Monthly Archives: June 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Driving up onto the Uncompahgre Plateau under a plume of smoke from the nearby Kelso Wildfire.

It’s been many years since the last time I visited Escalante Canyon and I figured it was time to go back for another drive through the canyon. The last time I was there it wasn’t yet designated as part of the Dominguez – Escalante National Conservation Area and I was curious what changes, if any, had taken place since that occurred. I also just wanted to go for a nice scenic drive not far from home, and this loop fit the bill.

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

A spectacular view of the Ruby Range from Beckwith Pass (9,970).

Since I’ve spent the past two weekends visiting the San Juan Mountains near Ouray, Diane and I decided to make our way over to Kebler Pass today for a little hiking in the West Elk Mountains near Crested Butte. We started just outside of the Lost Lake Slough campground and hiked up the gentle trail to Beckwith Pass, which is a low pass between East Beckwith Mountain (12,432) and the Antracite Range. While the trail never broke 10,000 feet of elevation, there were plenty of clearings that offered great views of Ruby Peak (12,644) and Mount Owen (13,058) in the Ruby Range all the way to Marcellina Mountain (11,348) and The Raggeds. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this trail but the scenery was much better than I had anticipated, plus the wildflowers were just starting to bloom. We will definitely be back to check out some of the other trails in this area, especially in the fall when the colors are changing.

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Diane stands on the edge next to Lower Cascade Falls along the Ouray Perimeter Trail.

After spending last Sunday hiking just outside of Ouray, Diane and I decided to head back again today for another hike near town. I’ve wanted to hike the Ouray Perimeter Trail for a while and though that this would be a good weekend to do it. While I’ve hiked bits and pieces of the loop before, since it connects up with other shorter trails in the area, I wanted to complete the entire loop in one shot. When doing a little research on the hike, I found out that they may have recently extended the trail to include part of the Twin Peaks trail that I had hiked last year. I couldn’t find any information about this new section online, so I was looking forward to checking it out.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

The ‘Antique Store’ that can be seen from the Million Dollar Highway at the end of this hike.

June is that time of year when the desert starts getting too hot for me and I start looking towards the mountains. After hiking Professor Creek on Saturday, I thought it would be nice to drive down to Ouray on Sunday for my first mountain hike of the season. Diane had school work to get done on Sunday so I would be on my own this time. I decided to start with an easier hike and chose the Sutton Mine Trail which is just outside of town and only about 4.5 miles round trip with about 1,500 feet of elevation gain. While this trail is called the Sutton Mine Trail, the main trail does not actually climb up to the Sutton Mine and instead ends at the Neosho Mine. If you’ve ever driven over Red Mountain Pass between Ouray and Silverton, you might have noticed a building with an ‘Antiques’ sign on it near the Bear Creek bridge. That is the final destination of this trail and is part of the Neosho Mine.

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Professor Creek Falls
Saturday, June 11, 2016

The hike ends at Professor Creek Falls in Mary Jane Canyon.

It’s been a few years since we hiked up Professor Creek in Mary Jane Canyon and Diane has wanted to do it again since it’s one of her favorite hikes. It looked like this hike would be a great option for this weekend since we didn’t want to travel too far from home and it would be a good place to cool off with the hot weather we’ve had lately. I had checked the weather on Friday evening and the forecast called for sunny skies and low 90 degree temperatures which sounded pretty good for this hike. However, when we woke up on Saturday morning to leave, the sky was actually pretty overcast and the new forecast said it would stay like that for most of the day and that it would still be warm with a possible rain shower.

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