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Category: Backpacking

Soaking in the Conundrum Hot Springs

Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness
Sunday & Monday, August 16-17, 2020

This weekend Diane and I finally got our chance to visit the Conundrum Hot Springs in the Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness, which is something that has been on my to-do list for as long as I can remember. For the longest time I figured this was one trip that I probably would never actually do because of how popular it is and how busy it gets in the summer, and the last thing I wanted to do was hike all the way in to the hot springs only to find out that all the designated campsites were occupied. However, last year the Forest Service finally started to require permits that have to be reserved online in advance to camp near the hot springs, and I knew that this was finally my chance to go! I wanted to try to go last year, but I was out of town the weekend when the permits became available, and by the time I returned back home all of the dates I could go were already booked, so I figured I’d try again this year. This year I was around when the permits became available in the middle of June, and after a frustrating morning trying to secure one on the Recreation.gov website, I did finally manage to get one for this Sunday night.

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Flat Tops for the Fourth: Wall Lake & Trappers Peak

Headwaters of the White River | The Flat Tops Wilderness of the White River Plateau
Independence Day Weekend | Friday – Saturday, July 3-4, 2020

After spending the last couple of weekends on the river it was finally time to start heading up into Colorado’s high country for the short summer season! This weekend Diane and I decided to head up to visit the headwaters of the White River in the Flat Tops Wilderness, where I hoped we could find a little solitude over this popular and busy holiday weekend. Although I’ve gone on a few day hikes into the Flat Tops Wilderness before, this would actually be our first backpacking trip into Colorado’s third largest wilderness area and I was looking forward to it!

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Hermits Rest Trail to the Morrow Point Reservoir

Cimarron Point into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison | Curecanti National Recreation Area
Saturday & Sunday, June 13-14, 2020

The next couple of weeks are about to get pretty busy for us since we will be moving into a new house, but I wanted to try to get one more quick overnight backpacking trip in before that happens. Since we still had a lot to do at home, I was looking for something easier and close to home where I didn’t think we would run into many people. After looking over some maps, I thought it would be nice to camp along the shore of the Morrow Point Reservoir in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison at the bottom of the Hermits Rest Trail. I couldn’t find very much information about this hike online, so I figured it probably wouldn’t be too busy. Although I’ve driven through the Curecanti National Recreation Area many times on Highway 50 between Montrose and Gunnison, I have never really spent any time there and thought it was about time we finally did some hiking there. Plus, with the daily boat tours currently not operating because of COVID-19, I knew there wouldn’t be any motorized traffic on the reservoir either.

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Dark Canyon Wilderness: Woodenshoe Canyon

Friday – Monday, May 15-18, 2020

This weekend I was supposed to be backpacking with Diane in Canyonlands National Park, but since the park is still closed due to COVID-19 they cancelled my second permit there this spring. At this point I guess that I will just have to try again next year. While looking into alternate plans for the weekend the weather forecast was predicting much warmer temperatures across the Southwest, so I tried to find someplace that was a little higher in elevation where it might be cooler, and after weighing my options I decided it was finally time to check out Woodenshoe Canyon in the Dark Canyon Wilderness. Although I’ve driven around the edges of this wilderness area before, this is one part of the Colorado Plateau that I have ignored for far too long! With the change in plans, Diane decided that she was going to stay home this weekend so I invited my friend Jerry to join me on this four day trip. Unfortunately, this was one of those rare trips where things didn’t quite go as planned and we ended up cutting the trip short and headed home a day early.

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Canyons of the Escalante: Silver Falls Creek

Following Another Segment of the Historic Halls Road
Friday – Sunday, May 8-10, 2020

This weekend Diane and I headed into the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area so that we could continue my Canyons of the Escalante series by hiking down Silver Falls Creek to the Escalante River and back. With warmer temperatures in the desert lately, I was looking for an easy overnight backpacking trip where we could camp near water to cool off during the heat of the day. Plus, with seemingly more people out on our public lands right now, I was also looking for a more out-of-the-way location that’s not very popular where we would hopefully not run into many other people in the backcountry. Silver Falls Creek seemed to fit the bill perfectly. I had actually planned on hiking down Silver Falls Creek Canyon last October with Jared after we hiked through Little Death Hollow and Wolverine Canyon, but after that hike we decided to end our week-long trip a day early and instead went on a short hike along Pleasant Creek in Capitol Reef National Park, so I was looking forward to finally visiting this canyon. As an added bonus, this would be another segment of the historic Halls Road that we would be able to check out after hiking down Lower Muley Twist Canyon back in March.

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