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Month: September 2020

Little Giant Basin Peaks

Fall Colors 2020 | King Solomon Mountain & Little Giant Peak
Friday & Saturday, September 25-26, 2020

After spending a few days last week on a relaxing river trip through Meander Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, it was time for me to squeeze in one last visit to the mountains before I start heading back into the desert until next summer. Earlier this year I had set a personal goal to try to hike at least 30 summits this summer and I was at 29 as of Friday, so I needed to get in at least one more peak to meet that goal. Since I also needed to start preparing for another long trip starting next weekend, I wanted to stay closer to home and decided to try to climb a pair of peaks from Little Giant Basin near Silverton on Saturday morning. As usual, I left right after work on Friday and took the Million Dollar Highway from Ouray to Silverton. The fall colors were looking very nice this weekend, so I stopped for a couple of photos along the way…

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Meander Canyon: The Colorado River in Canyonlands

Floating from the Potash Boat Ramp to The Loop | Average CFS: 2,660
Thursday – Sunday, September 17-20, 2020

On Thursday morning Diane and I woke up extra early at 3:30am and headed down to Moab where we drove through The Portal on our way to the Potash Boat Ramp and met up with our friends Jackson, Amy and Chris just after sunrise. We were going to be spending the next couple of days on a relaxing float through Meander Canyon on the calm waters of the Colorado River into the heart of Canyonlands National Park. I had such a great time in Labyrinth Canyon two years ago at this same time of the year, so I was really looking forward to another trip similar to that. Although Diane swore that she would never go on another river trip with me after our swift float through Slick Rock Canyon, I managed to talk her into giving it one more try after promising her that this would be all flat water with no rapids! Thankfully, she really enjoyed this trip and I think she will definitely be coming with me on future flat water adventures!

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Little Cone: The Other Cone

Friday & Saturday, September 11-12, 2020

After spending the end of last week on a road trip driving Across the Great Basin and Back, this weekend it was time to get back to hiking in the mountains of Colorado since the season will be ending for me very soon. After climbing Lone Cone a couple years back and Groundhog Mountain earlier this summer, I thought it was time to tackle Little Cone which is another isolated mountain that is located at the western edge of the western San Juan Mountains and sits just to the north of Middle and Dolores Peaks. Although this solitary 11er stands out when you are in the area, I don’t believe the summit sees too many visitors because access is tricky since this mountain is almost completely surrounded by private property. If it weren’t for just one narrow strip of public National Forest land, it would be impossible to climb this peak without permission from a landowner. Luckily that one little strip of land is all I needed to make it to the summit!

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White River Narrows & Mount Irish Petroglyphs

Across the Great Basin and Back | The Loneliest Road (Trip) in America
Rock Art of the Basin and Range National Monument
Friday & Saturday, September 4-5, 2020

Once I left the White Mountains behind, it was time to visit a few rock art sites in the Basin and Range National Monument as I drove back home across the Great Basin. After stopping in Tonopah for gas and food I continued east on US Route 6 for a little while until I reached Warm Springs and then turned off onto the Extraterrestrial Highway. If you want to drive a lonely highway, then this is probably the one for you! I didn’t even have cell phone signal for almost the entire stretch! I made my way south past the Nellis Air Force Range and through through the tiny town of Rachel on my way to Crystal Springs in the Pahranagat Valley. By the time I drove up the Logan Canyon Road into the Irish Mountain Range it was already getting pretty dark out and I found a spot to spend the night just below Logan Pass. The temperature was heating up in the desert again with another heat wave spreading across the southwest, so it didn’t cool off very quickly, even at 7,000 feet at night.

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The Highest Point in Nevada: Boundary Peak

Across the Great Basin and Back | The Loneliest Road (Trip) in America
Thursday & Friday, September 3-4, 2020

After hiking to the top of White Mountain Peak in the morning and then stopping in Bishop for food and gas in the afternoon, it was time for me to head back into Nevada on US Route 6 so I could climb Boundary Peak located at the very northern end of the White Mountains. Since I had hiked Wheeler Peak on Wednesday which is considered the ‘highest peak’ in Nevada, I figured that I might as well climb the ‘highest point’ in Nevada too since I was going to be driving right near it. This would be my third peak in as many days and I was hoping that my legs would be up for it!

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