Alpine Loop Day Trip

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.
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As usual, I stopped at the Mickey Breen mine.
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The view up into Poughkeepsie Gulch
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I also stopped at Mineral Point to take a few photos
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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
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The start of the hike
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Not much of a road anymore in most places
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Looking back at Engineer Pass, Engineer Mountain and Oh! Point
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Great views along the way
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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.
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Self-portrait before heading back down. The hike ended up only being a mile each way, with about 1,000 feet of elevation gain.
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Looking back at Darley Mountain over the Engineer Pass sign
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Back to the Jeep
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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.

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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.


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