Summitville

Colorado Adventure 2010 | Day 3
Friday, August 27, 2010

Gold was discovered in the Summitville area in 1870. The town at one time had a population of more than 1,500 and 2,500 mining claims were staked. At 11,200 feet on South Mountain, Summitville was once the highest major gold camp in Colorado. By 1889 there were only about 25 residents left in town. This would be my main destination for the day….but first I would have to get there.

Since I was camped just off of the Clover Creek trail, I finished up that trail and made my way back through Bonanza before heading up and over Ute Pass (9,944 feet).

Coming down from Ute Pass, overlooking the Cochetopa Hills
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I reached CO 114 again just outside of Saguache and then headed east, where I picked up the Carnero Pass Road.

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Headed south from Carnero Pass
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Once I reached La Garita, I followed another dirt road further south to Del Norte. I fueled up and then headed towards Summitville along Pinos Creek.

I took a short spur trail to the summit of Grayback Mountain along the way
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Grayback Mountain summit. 12,616 feet.
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Nice view from the top
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Pretty soon I reached my destination; Summitville. I hiked around and took a bunch of photos of the buildings still standing.

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Outhouse with a view
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After finally leaving Summitville I made another short detour over Elwood Pass (11, 631 feet) on the Continental Divide
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…then continued on south over Stunner Pass
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From there I followed the Conejos River all the way to CO 17. I had originally thought I could take a trail back west over the Continental Divide from this point, but after consulting my maps, it appeared that I was mistaken. So my options were to head back east to Alamosa (out of my way) or dip down further south into New Mexico.

Wait, I thought this was a Colorado Adventure?
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Lucky for me, this route through New Mexico followed the tracks for the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. I stopped along the highway to take a few photos of the train passing by.

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Amanda and I will have to make plans to come back one day and ride the train.

After crossing back over the Continental Divide…
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…I made my way back north into Colorado again, and stopped in Pagosa Springs for some dinner and fuel. It was getting late, so I headed west out of town and took a trail to the top of Devil Mountain where I camped for the night.

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The full photo gallery from this day can be found here: Summitville Photo Gallery

Stay tuned for the next two days of my adventure. To be continued…


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