day.