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Month: June 2014

Ouray Solstice Hiking

Upper Cascade Falls & Baldy Peak
Saturday & Sunday, June 21-22, 2014

This weekend for the summer solstice, Diane and I headed down to Ouray to get in a little hiking in the San Juan Mountains. Since there’s still a lot of snow up high and it would be our first time really hiking in the mountains this year, we decided to start with some lower elevation hikes close to town between 8,000 and 10,000 feet. When we arrived, we setup camp just above town in the Amphitheater Campground and then got started on our first hike up to the Upper Cascade Creek Falls and Chief Ouray Mine. The hike started out easy, but soon it quickly climbed over 1,000 feet up a series of switchbacks. First we reached the Upper Cascade Falls and took a few photos and then we crossed the creek and continued on to the remains of the Chief Ouray Mine located high above town.

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The Ribbon Trail

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Since Diane and I were home today and had no other plans elsewhere, we decided to wake up early and hike The Ribbon Trail before it got too hot out. This is a trail that has been on my to-do list for a while and I was glad to finally be able to check it out. This is a popular mountain biking trail that starts up on Little Park Road and follows large expanses of slickrock along canyon rims and is mostly downhill the whole way. We brought both our vehicles and left one at the bottom trailhead so we could hike down from the top. While most of the trail is downhill, there is still a good climb at the end to reach the lower trailhead along the road.

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Silverton & Ouray

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The desert has been heating up recently and I’ve been looking to start getting up into the mountains soon. The first reports of roads opening up in the San Juan Mountains have been coming in, so I decided to head up towards Silverton and Ouray to see just how fast the snow was melting this year so I could start planning some mountain hiking trips. Much of Colorado’s high country got a lot of snow this year, so trails and roads are opening up later than they typically would. There is still a lot of snow up in the mountains, but it appears to be melting fast.


Red Rock to Black Canyon

Backpacking Red Rock Canyon
Saturday & Sunday, June 7-8, 2014

Deep, Steep and Narrow. That’s how the National Park Service describes the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and it’s pretty accurate. The Black Canyon is comprised of some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. I’ve wanted to hike down into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison for quite a while now and thought I would try Red Rock Canyon, the easiest route, for my first time. This trail is about 3.5 miles in length and only drops 1330 feet to the river. Compared to the other routes down to the Gunnison, this one is definitely the least steep.